COVID-19 has some uncommon symptoms including dampening your sense of smell and taste. Indeed, loss of smell is often one of the first symptoms of infection. But COVID-19 affects more than just your sense of taste and smell. Sensorineural hearing loss is an unusual and permanent issue according to new studies.
How Can COVID-19 Cause Hearing Loss?
Each day scientists are discovering more about COVID-19. But we’re truly in the dark in many ways. The virus itself was only first observed late in 2019. New pathogens usually take years or even decades for scientists to identify. And COVIC-19 can be especially challenging because it effects different people in different ways.
You could experience a wide range of symptoms. And one of those symptoms is permanent hearing loss. Scientists still aren’t certain why that happens. The virus may be triggering a reaction called “cellular stress”. According to this theory, COVID puts so much stress on your body that some cells (like those responsible for hearing) start to deteriorate. But your body’s own immune response could also be responsible for this type of hearing loss. Occasionally, your immune system can go into high gear and ends up contributing to significant damage to your body.
Additionally, when other COVID symptoms are almost gone, this hearing loss can still show up. The exact timing isn’t completely understood. We also have no clue why it’s more or less likely to occur.
Can This Hearing Loss be Treated?
Sensorineural hearing loss caused by COVID-19 can certainly be permanent. Naturally, there are a lot of variables, and there are some treatments, also. Actually, researchers have noticed already that steroid treatments appear to help protect your hearing, particularly if you undergo early treatment. If you are affected by sudden loss of hearing, you need to see a doctor.
Having a hearing exam after your COVID has passed is always a good idea.
There are several qualifiers to all of this that are worth pointing out. First of all, hearing loss does seem to be a relatively uncommon symptom of COVID. We don’t know yet how widespread this particular symptom is at this point. But as scientists discover more about COVID-19 the science will change.
Can COVID Induced Hearing Loss be Prevented?
If you have sudden changes in your hearing and you have COVID-19 contact your doctor and schedule a hearing test with us. An early response could help decrease long-term hearing loss.
Try to prevent 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 happen though it’s rare. And the more facts 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 tested.