COVID-19 has a few unusual symptoms including dampening your sense of smell and taste. We recognize that one of the first signs is loss of the sense of smell. But COVID-19 impacts more than just your sense of smell and taste. New discoveries are pointing to an uncommon, but longer-term issue: irreversible sensorineural hearing loss.
How Can COVID-19 Cause Hearing Loss?
Each day scientists are learning more with regards to COVID-19. But we’re really in the dark in many ways. The virus itself was only first observed in late 2019. Usually, scientists work for years, if not decades, to completely describe a new pathogen. And COVIC-19 can be especially difficult because it effects different people in different ways.
There are a wide variety of symptoms you can suffer from. And permanent hearing loss is sometimes one of them. Why this occurs is still unknown. The virus may be causing a reaction known as “cellular stress”. Some cells (like the cells in your ear) will start to deteriorate, according to this hypothesis, because the virus places so much strain on the body. But your body’s own immune response could also be responsible for this kind of hearing loss. Considerable damage can be done to your body when your immune system overcompensates.
It’s also worth pointing out that sometimes this hearing loss can first present when other COVID symptoms are on their way out. The actual timing isn’t completely known. We also have no clue why it’s more or less likely to happen.
Can This Hearing Loss be Treated?
Sensorineural hearing loss caused by COVID-19 can definitely be permanent. Naturally, there are many variables, and there are some treatments, too. It’s already been observed that early steroid treatments seem to help protect your hearing from further damage. 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 smart idea.
But it’s worth noting that there are a few qualifiers to all of this. Hearing loss, first off, isn’t a very common COVID symptom. At the moment, we’re not certain how common this symptom is. But as scientists learn more about COVID-19 the science will adjust.
Can COVID Related 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 examination with us. An early response might help reduce long-term hearing loss.
Try to avoid getting sick: The best way to protect against COVID-related hearing loss is to do whatever you can to avoid getting COVID in the first place. This means sticking with guidelines when it comes to social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.
While this particular symptom is uncommon, it still happens. And you will be substantially better off with more knowledge about hearing loss and COIVID. It’s a good choice to come in for a test if you think you’ve suffered hearing damage.