Is COVID-19 associated with self-reported audio-vestibular symptoms?

Arwa Aljasser, Walid Alkeridy, Kevin Munro, Chris Plack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine if a positive test for COVID-19 is associated with self-reported audio-vestibular symptoms.
Design: Self-reported changes in hearing, tinnitus, hyperacusis, and dizziness/rotatory vertigo were assessed in hospitalised and non-hospitalised COVID-19 patients during and after the acute phase of the disease and compared to non-COVID controls.
Study sample: There were 150 severe cases of COVID-19 requiring hospital admission and 150 mild cases that were managed at home. Controls were 267 adults, 32 of whom had been hospitalised for a non-COVID-19 condition, and a further 85 who worked in hospital settings.
Results : Deterioration in hearing and/or tinnitus was reported in 8% of the COVID-19 cases (tinnitus had resolved in 2% after the acute phase), with no significant difference between severe and mild cases. Deterioration in hearing or tinnitus was not significantly different from controls. However, rotatory vertigo was reported by 5% in the COVID-19 groups and 1.1% in the controls, and this difference was statistically significant.
Conclusions: There is no evidence that COVID-19 results in deterioration in hearing or tinnitus during the acute phase or after recovery in mild or severe cases. However, rotatory vertigo, which could be vestibular in origin, may be a clinical manifestation of COVID-19.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Jul 2021


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