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Pauliana Lamounier, Victória Franco Gonçalves, Hugo Valter Lisboa Ramos, Débora Aparecida Gobbo, Racine Procópio Teixeira, Paulo César dos Reis, Fayez Bahmad Jr., Claudiney Cândido Costa
(Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Rehabilitation and Readaptation Center Dr. Henrique Santillo (CRER), Goiânia, GO, Brazil)
Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e927519
Few reports have described the association between coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and sudden hearing loss. The precise pathophysiological mechanism causing this symptom is unknown. This report describes a case of sudden hearing loss in a patient with COVID-19 pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
CASE REPORT: A 67-year-old woman with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), as confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing from nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs, was examined. She experienced sudden hearing loss in her right ear and disabling tinnitus. She underwent combined corticosteroid therapy (oral and intratympanic), resulting in an isolated improvement of 250 kHz in the right ear (from 60 dB, the threshold became 15 dB) and of 4, 6, and 8 kHz in the left ear (from 35 dB, 20 dB, and 35 dB, the thresholds became 15 dB, 5 dB and 20 dB, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Although rare, hearing loss appears to be a possible sequela to SARS-CoV-2 infection and deserves attention because it is a medical emergency requiring immediate clinical treatment. Additional studies are needed to assess the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in and the long-term characteristics of this type of hearing loss.