COVID-19 has some uncommon symptoms like dampening your sense of smell and taste. We recognize that one of the first symptoms is loss of smell. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense impacted by COVID-19. New findings 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 discovering more about COVID-19. But there’s still a great deal we don’t understand. The virus itself was only first observed late in 2019. Usually, scientists work for years, if not decades, to fully describe a new pathogen. One thing we’re discovering about COVID is that it affects different individuals in countless different ways (making it a really difficult and challenging problem).
There are a wide variety of symptoms you can experience. And permanent hearing loss is sometimes one of them. Why this happens is still not known. The virus could be triggering a reaction called “cellular stress”. Based on this theory, COVID puts so much stress on your body that some cells (such as those responsible for hearing) start 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 overcompensates.
It’s also worth pointing out that sometimes this hearing loss can first present when other COVID symptoms are on their way out. The exact timing isn’t really known. We also don’t have a good grasp of what kind of underlying conditions might cause COVID-related hearing loss to become more or less likely to occur.
Can This Hearing Loss be Managed?
Sensorineural hearing loss from COVID-19 can indeed be permanent. Naturally, there are countless variables, and there are some treatments, too. It’s already been observed that early steroid treatments seem to help protect your hearing from additional damage. If you do experience sudden loss of hearing, you need to speak with a doctor.
Getting a hearing exam after your COVID has passed is always a good idea.
There are several qualifiers to all of this that should be pointed out. First of all, hearing loss does seem to be a fairly uncommon symptom of COVID. We don’t know yet how common this particular symptom is yet. But as scientists discover more about COVID-19 the science will change.
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 test with us. Long-term hearing loss can be decreased by quick response.
Try to stay healthy: Protecting yourself from contracting COVID-19 is the best way to prevent this type of hearing loss. So when it comes to things like social distancing, social gatherings, and wearing a mask, follow the guidelines.
This symptom does occur though it’s rare. And the more information you have concerning COVID and hearing loss, the better. It’s a good decision to come in for an assessment if you think you’ve suffered hearing damage.