Research Article

Auditory and Vestibular Complaints Among COVID-19 Patients: A Descriptive Survey of 300 Young Patients Over a 3-Month Follow-up Period


Introduction: COVID-19 is a pandemic disease caused by a novel coronavirus, presenting a wide range of symptoms. Most of the reported symptoms are commonly related to the respiratory system; however, over time, the disease has shown new diverse signs and symptoms. Recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may affect the auditory and vestibular systems. Besides, little is known about symptoms that persist after the recovery. This study aimed to investigate the general characteristics and especially auditory and vestibular symptoms in young COVID-19 patients over a 3-month follow-up.
Materials and Methods: A total of 300 participants aged 25-45 years took part in this cohort study. They were diagnosed with COVID-19, according to radiographical abnormalities on CT scan and or PCR test, and were in good health based on medical history. Patients who had a history of hearing loss, vertigo, tinnitus, or any disease associated with auditory and vestibular disorders and who were hospitalized and received drugs were excluded. We collected patients’ demographics, some common symptoms, and their complaints (acute phase), and 1 month and 3 months later (follow-up phases) using a checklist of symptoms. The participants were asked to describe their chief complaints and, in particular, whether they had any complaints of hearing problems, tinnitus, rotatory vertigo, and aural fullness, or even changes in these symptoms over these periods.
Results: Auditory and vestibular symptoms were observed in a small percentage of COVID-19 patients and were not their chief complaints. Overall, among 300 patients, only about 5% of patients (15 cases) expressed rotatory vertigo, 4% (12 cases) aural fullness, 2.66% (8 cases) tinnitus, and 2.66% (8 cases) hearing problem in the acute phase. However, these symptoms disappeared almost in all participants in the follow-up phases (0 to 3 cases). In addition, none of these symptoms were the patients’ chief complaints.
Conclusion: Only a small percentage of COVID-19 patients complained of auditory and vestibular symptoms. It needs to be determined whether these complaints are due to the effects of the virus itself, medications, or stress. The persistence of some symptoms, such as fatigue even after 3 months, indicates the long-term impact of the COVID-19 virus, which necessitates further studies.

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IssueVol 16 No 1 (2022) QRcode
SectionResearch Article(s)
COVID-19 virus, Auditory, Vestibular

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How to Cite
Shahidipour Z, Rouhbakhsh N, Tavanai E. Auditory and Vestibular Complaints Among COVID-19 Patients: A Descriptive Survey of 300 Young Patients Over a 3-Month Follow-up Period. jmr. 2022;16(1):69-76.