One of the most unusual symptoms of COVID-19 is that it’s able to temporarily dampen your senses of smell and taste. We recognize that one of the first symptoms is loss of smell. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense affected by COVID-19. New discoveries are pointing to an uncommon, but longer-term problem: long lasting sensorineural hearing loss.
How Can COVID-19 Result In Hearing Loss?
Scientists are learning more about COVID-19 each day. But we’re truly in the dark in many ways. 2019 is when the virus was first observed. New pathogens normally take years or even decades for scientists to identify. And COVIC-19 can be especially difficult because it impacts different individuals in different ways.
There are a wide variety of symptoms you can suffer from. And one of those symptoms is irreversible hearing loss. Researchers still aren’t certain why that happens. The virus might be creating a reaction called “cellular stress”. Some cells (like the cells in your ear) will begin to breakdown, according to this hypothesis, because the virus places so much stress on the body. But your body’s own immune response could also be responsible for this type of hearing loss. On occasion, your immune system can go into overdrive and ends up causing significant damage to your body.
It’s also worth noting that occasionally this hearing loss can first appear when other COVID symptoms are on their way out. Again, we’re not quite certain why this occurs. Nor do we have a good understanding of what kind of underlying conditions might cause COVID-related hearing loss to be more or less likely to happen.
Can This Hearing Loss be Treated?
Permanent sensorineural hearing loss is possible with COVID-19. Naturally, there are countless variables, and there are some treatments, too. In fact, researchers have noticed already that steroid treatments seem to help safeguard your hearing, particularly if you get early treatment. It’s essential to see a doctor right away if you experience sudden loss of hearing.
Getting a hearing exam after your COVID has passed is always a good idea.
There are a few qualifiers to all of this that are worth pointing out. First and foremost, hearing loss does seem to be a relatively uncommon symptom of COVID. We don’t know yet how widespread this particular symptom is at this point. But as scientists discover more about COVID-19 the science will change.
Can You Prevent COVID-Induced Hearing Loss?
If you have sudden changes in your hearing and you have COVID-19 contact your doctor and make an appointment for a hearing test with us. Lasting hearing loss can be lessened by rapid response.
Try to prevent getting sick: Protecting yourself from contracting COVID-19 is the best way to prevent this type of hearing loss. This means following guidelines in regards to social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.
While this specific symptom isn’t common, it still occurs. And the more insight you have concerning COVID and hearing loss, the better. It’s a good decision to come in for a test if you think you have suffered hearing damage.