One of the most unusual symptoms of COVID-19 is that it’s able to temporarily deaden your senses of smell and taste. We recognize that one of the first signs is loss of the sense of smell. But COVID-19 impacts more than just your sense of taste and smell. New findings are pointing to an uncommon, but longer-term issue: irreversible sensorineural hearing loss.
How Can COVID-19 Result In Hearing Loss?
Scientists are discovering more about COVID-19 each day. But there’s still a lot we don’t understand. The virus itself was only first observed late in 2019. Normally, scientists work for years, if not decades, to completely describe a new pathogen. One thing we’re discovering about COVID is that it impacts different individuals in countless different ways (making it a particularly difficult and challenging problem).
There are a wide variety of symptoms you can experience. And irreversible hearing loss is sometimes one of them. Why this happens is still not evident. It may be something called “cellular stress” caused by the virus. According to this hypothesis, COVID puts so much stress on your body that certain cells (such as those responsible for hearing) start to break down. But your body’s own immune response might also be responsible for this type of hearing loss. Sometimes, your immune system can go into overdrive and ends up causing considerable damage to your body.
It’s also worth noting that sometimes this hearing loss can first appear when other COVID symptoms are on their way out. Again, we aren’t really certain why this takes place. We also don’t have a solid grasp of what type of underlying circumstances would cause COVID-related hearing loss to become more or less likely to take place.
Is There Any Treatment For This Kind of Hearing Loss?
Sensorineural hearing loss from COVID-19 can certainly be permanent. There may be a few treatment possibilities depending on specific variables. It’s already been discovered that early steroid treatments appear to help protect your hearing from added damage. It’s essential to see a doctor as soon as possible if you experience sudden hearing loss.
In either case, once you’ve fully recovered from your COVID-19 situation, it might be a smart idea to visit us and undergo a hearing test.
But it’s worth mentioning that there are a few qualifiers to all of this. Hearing loss, first off, isn’t a very common COVID symptom. Right now, we’re not sure how prevalent this symptom is. But as scientists learn more about COVID-19 the science will change.
Can You Avoid COVID-Related Hearing Loss?
If you have sudden changes in your hearing and you have COVID-19 contact your doctor and make an appointment for a hearing test with us. An early response might help lessen long-term hearing loss.
Try to remain healthy: Safeguarding yourself from contracting COVID-19 is the best way to avoid this type of hearing loss. This means following guidelines regarding social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.
This symptom does occur though it’s rare. And the more insight you have about COVID and hearing loss, the better. If you think you’ve already had hearing damage, it’s probably a good idea to come in and get checked.