COVID-19 has a few unusual symptoms like dampening your sense of smell and taste. We recognize that one of the first symptoms is loss of smell. But COVID-19 affects more than just your sense of taste and smell. New studies are pointing to an unusual, but longer-term issue: irreversible sensorineural hearing loss.
How Can COVID-19 Lead to Hearing Loss?
Each day scientists are learning more about COVID-19. But there’s still a great deal we don’t understand. 2019 is when the virus was first observed. Usually, scientists work for years, if not decades, to completely identify a new pathogen. And COVIC-19 can be especially challenging because it impacts different individuals in different ways.
You may experience a wide range of symptoms. And one of those symptoms is irreversible hearing loss. Researchers still aren’t sure why that happens. The virus might be triggering a response called “cellular stress”. Based on this theory, COVID puts so much strain on your body that certain cells (like those responsible for hearing) begin to deteriorate. But your body’s own immune response may also be responsible for this kind of hearing loss. On occasion, your immune system can go into high gear and winds up contributing to significant damage to your body.
Additionally, when other COVID symptoms are going away, this hearing loss can still show up. The actual timing isn’t completely known. We are also clueless why it’s more or less likely to occur.
Can This Hearing Loss be Treated?
Sensorineural hearing loss triggered by COVID-19 can certainly be permanent. There may be a few treatment options depending on certain variables. In fact, researchers have already recognized that steroid treatments seem to help preserve your hearing, especially if you get early treatment. It’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible if you experience sudden loss of hearing.
Having a hearing test after your COVID has passed is always a smart idea.
But it’s worth mentioning that there are a few qualifiers to all of this. First and foremost, hearing loss does appear to be a fairly uncommon symptom of COVID. We don’t know yet how common this particular symptom is at this point. But it’s likely that the science on COVID will keep updating and changing as scientists discover more.
Can COVID Related Hearing Loss be Avoided?
If you have sudden changes in your hearing and you have COVID-19 contact your doctor and schedule a hearing examination with us. Lasting hearing loss can be reduced by rapid response.
Try to avoid getting sick: The best way to prevent COVID-related hearing loss is to do everything possible to steer clear of getting COVID in the first place. So when it comes to things such as social distancing, social gatherings, and wearing a mask, stick to the guidelines.
While this particular symptom isn’t common, it still occurs. And you will be substantially better off with more insight about hearing loss and COIVID. If you think you’ve already had hearing damage, it’s probably a good idea to come in and get checked.