Does COVID Cause Ear Pain? 16 Symptoms, Tests, Treatment


Woman holding her head due to ear pain

COVID-19 usually does not cause ear pain or ear infections. Covid symptoms often include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, cough, fever or chills, fatigue, weakness, body or muscle aches, changes in taste and/or smell, headache, and others.

COVID-19 is a novel (new) coronavirus, not previously identified in humans, responsible for an outbreak of respiratory illness that became a global pandemic in 2020. COVID-19 is different from other coronaviruses that cause mild illness, such as the common cold .

COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets propelled into the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Less commonly, COVID-19 can be transmitted when a person touches a surface or object with the virus on it, and then touches their mouth, nose, or eyes.

Sore ears and ear infections are not common symptoms of COVID-19.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

Signs of COVID that require immediate medical attention (call 911 or go to a hospital’s emergency department):

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse

How Is Covid Diagnosed?

COVID-19 is diagnosed with a patient history, which includes questions about whether the patient had any known recent exposure to the virus, along with a physical examination.

If COVID-19 is suspected tests used to diagnose the virus include:

  • PCR tests (genetic or molecular tests)
  • Antigen test

An antibody test can establish if a person had a past COVID-19 infection but it is not used to diagnose current infections because it takes up to three weeks following infection for the body to produce antibodies to the virus.

What Is the Treatment for Covid?

Supportive care is aimed at relieving symptoms in mild cases.

Patients with mild illness are usually advised to remain home and self-isolate for at least 5 days and wear a high-quality mask when indoors around others for a period of time to avoid spreading the virus. Treatments for mild COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Rest
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers
  • Use cough suppressants if needed

For more severe illness, patients may require hospitalization. Treatments may include:

  • Antiviral therapy
    • Should be taken within the first few days of symptom onset to be effective
  • Immunotherapy
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antithrombotic therapy
    • Anticoagulants and antiplatelet therapy
  • High-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) oxygen
  • Ventilation

Reviewed on 8/22/2022


Image source: iStock Images,of%20COVID%2D19.


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