Coronavirus could cause hearing loss, damage hair cells in cochlea, studies suggest

I think when all is said and done the cornavirus might go down as one of the most damaging viruses to impact the human race. And now maybe our “ears” are in danger?

Yes I have read that too, that and the heart issues is what scares me the most.

It is an interesting article. I reminds me how little we know about the COVID 19 virus. But with continued research we will find out more about it side affects and better ways to treat those infected and prevention of it. I hope they develop a vaccine and have it available for people to use soon. I feel for those who have been hurt by this disease and died. My condolences to all that have lost love ones or been hurt by this disease.

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I read the other day that smallpox is officially the most dangerous virus to ever affect the human race. But we’ve just about completely conquered smallpox so hopefully the coronavirus behind COVID-19 will meet the same fate. The interesting thing about smallpox is that it hasn’t been with us since time immemorial but it popped into existence in relatively “modern” Stone Age times (the official word is “Neolithic”), which can be detected because evidence of smallpox infection can continue to exist in the bones of human remains.

I think the basic lesson of the COVID-19 virus, a planet with 7 billion++ people, increasing all the time, and rapid travel around the world, is that the virus is just a harbinger of things to come. Humanity is just one big Petri plate for breeding infectious diseases and something that pops into existence in one part of the world can soon be everywhere and with life in the fast lane, you get some awful wrecks when things depend on traveling 100 mph to keep supply chains going, etc. (world’s cities depend on constant supply of food but if the farmers are all dying, etc., …)

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I’ve heard this about COVID-19 also.

I lost the hearing in my right ear right before last Christmas. Ironically, I had a virus in October. The doctors I’ve seen seem to think that virus I had (which I caught from a co-worker), might have been the culprit.

I’m also beginning to think that viruses play a bigger part than we are aware of in hearing loss. It’s thought that the nerve damage in my left ear was caused by a virus when I was a toddler.

I’m a diabetic and the diabetes has affected my eyes. Due to this, I have a retinal specialist that I’ve been seeing for 23 years. During my last visit, I told him that I had lost the hearing in my one ear. He told me he had a virus a couple years ago that has left him with some mild hearing loss and tinnitus. He agreed a virus could have caused my hearing loss.

I’m not a doctor or have any scientific proof, I’m just going by personal experience, plus what has been shared with me by others.

I had a heart attack in 2018, so I have to be careful about that too. I read an article a couple weeks ago about COVID-19 causing clotting near major organs. So a lot of what has been in these articles makes sense to me. You need to be careful and keep these things in mind.

The more we learn about this covid 19 version, the more I say, it is really like something out of sci fi. If anyone had written about a virus acting like this one does back in, say 2015, it would have been labeled as a sci fi story. (Excepting the medical and research experts who deal with this stuff for a living).

Good article, thanks for sharing it here.

If you factor in how much smaller the world’s population was in 1918-1919 and how much slower international travel was and even travel between regions in a country like the United States (car and plane travel was not widely available to everyone then, most people did not travel widely for business, etc), the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic was (and hopefully still will be when the current pandemic is brought under control) a far more horrific event. I think it’s like building your vacation home on the waterfront in a hurricane-prone region or here where I live, reroofing your house with a roof that’s not really hail-resistant. Spending money to be prepared or whatever is a drag. It’s easier to bet, “Ain’t gonna happen. I’ll take a chance.” But if we didn’t get a lesson from all the influenza pandemics in human history, especially the 1918-1919 flu pandemic, the SARS virus in 2003 should have been more of a wake-up call for humanity. But the whole thing kinda reminds me of The Three Little Pigs. Some folks always want to build their houses out of straw or sticks and lucky is the little piggy who went in for the extra expense of bricks when the Big Bad Ol’ Wolf comes a-knockin’.

Hmm, I really can’t see how your comment relates to mine.

The 1918 -19 was a flu. We know how flu operates.

Covid 19 is having systemic impact, the whole body is at risk. Heart attack, stroke (brain), kidney failure (dialysis machines are needed often, not as much as ventilators but definitely the second most needed), ‘covid toes’, and now hearing issues.

I “think” you are talking about the impact world wide, that is not part of my comment.

Both the flu and the corona virus are respiratory viruses. If you know that a respiratory virus pandemic is possible and you are like the little piggy who built his house out of bricks, you might want to keep a good supply of PPE, such as N95 masks and such, on hand-they’d work for either type of respiratory virus So not making the connection between the known lethality of flu pandemics and the likely future possibility of the right corona virus is part of the problem.

