One of the most uncommon symptoms of COVID-19 is that it’s able to temporarily dampen your senses 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 studies are pointing to an uncommon, but longer-term issue: long lasting sensorineural hearing loss.
How Can COVID-19 Cause Hearing Loss?
Scientists are learning more about COVID-19 every single day. But we’re really in the dark in a lot of ways. The virus itself was only first discovered late in 2019. Usually, scientists work for years, if not decades, to completely describe a new pathogen. And COVIC-19 is particularly difficult because it impacts different people in different ways.
You may experience a wide array of symptoms. And permanent hearing loss can be one of them. Scientists still aren’t certain why that happens. The virus could be creating a reaction known as “cellular stress”. Some cells (such as the cells in your ear) will start to breakdown, according to this hypothesis, because the virus puts so much strain on the body. But this form of hearing loss may also be a result of your body’s own immune reaction. Sometimes, your immune system can go into high gear and winds up causing significant damage to your body.
Additionally, when other COVID symptoms are going away, this hearing loss can still show up. Again, we aren’t quite sure why this occurs. We also have no clue why it’s more or less likely to happen.
Is There Any Treatment For This Kind of Hearing Loss?
Sensorineural hearing loss caused by COVID-19 can certainly be permanent. There might be a few treatment possibilities depending on specific variables. As a matter of fact, researchers have already recognized that steroid treatments seem to help preserve your hearing, especially if you undergo early treatment. If you are affected by sudden loss of hearing, you need to see a doctor.
Having a hearing test after your COVID has passed is always a good idea.
But it’s worth pointing out that there are a few qualifiers to all of this. Hearing loss, first off, isn’t a very common COVID symptom. We don’t know yet how common this particular symptom is at this point. But as scientists learn 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 exam with us. An early response could help reduce lasting hearing loss.
Try to stay healthy: Protecting yourself from getting COVID-19 is the best way to avoid this kind of hearing loss. This means sticking with guidelines in regards 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 had hearing damage, it’s probably a wise decision to come in and get examined.