Humans contract and recover from COVID-19; doctors and scientists have observed more unexpected chronic conditions resulting from infection. The case involves long-term issues with one’s Ear due to COVID-19, a state that has been informally dubbed “Covid.”
The name mirrors other chronic long-term health issues associated with COVID-19, including Covid Toe. A new study by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Massachusetts Eye and sheds light on the Covid Ear.As explained in the study’s press report, researchers looked at cellular models of the human ear — as well as actual adult human inner Ear tissue — which had been developed to study internal ear infections like mumps virus, hepatitis viruses, and cytomegalovirus.
This may explain why COVID-19 patients experience balance, and head motion problems since the infected hair cells (vestibular) play a role in those processes. It may also account for why some COVID-19 patients lose their hearing; cochlear hair cells (which were not directly studied) also have proteins that allow SARS-CoV-2 to invade them — at least when those cells belong to a close relative of humans, mice. Other tests performed by the researchers on 10 COVID-19 patients also indicated damage to the cochlear hairs.