Being able to make connections and not gambling is also part of realizing it’s not just science fiction. I am replying to your comment that essentially said that only a small group of people apart from the main could have imagined anything like this would ever happen. In 2003, the biology folks in a safety group at the university I worked out were all up in arms about the possibility of a global pandemic based on the SARS virus (a corona virus). I was a bit dismissive myself at the time but with the SARS outbreak in 2003, the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, several Ebola virus outbreaks, MERS, I realized that my fellow co-workers, not elite scientists, just university employees, had the right attitude back in 2003. The press gives SARS, 2009 H1N1, MERS (another coronavirus), Ebola, etc., a lot of play but many people are like I was in 2003. It’s not that anyone didn’t tell us. We rather be like the little piggies who built our houses out of straw or sticks and not believe (or at least gamble) that the Big Bad Wolf will ever come around to our house, maybe somewhere else, but not us. Just like the folks who build their houses right on the beach or river side in a hurricane or flood zone.

P.S. HIV would be another example of a horrific global pandemic where it took the world YEARS to figure out what it was and how best to deal with it. So we’ve had lots of lessons about global pandemics but being better prepared for the next one hasn’t fully sunk in (just like not building your house right on the beach front, either).

I feel the worst thing about COVID-19 is the way it affects people differently. Not knowing how it’s going to affect you is the scary part. My sister and brother in law both got Covid. My sister is not in the best health, high BP and other things going on. She had a mild cough and fever. Her husband, mid 60’s, healthy, strong as an ox, didn’t even have high blood pressure. He was home 3 days after testing positive before going to the ER. Spent next 3 weeks in ICU fighting for his life. We lost him yesterday. What makes it even more terrible is the isolation, no one including my sister got to see him after he went to the ER.


I am so sorry for the loss of your brother-in-law. Prayers to his wife and for you all. I saw a video clip a while back about this nurse who took care of the covid 19 patients who are dying. She was so sad and she lamented the most on how these patients die alone without anybody but the nurse to be there for them and that is only on her periodic rounds every day. That is so sad.

A close neighbor of mine in Florida died from it Monday evening and her husband is at home in a coma. They were out on Fourth of July weekend with two other couples and I understand they have it also. I have no more Information.

The place is a very large senior development. I know more up here than the people still living down there. it is said that there are 12 more cases. But what I find so unbelievable is that they seem to be hiding who has it and in which neighborhood. How will anyone know if they have been in contact with some that have it.? This could all be rumor but my lady friend that I spoke with today had known none of this. For crying out loud they send out group mail about everything else.

@tim4 I totally agree and that is really scary. My husband was talking to the nurses in day surgery last week when I had the surgery for my cochlear implant and they were discussing how isolating it is to be dying in a COVID unit of the hospital without having familiar people surrounding you.

Whether it be COVID or another virus, it’s important to know that any virus can affect your hearing or other parts of the body. It’s good that this article was shared andvthe findings don’t surprise me regarding the effect on hearing. It just seems that viruses can play a larger role than we’re aware of when it comes to affecting our hearing.

I’m very sorry to hear about your brother-in-law, Tim. Not only is the isolation of the victim terrible but also the difficulty for a family to properly mourn a lost one together. The news of Anita’s neighbors is bad, too.

The CDC has a very good web page comparing the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus and the average influenza virus. Here’s what they say about the side effects of both:


Both COVID-19 and flu can result in complications, including:

  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory failure
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (i.e. fluid in lungs)
  • Sepsis
  • Cardiac injury (e.g. heart attacks and stroke)
  • Multiple-organ failure (respiratory failure, kidney failure, shock)
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions (involving the lungs, heart, nervous system or diabetes)
  • Inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues
  • Secondary bacterial infections (i.e. infections that occur in people who have already been infected with flu or COVID-19)

The usual influenza pandemic isn’t as bad for us as we have some previous immunity from battling flu year in and year out and we have flu shots, that if we’re lucky in the annual formulation, can take a lot of bite out of flu infection, lessening the severity about 65% according to the CDC (whatever that means…). We have little or no pre-existing immunity nor any vaccine yet for COVID-19-so that’s part of why it’s cutting a much, much wider swath than the usual flu season (and it’s also a more easily transmissible virus).


@anihan Thank you. Also sorry to hear about your neighbors, praying that he will fight this off and have a full recovery.

@jim_lewis Thanks Jim, I really appreciate it.

I personally know over a dozen people that have had Covid and all but David have recovered without any complications or hearing loss that I know of. So for most people this is no worse than a bad case of the flu. Like I said earlier, it’s the not knowing how you or your love ones are going to handle this virus that worries me.

As if what we know about COVID isn’t enough to worry about, does the virus lie dormant in people who have had it and later manifest differently (i.e., like chicken pox-shingles)? So much we don’t know…
Social distancing and washing our hands are our best defenses. And face coverings, though they may not provide great protection, are far better than nothing.
Stay safe, people.

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