COVID-19 has a few unusual symptoms such as dampening your sense of smell and taste. Indeed, loss of smell is often one of the initial symptoms of infection. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense impacted by COVID-19. New discoveries are uncovering an uncommon, but longer-term problem: permanent sensorineural hearing loss.
How Can COVID-19 Cause Hearing Loss?
Every day scientists are discovering more with regards to COVID-19. But there’s still a lot we don’t know. The virus itself was only first discovered in late 2019. Normally, scientists work for years, even decades, to thoroughly describe a new pathogen. One thing we do know about COVID is that it affects different people in a lot of different ways (making it a really tricky and challenging nemesis).
You may experience a wide range of symptoms. And irreversible hearing loss is sometimes one of them. Scientists still aren’t certain why that happens. It might be something known as “cellular stress” caused by the virus. Certain cells (like the cells in your ear) will start to breakdown, according to this hypothesis, because the virus places so much stress on the body. But your body’s own immune response may 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 pointing out that sometimes this hearing loss can first present when other COVID symptoms are on their way out. Again, we aren’t really sure why this happens. Nor do we have a good understanding of what type of underlying circumstances would cause COVID-related hearing loss to be more or less likely to happen.
Is There Any Treatment For This Type of Hearing Loss?
Irreversible sensorineural hearing loss is possible with COVID-19. There might be some treatment possibilities depending on specific variables. As a matter of fact, researchers have noticed already that steroid treatments seem to help safeguard your hearing, particularly if you undergo early treatment. If you do experience sudden loss of hearing, you need to see a doctor.
Having a hearing test after your COVID has passed is always a smart idea.
But it’s worth mentioning that there are a couple of qualifiers to all of this. First and foremost, hearing loss does seem to be a relatively uncommon symptom of COVID. Right now, we’re not sure how common this symptom is. But it’s likely that the science on COVID will continue to update and change as scientists discover more.
Can You Prevent COVID-Induced Hearing Loss?
If you have sudden changes in your hearing and you have COVID-19 get in touch with your doctor and schedule a hearing examination with us. An early response may help decrease long-term hearing loss.
Try to avoid getting sick: The best way to prevent COVID-related hearing loss is to do everything possible to avoid contracting COVID in the first place. So with regards to things like social distancing, social gatherings, and wearing a mask, follow the guidelines.
This symptom does occur though it’s rare. And the more insight you have about COVID and hearing loss, the better. If you think you’ve already suffered hearing damage, it’s definitely a good idea to come in and get evaluated.