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 smell. But COVID-19 impacts more than just your sense of smell and taste. New studies are uncovering an unusual, but longer-term problem: long lasting sensorineural hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss Brought on by COVID-19?
Each day scientists are finding out more about COVID-19. But there’s still a great deal we don’t know. The virus itself was only first observed in late 2019. Normally, scientists work for years, if not decades, to thoroughly identify a new pathogen. One thing we’re discovering about COVID is that it affects different people in a lot of different ways (making it a particularly difficult and challenging problem).
You might experience a wide range of symptoms. And permanent hearing loss is sometimes one of them. Why this occurs is still not evident. The virus could be creating a response known as “cellular stress”. According to this theory, COVID places so much strain on your body that certain cells (like those responsible for hearing) begin to deteriorate. But your body’s own immune response might also be responsible for this kind of hearing loss. Considerable damage can be done to your body when your immune system goes into overdrive.
It’s also worth pointing out that occasionally this hearing loss can first present when other COVID symptoms are almost gone. Again, we’re not quite sure why this happens. We also don’t have a good grasp of what kind of underlying conditions would cause COVID-related hearing loss to become more or less likely to occur.
Is There Any Treatment For This Kind of Hearing Loss?
Sensorineural hearing loss from COVID-19 can definitely be permanent. There may be some treatment possibilities depending on certain variables. It’s already been discovered that early steroid treatments seem to help protect your hearing from added damage. If you do experience sudden loss of hearing, you should speak with a doctor.
Either way, once you’ve totally recovered from your COVID-19 situation, it may be a good move to visit us and undergo a hearing test.
There are several qualifiers to all of this that should be pointed out. First of all, hearing loss does appear to be a fairly uncommon symptom of COVID. Right now, we’re not sure how prevalent this symptom is. But as scientists learn more about COVID-19 the science will change.
Can You Avoid COVID-Related Hearing Loss?
If you have sudden changes in your hearing and you have COVID-19 contact your doctor and schedule a hearing exam with us. Long-term hearing loss can be reduced by rapid response.
Try to prevent getting sick: Protecting yourself from getting COVID-19 is the best way to prevent this kind of hearing loss. This means following guidelines when it comes to social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.
While this particular symptom isn’t common, it still occurs. And you will be that much better off with more insight about hearing loss and COIVID. If you think you’ve already suffered hearing damage, it’s definitely a good idea to come in and get checked.