COVID Can Leave You With Ear and Eye Problems Even After It’s ‘Gone’

Very early on, we know that there have been people who have lost their smell and taste due to COVID-19. Now we see its effect on the eyes and hear about its effect on the ears.

NEW ORLEANS – Over the two years of COVID’s existence, we’ve seen many different side effects emerge from the heart, lungs, brain, and even stomach issues.

But we are still learning new ones that doctors are discovering.

Very early on, we know that there have been people who have lost their smell and taste due to COVID-19. Now we see its effect on the eyes and hear about its effect on the ears.

“What we are learning is that, like all other organ systems, COVID can affect the inner ear. And we are actually seeing little bits of the virus in people who have had COVID, ”said Dr. Moisés Arriaga, professor of otolaryngology and neurosurgery at LSUHSC.

Dr Arriaga cares for patients with hearing and balance problems, and he says symptoms of COVID ear problems vary.

“We are seeing people who have had hearing loss related to COVID. We see people who have ringing in their ears after having COVID, and we see people who have continued vertigo issues, ”said Dr. Arriaga.

Eye problems are usually the first sign that you have been infected. At least 11% of people with COVID have dry eyes, redness, itchiness, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, or a feeling that there is a foreign particle in the eye.

“Patients can have red eyes, so conjunctivitis or pink eye, as people call it, and that will be the presenting sign. So people get rid of it, you know because there’s conjunctivitis. They’ll just think it’s allergies, something that irritates their eyes, ”said Dr. Lena Al-Dujaili, ophthalmologist at LSUHSC.

Now we learn that the virus can cry.

Reports show that after testing negative with a nasal swab several days or even weeks afterwards, the virus may still come out in your tears.

“So you shed the virus in your tears. They don’t know how, if it gets to people. They know that when you are very active at the start of your infection, you could spread it, but they don’t think, they don’t know if later if you are, ”said Dr Al-Dujaili.

So how long will your eye and ear problems last?

“For most people, the good news is that it’s not permanent. For most people, we’re seeing improvement, but some of these conditions, when combined with other things COVID has caused, last longer, ”said Dr Arriaga.

And even though he says there are treatments for the symptoms, it’s still best to never get COVID. The vaccine has been shown to reduce your risk. And while research continues to find new COVID symptoms, it is also finding better treatments.

And Dr Arriaga says the symptoms of hearing loss, ringing in the ears, and balance issues are all treatable. And if you have ringing in your ears, be sure to keep the background sound. Complete silence worsens the situation.

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