One of the most unusual symptoms of COVID-19 is that it’s able to temporarily dampen your senses of taste and smell. Indeed, loss of smell is often one of the initial indications of infection. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense affected by COVID-19. Sensorineural hearing loss is an uncommon and lasting issue according to new studies.
How Can COVID-19 Cause Hearing Loss?
Scientists are discovering more about COVID-19 every single day. But we’re truly in the dark in many ways. The virus itself was only first discovered late in 2019. Usually, scientists work for years, even decades, to thoroughly describe a new pathogen. And COVIC-19 is particularly challenging because it impacts different individuals in different ways.
There are lots of symptoms you can experience. And one of those symptoms is permanent hearing loss. Scientists still aren’t sure why that happens. It could be something known as “cellular stress” caused by the virus. Certain cells (like the cells in your ear) will start to deteriorate, according to this theory, because the virus puts so much stress on the body. But this form of hearing loss may also be a result of your body’s own immune reaction. Sometimes, your immune system can go into overdrive and ends up contributing to significant damage to your body.
It’s also worth pointing out that occasionally this hearing loss can first present when other COVID symptoms are almost gone. 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?
Permanent sensorineural hearing loss is possible as a result of COVID-19. There might be a few treatment options depending on certain variables. It’s already been discovered that early steroid treatments appear to help protect your hearing from added damage. It’s essential to see a doctor right away if you experience sudden loss of hearing.
Either way, once you’ve totally recovered from your COVID-19 experience, it may be a smart plan to visit us and undergo a hearing screening.
There are a couple of qualifiers to all of this that should be pointed out. First and foremost, hearing loss does seem to be a relatively uncommon symptom of COVID. We don’t know yet how common this particular symptom is yet. But as scientists learn more about COVID-19 the science will change.
Can You Avoid COVID-Related Hearing Loss?
Presently, if you’re already suffering with COVID, you need to let us or your doctor know as soon as possible if hearing changes suddenly. An early response may help lessen lasting hearing loss.
Try to stay healthy: The best way to protect against COVID-related hearing loss is to do everything possible to steer clear of contracting 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 occurs. 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 examined.