COVID-19 has a few uncommon symptoms such as dampening your sense of smell and taste. Indeed, loss of smell is often one of the initial signs of infection. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense impacted by COVID-19. New studies are uncovering an unusual, but longer-term issue: permanent sensorineural hearing loss.
How Can COVID-19 Lead to Hearing Loss?
Every day scientists are discovering more about COVID-19. But there’s still a great deal we don’t know. The virus itself was only first discovered late in 2019. Normally, scientists work for years, if not decades, to thoroughly describe a new pathogen. And COVIC-19 is especially difficult because it impacts different people in different ways.
There are numerous symptoms you can suffer from. And permanent hearing loss is sometimes one of them. Researchers still aren’t certain why that happens. The virus could be causing a response known as “cellular stress”. Certain cells (such as the cells in your ear) will start to deteriorate, according to this hypothesis, because the virus puts so much strain on the body. But this form of hearing loss could also be the result of your body’s own immune response. Considerable damage can be done to your body when your immune system goes into overdrive.
It’s also worth noting that sometimes this hearing loss can first present when other COVID symptoms are almost gone. Again, we’re not quite certain why this happens. We also don’t have a good understanding of what kind of underlying circumstances would cause COVID-related hearing loss to become more or less likely to occur.
Can This Hearing Loss be Treated?
Sensorineural hearing loss from COVID-19 can definitely be permanent. There may be some treatment possibilities depending on specific variables. In fact, researchers have already recognized that steroid treatments appear 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 hearing loss.
In either case, once you’ve completely recovered from your COVID-19 situation, it may be a smart plan to visit us and undergo a hearing test.
But it’s worth mentioning that there are a couple of qualifiers to all of this. Hearing loss, first off, is not a very common COVID symptom. Right now, we’re not certain how common this symptom is. But it’s likely that the science on COVID will continue to update and change as scientists learn more.
Can COVID Related Hearing Loss be Avoided?
Right now, if you already have COVID, you should let us or your doctor know right away if you have any sudden change to your hearing. Lasting hearing loss can be lessened by quick response.
Try to avoid getting sick: Protecting yourself from getting COVID-19 is the best way to avoid this type of hearing loss. So when it comes to things such as social distancing, social gatherings, and wearing a mask, stick to the guidelines.
This symptom does happen though it’s rare. And the more facts you have concerning COVID and hearing loss, the better. It’s a good choice to come in for a test if you think you’ve suffered hearing damage.