Donations to fund research into long-term impact of Covid-19 on hearing
Thanks to donor support, University of Manchester audiology experts are now able to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the long-term impact of Covid-19 on the hearing of adults.
Following the first peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, experts have turned their attention to the long-term health consequences of the novel coronavirus.
Viruses can damage hearing, and so it is possible that the virus responsible for Covid-19 may also have this effect. Kevin Munro, Professor of Audiology, and his team have already published two relevant studies displaying a possible link between Covid-19 and hearing deterioration; both of which have attracted widespread media attention.
In one study, following up with adults diagnosed with Covid-19 eight weeks after hospital discharge, more than 1 in 10 self-reported a deterioration in their hearing or the presence of tinnitus (noises in their ears).
“We already know that viruses such as measles, mumps and meningitis can cause hearing loss and coronaviruses can damage the nerves that carry information to and from the brain”, said Professor Munro. “It is possible, in theory, that Covid-19 could cause problems with parts of the auditory system including the middle ear or cochlea.”
Earlier this year, many supporters came together to donate towards The University of Manchester’s medical research response. As a result of donor generosity, the University has been able to establish a special research fund, which, along with generous contributions from charitable sources, will support Professor Kevin Munro’s crucial research investigating the impact of Covid-19 on hearing.
Timely evidence for decision makers is urgently needed, so I am very grateful that philanthropic support has enabled us to begin this study and understand the longer term impact of Covid-19 on the auditory system
The Manchester Centre for Audiology and Deafness is a powerhouse of hearing research spanning basic discovery science through to applied research and patient benefit. The University is currently leading the world on hearing-related Covid-19 research and is arguably the only UK centre with the facilities (including the UK’s only hearing research van), expertise and agility to take the next bold step to understanding the links between Covid-19 and hearing loss.
“Timely evidence for decision makers is urgently needed, so I am very grateful that philanthropic support has enabled us to begin this study and understand the longer term impact of Covid-19 on the auditory system”, said Professor Munro.
“There is still very little information about the long-term effects of Covid-19 and it is important that we understand the ongoing medical, psychological and rehabilitation needs of people impacted by the virus. Our results will help ensure that, in the future, Covid-19 patients receive appropriate hearing assessments and management for any hearing loss. Mitigating the impact of hearing loss will have consequent benefits to the quality of life for the individuals concerned.”
For more information on Professor Munro’s research and the findings so far, please visit this link.