The COVID-19 virus is known to cause a host of problems and symptoms in the body, in addition to a compromised respiratory system.
In fact, one surprising issue came to light earlier this year, which led to a significant increase in workplace audiometric examinations.
COVID-19 causing tinnitus, hearing loss, and vertigo
In March, the International Journal of Audiology released a study showing that common long-term symptoms of the virus include tinnitus — otherwise known as ringing in the ear — followed by hearing loss and vertigo.
Weeks after the initial COVID infection, many people continue to experience these symptoms in addition to breathlessness, headache, and loss of smell. Other viral infections that are known to cause hearing issues, such as rubella, measles, and cytomegalovirus.
The recent study suggests that around 14.8 percent of COVID-19 patients experience tinnitus, 7.6 percent have hearing loss, and 7.2 percent have rotary vertigo, which is the sensation of spinning.
How to treat these symptoms
While COVID mainly affects the upper respiratory tract, these lower respiratory tract symptoms may linger after the virus has run its course. They can last up to a few weeks, but doctors recommend that patients report the symptoms to their doctor if they continue to persist beyond four weeks.
COVID-19 does not damage any olfactory neurons but harms the supporting cells—which should come back to normal once the virus is fully out of the system. If people do not get their sense of smell back, steroids, nasal spray, and olfactory training are recommended.
Any patient experiencing sudden hearing loss should reach out to their ENT immediately. Treatment may include IV/oral steroids and injecting steroids into the eardrum. Earlier diagnosis and treatment may improve the prognosis.
The importance of audiometric exams, and the benefits of going mobile
Employers can help employees get ahead of these long-term symptoms with on-site audiometric testing.
This type of testing is a great addition to an OSHA hearing conservation program. Audiometric testing uses pure tone air-conducted hearing testing. Each sound is performed in the ear at frequencies of 500, 1k, 2k, 3k, 4k, 6k, and 8k. This testing identifies hearing levels and a sensitivity to the exposed sound.
Worksite Medical provides on-site testing, designed to keep your business OSHA-compliant and your employees safe and healthy. With mobile medical units, you can get up to six audio booths and up to 20 exams per hour. And, we’ll work around your schedule.
Add audiometric exams to your respirator fit testing, lab work, and OSHA physicals for the complete workplace mobile health and safety solution.
Instead of sending your team away and creating unnecessary risk and downtime, let us come to you.
For a free quote, to schedule, or even just to ask about the program, just complete the form below.