One of the most unusual symptoms of COVID-19 is that it can temporarily dampen your senses of smell and taste. We know that one of the first symptoms is loss of smell. But COVID-19 impacts more than just your sense of taste and smell. New findings are uncovering an unusual, but longer-term issue: irreversible sensorineural hearing loss.
How Can COVID-19 Cause Hearing Loss?
Every day scientists are finding out more about COVID-19. But there’s still a lot we don’t know. The virus itself was only first discovered in late 2019. New pathogens usually take years or decades for scientists to identify. One thing we do know about COVID is that it impacts different people in a lot of different ways (making it an especially difficult and challenging problem).
There are lots of symptoms you can experience. And permanent hearing loss is sometimes one of them. Why this occurs is still not evident. The virus could be causing a response known as “cellular stress”. According to this hypothesis, COVID places so much stress on your body that some cells (such as those responsible for hearing) start to deteriorate. But your body’s own immune response may also be responsible for this kind of hearing loss. Considerable damage can be done to your body when your immune system goes into overdrive.
Additionally, when other COVID symptoms are going away, this hearing loss can still become apparent. Again, we aren’t quite sure why this takes place. We also have no clue why it’s more or less likely to happen.
Can This Hearing Loss be Managed?
Sensorineural hearing loss caused by COVID-19 can indeed be permanent. There might be a few treatment possibilities depending on certain variables. As a matter of fact, researchers have noticed already that steroid treatments seem to help safeguard your hearing, especially if you get early treatment. If you do experience sudden loss of hearing, you should talk to a doctor.
In either case, once you’ve fully recovered from your COVID-19 situation, it might be a good idea to visit us and undergo a hearing examination.
But it’s worth noting that there are a few qualifiers to all of this. First and foremost, hearing loss does appear to be a relatively uncommon symptom of COVID. At the moment, we’re not certain how common this symptom is. But as scientists learn more about COVID-19 the science will change.
Can COVID Induced Hearing Loss be Avoided?
If you have sudden changes in your hearing and you have COVID-19 get in touch with your doctor and schedule a hearing test with us. An early response may help minimize lasting hearing loss.
Try to avoid getting sick: The best way to prevent COVID-related hearing loss is to do whatever you can to steer clear of contracting COVID in the first place. This means following guidelines regarding social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.
While this particular symptom isn’t common, it still happens. And the more information you have about COVID and hearing loss, the better. It’s a good decision to come in for an assessment if you think you’ve suffered hearing damage.