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expert reaction to study looking at COVID-19, vaccination and auditory symptoms

A study published in Frontiers looks at COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccination and auditory symptoms.


Prof Michael Sharpe, Professor of Psychological Medicine, University of Oxford, said:

“This paper reports on a large survey about hearing problems and COVID-19 infection. Whilst the investigators found some evidence of an association between hearing problems and having had COVID-19 infection, further analysis suggested the link was not a simple one. These findings remind us that many factors influence symptoms and we should not conclude that all symptoms reported after COVID-19 are a direct result of infection. A number of additional factors such as stress and worry can also contribute. Awareness of this is important because it offers additional ways to help those suffering from persistent symptoms in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Professor Dame Til Wykes, Head of the School of Mental Health and Psychological Sciences (MHaPS), Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, said:

“This paper surveys a large number of people and tries to identify the link between Covid-19 and auditory problems. The study found an association between probable and definite Covid-19 and hearing problems but no association with vaccines. These are the clear findings based on good evidence. The study then produces a tenuous link between self-reported symptoms (currently unrelated to Covid-19) with mental health status without any measures of mental health to base this on. Linking anxiety to the experience of symptoms may undermine our understanding of an illness that has disparate symptoms that are not all understood. Even worse it may stigmatise those who have Covid-19 or Long-covid and discourage them from seeking help”



‘Shedding light on SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccination, and auditory symptoms: causality or spurious conjunction?’ by Gabrielle H. Saunders et al. is published in Frontiers



Declared interests

Prof Michael Sharpe: “No conflicts.”

None others received.

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