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2022 Apr 29

Medicina (Kaunas)



Frequency and Severity of Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) Symptoms during COVID-19 Infection.


Zięba N, Lisowska G, Dadok A, Kaczmarek J, Stryjewska-Makuch G, Misiołek M
Medicina (Kaunas). 2022 Apr 29; 58(5).
PMID: 35630040.


: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new disease entity caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The main symptoms of infection at the onset of the pandemic include dyspnea, cough and high fever. Ear-nose-throat (ENT) symptoms are among the ones presented by patients in the course of infection. The aim of the study was to analyze the frequency of ENT symptoms and to assess their severity and duration in COVID-19 patients. : The study included 337 patients who had been infected with SARS-CoV-2, as confirmed by a PCR test. The study participants were >18 years old; the mean age was 43.98 years ± 13.47 SD. The convalescents completed a questionnaire that contained 26 questions, including 9 detailed questions related to ENT symptoms, such as sore throat, vertigo, dizziness, hearing disorders, olfactory disorders, taste disturbance, headache, cough and dyspnea. The severity of symptoms was assessed using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). : The most reported ENT symptoms were olfactory disorders, which occurred in 72% of patients. The second most frequent symptom was taste disturbance (68%), VAS = 6.79 ± 3.01. Vertigo and dizziness were reported by 34% of respondents (VAS = 4.01 ± 2.01). Tinnitus was observed in 15% of patients, VAS = 3.87 ± 1.98; 14% of the subjects reported hearing impairment (VAS = 3.81 ± 2.37). : Symptoms related to the sense of smell, taste and hearing are some of the most common symptoms in the course of COVID-19, which is important in the therapeutic and epidemiological management of patients. Delayed diagnosis and treatment of symptoms, especially those related to the hearing organ, may result in greater permanent damage.