One of the most unusual symptoms of COVID-19 is that it can temporarily dampen your senses of taste and smell. We recognize that one of the first symptoms is loss of smell. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense affected by COVID-19. New discoveries are uncovering an uncommon, but longer-term problem: irreversible sensorineural hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss Caused by COVID-19?
Every day scientists are learning more with regards to COVID-19. But we’re truly in the dark in a lot of ways. 2019 is when the virus was first discovered. New pathogens often take years or decades for scientists to describe. One thing we’re discovering about COVID is that it affects different people in many different ways (making it an especially difficult and challenging problem).
You could experience a wide range of symptoms. And one of those symptoms is irreversible hearing loss. Why this happens is still unknown. The virus might be creating a reaction called “cellular stress”. Some cells (like the cells in your ear) will start to breakdown, according to this theory, because the virus puts so much strain on the body. But your body’s own immune response may also be responsible for this kind of hearing loss. Occasionally, your immune system can go into overdrive and ends up causing considerable damage to your body.
It’s also worth mentioning that occasionally this hearing loss can first present when other COVID symptoms are on their way out. The actual timing isn’t precisely understood. We also have no clue why it’s more or less likely to occur.
Is There Any Treatment For This Type of Hearing Loss?
Permanent sensorineural hearing loss is possible with COVID-19. There might be some treatment options depending on specific variables. As a matter of fact, researchers have noticed already that steroid treatments appear to help safeguard your hearing, especially if you undergo early treatment. If you are affected by sudden loss of hearing, you need to see a doctor.
Either way, once you’ve totally recovered from your COVID-19 situation, it might be a smart move to visit us and have a hearing examination.
But it’s worth mentioning that there are a couple of qualifiers to all of this. First of all, hearing loss does appear to be a fairly uncommon symptom of COVID. At the moment, we’re not sure how prevalent this symptom is. But it’s likely that the science on COVID will keep updating and changing as scientists discover more.
Can COVID Related Hearing Loss be Prevented?
If you have sudden changes in your hearing and you have COVID-19 contact your doctor and schedule a hearing examination with us. An early response may help reduce lasting hearing loss.
Try to remain healthy: The best way to prevent COVID-related hearing loss is to do everything possible to avoid getting COVID in the first place. This means sticking with guidelines in regards to social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.
While this particular symptom is uncommon, it still happens. And you will be that much better off with more knowledge 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.