HACKENSACK, NJ (Ivanhoe Newswire)— COVID-19 patients on the mend are struggling with everything from cardiovascular problems to clotting disorders, stroke, and fatigue. And now, in rare cases, medical experts say hearing loss is being added to the list. Now, introducing one man who woke up hard of hearing after 22 days on a ventilator.
“I had thought I was sleeping for two years,” recalled Michael Goldsmith.
Michael had clots in his leg, lost function in his shoulders and arms, and had what he describes as “static” in his ears— profound hearing loss.
“I can hear a little bit; it sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher is how I always describe it, you know? You can’t make out any words,” described Goldsmith.
Dr. Laurie Jacobs is co-director of the specialized COVID-19 recovery unit at Hackensack University Medical Center.
“I’ve seen very few patients, if any, complain of hearing loss, but we don’t know everything about this yet,” explained Laurie Jacobs, MD, who is also chair of the department of internal medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center.
Since mid-summer, a handful of cases of hearing loss have been reported worldwide, according to the International Journal of Audiology. Doctors in the UK say it’s possible the virus enters inner ear cells and causes cell death. Dr. Jacobs says it’s possible COVID-related hearing loss is being overlooked or underreported.
“It may be that people don’t attribute it to COVID. Everything is on the table,” elaborated Dr. Jacobs.
Michael Goldsmith is working hard to get healthy. In fact, with his physical therapist, he ran his first 5K ever, Thanksgiving Day.
“You’re here now and that’s all you have to worry about and move on from there,” Goldsmith shared.
Michael wore a temporary device to help him hear, then had cochlear implant surgery in September and has since regained about 50 percent of his hearing. It may take up to a year after implant surgery for his hearing to be full strength.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Executive Producer & Field Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.