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Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19, emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and quickly became an international public health emergency. COVID-19 was declared a worldwide pandemic in March 2020 and has spread throughout the globe (Balkhair, 2020). COVID-19 manifests in the body in a myriad of ways, ranging from no symptoms at all to critical illness or death. COVID-19 infection can have long-lasting, widespread effects on the human body, including the auditory and vestibular systems. Despite preventative efforts, COVID-19 patients have presented to audiologists with complaints of hearing loss, tinnitus, and vertigo. Audiologists need to be aware of the reported auditory and vestibular effects of COVID-19 infection in order to best assess and manage this population.

The purpose of this project is to identify the reported auditory and vestibular effects of COVID-19 to create an evidence-based recommended clinical protocol for audiologists for evaluating and treating patients affected by COVID-19. COVID-19 may be associated with sensorineural, sudden sensorineural, or conductive hearing losses, new or increased tinnitus, auditory processing difficulties, dizziness and nystagmus, and other vestibular pathologies. The audiometric or vestibular test battery performed on a COVID-19 patient is dependent on the patient’s chief complaint, onset of symptoms, and whether or not the patient is currently COVID-19 positive. As the literature continues to expand on the auditory and vestibular effects of COVID-19, audiologists need to stay informed on how to best meet the needs of current and recovered COVID-19 patients.

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