One of the most unusual symptoms of COVID-19 is that it can temporarily dampen your senses of smell and taste. Indeed, loss of smell is often one of the initial indications of infection. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense affected by COVID-19. Sensorineural hearing loss is an unusual and permanent issue according to new studies.
How Can COVID-19 Cause Hearing Loss?
Each day scientists are finding out more about COVID-19. But there’s still a great deal we don’t know. The virus itself was only first observed in late 2019. New pathogens often take years or decades for scientists to describe. One thing we’re discovering about COVID is that it impacts different people in many different ways (making it a really difficult and challenging problem).
You might experience a wide array of symptoms. And permanent hearing loss is sometimes one of them. Researchers still aren’t sure why that is. It could be something called “cellular stress” caused by the virus. Certain cells (such as the cells in your ear) will start to deteriorate, 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. Considerable damage can be done to your body when your immune system overcompensates.
Additionally, when other COVID symptoms are almost gone, this hearing loss can still become apparent. Again, we aren’t quite certain why this happens. We also have no clue why it’s more or less likely to occur.
Is There Any Treatment For This Sort of Hearing Loss?
Sensorineural hearing loss from COVID-19 can indeed be permanent. There might be a few treatment options depending on certain variables. In fact, researchers have noticed already that steroid treatments seem to help safeguard your hearing, particularly if you undergo early treatment. If you are affected by sudden loss of hearing, you should see a doctor.
In either case, once you’ve totally recovered from your COVID-19 situation, it might be a smart plan to visit us and get a hearing screening.
There are a couple of qualifiers to all of this that are worth pointing out. First and foremost, hearing loss does appear to be a relatively uncommon symptom of COVID. We don’t know yet how prevalent this particular symptom is yet. But it’s likely that the science on COVID will keep updating and changing as scientists learn more.
Can COVID Related Hearing Loss be Avoided?
Presently, if you’re already suffering with COVID, you need to let us or your doctor know as soon as possible if you have any sudden change to your hearing. Lasting hearing loss can be minimized by quick response.
Try to remain healthy: The best way to protect against COVID-related hearing loss is to do whatever you can to steer clear of contracting COVID in the first place. This means sticking with guidelines when it comes to social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.
While this particular symptom isn’t common, it still occurs. And the more facts you have about COVID and hearing loss, the better. If you think you’ve already had hearing damage, it’s probably a wise decision to come in and get evaluated.