Life

Long Covid: I'm worried the coronavirus has left me deaf

Six weeks after my Covid diagnosis, the ear pain was still there.

After testing positive for Covid in October, writer Nilufer Atik (45) fears her hearing is permanently damaged...

MY HEARING is so bad now, I wear headphones to watch TV – or the neighbours would complain, as I need it on so loud. It's like being underwater all the time.

As a fitness fanatic, I had expected to bounce back quickly from Covid. I didn't. Four weeks on I'd developed a secondary infection – pneumonia – and had to take antibiotics, and that's when I developed a throbbing pain in my right ear. Six weeks after my Covid diagnosis, the ear pain was still there.

My GP prescribed an antibiotic spray but, by Christmas, I was getting whooshing sounds in my ear. With only 20 per cent hearing in my left ear due to a childhood injury, I relied on my right one, so I was terrified.

My ear was weeping pus and agonisingly painful. I could barely hear. In January, I was referred to a specialist who told me the Covid had damaged part of the middle ear. She believes the Covid caused a secondary infection and inflammation, which in turn caused a growth in the middle ear. I need surgery to remove it, although this in itself carries a risk of permanent hearing loss.

The specialist mentioned that other Covid patients had suffered ongoing hearing problems, with a survey last July by a Manchester hospital revealing that 13.2 per cent of Covid patients reported a deterioration in hearing eight weeks after being discharged.

I recently had a scan to determine how bad the damage is and what surgery I need.

© Solo dmg media

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