Could sudden sensorineural hearing loss be the sole manifestation of COVID-19? An investigation into SARS-COV-2 in the etiology of sudden sensorineural hearing loss

International Journal of Infectious Diseases : IJID : Official Publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
Osman KilicFerihan Cetın

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in patients presenting with only sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHNL) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study included five male patients who presented with the sole complaint of unilateral SSNHL to the otolaryngology outpatient clinic between 03-12 April 2020. The patients were referred to the infectious diseases clinic to be evaluated for SARS-CoV-2 by real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing. RT-PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2 was positive in one of the patients and negative in the other four patients. A positive response to COVID-19-specific treatment in the SARS-CoV-2 positive SSNHL patient was noted. It should be remembered that non-specific symptoms such as SSNHL could be the only sign with which to recognize a COVID-19 case. Awareness of such a non-specific presentation of COVID-19 patients is crucial during this pandemic period for preventing infectious spread through isolation and early initiation of COVID-19 targeted treatment.

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