Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Case report
Sudden irreversible hearing loss post COVID-19
  1. Foteini Stefania Koumpa1,2,
  2. Cillian T Forde2 and
  3. Joseph G Manjaly2
  1. 1 University College London, London, UK
  2. 2 Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Foteini Stefania Koumpa; skoumpas{at}


Sudden onset sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) is frequently seen by otolaryngologists. The exact pathophysiology of the disease is still unknown, with the most likely causative factor being following a viral infection. Immediate steroids are the best treatment to improve prognosis. Despite a plethora of papers in the literature describing SSNHL, there are only a few reported cases of hearing loss following COVID-19, none of which have been reported in the UK. This paper presents the first UK case of SSNHL following COVID-19. Physical examination and imaging excluded any other cause of hearing loss. A literature review showed that four other cases have been previously described. Hearing loss can be a significant cause of morbidity and can easily be missed in the intensive care setting. Being aware and screening for SSNHL following COVID-19 enables an early course of steroids, which offers the best chance of recovering hearing.

  • ear
  • nose and throat/otolaryngology
  • global Health
  • disease and health outcomes
  • otolaryngology / ENT

This article is made freely available for use in accordance with BMJ’s website terms and conditions for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic or until otherwise determined by BMJ. You may use, download and print the article for any lawful, non-commercial purpose (including text and data mining) provided that all copyright notices and trade marks are retained.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors FSK: Data collection and writing. CTF and JGM: Editing.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.