Effects of Covid-19 on the audio-vestibular system

Am J Otolaryngol. 2022 Jan-Feb;43(1):103173. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2021.103173. Epub 2021 Aug 10.

Abstract

Purpose: It was aimed to investigate the effects of COVID-19 infection on hearing and the vestibular system.

Methods: Twenty-six patients whose treatment had been completed and who had no previous hearing or balance complaints were included in the study. Patients diagnosed with the disease by PCR were included in the study. Patients with at least one month of illness were included in the study. The hearing of patients was evaluated with transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE) and pure-tone audiometry. Bedside tests, the European Evaluation of Vertigo scale (EEV), Video Head Impulse Test (vHIT), Ocular Vestibular Myogenic Evoked Potential (oVEMP), Cervical Vestibular Myogenic Evoked Potential (cVEMP) and Videonystagmography (VNG) tests were applied to evaluate the vestibular system.

Results: A statistically significant difference was found between the COVID-19 positive and control groups according to the mean values of the 4000 Hz and 8000 Hz in both the right and left ears (p < 0.05). No statistically significant difference was found in the other frequencies and TEOAE. No statistically significant difference was found between the COVID-19 positive and control groups in terms of their normal or pathological VNG saccade, optokinetic and spontaneous nystagmus values (p > 0.05). The normal and pathological VNG head shake values were found to be significantly different between the COVID-19 positive and control groups (p < 0.05). CONCLUSıON: The high frequencies in audiometry in the COVID-19 positive group were worse than those in the control group. In the vestibular system, especially in oVEMP and cVEMP, asymmetric findings were obtained in comparison to the control group, and a low gain in vHIT was shown. This study shows that the audiovestibular system of people with COVID-19 infection may be affected.

Keywords: COVİD-19; Hearing; Vertigo.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19 / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vestibular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Vestibular Diseases / virology*
  • Vestibular Function Tests