COVID-19 has a few uncommon symptoms such as dampening your sense of taste and smell. Indeed, loss of smell is often one of the initial symptoms of infection. But COVID-19 affects more than just your sense of taste and smell. New studies are pointing to an unusual, but longer-term issue: permanent sensorineural hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss Triggered by COVID-19?
Scientists are discovering more about COVID-19 every single day. But we’re truly in the dark in a lot of ways. 2019 is when the virus was first observed. Usually, scientists work for years, even decades, to thoroughly describe a new pathogen. One thing we do know about COVID is that it impacts different individuals in countless different ways (making it an especially difficult and challenging nemesis).
You might experience a wide array of symptoms. And one of those symptoms is irreversible hearing loss. Scientists still aren’t certain why that is. The virus could be creating a reaction called “cellular stress”. Some cells (such as the cells in your ear) will begin 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 type of hearing loss. Sometimes, your immune system can go into high gear and ends up contributing to significant damage to your body.
It’s also worth pointing out that occasionally this hearing loss can first present when other COVID symptoms are almost gone. The actual timing isn’t really understood. We also have no clue why it’s more or less likely to happen.
Can This Hearing Loss be Managed?
Permanent sensorineural hearing loss is possible with COVID-19. Of course, there are a lot of variables, and there are some treatments, also. It’s already been discovered that early steroid treatments appear to help protect your hearing from further damage. It’s essential to see a doctor as soon as possible if you experience sudden loss of hearing.
In either case, once you’ve completely recovered from your COVID-19 experience, it may be a good plan to visit us and get a hearing examination.
There are a couple of qualifiers to all of this that are worth pointing out. Hearing loss, first off, is not a very common COVID symptom. At the moment, we’re not sure how prevalent this symptom is. But as scientists discover more about COVID-19 the science will adjust.
Can You Avoid COVID-Related Hearing Loss?
Right now, if you already have COVID, you need to let us or your doctor know as soon as possible if hearing changes suddenly. Long-term hearing loss can be lessened by quick response.
Try to avoid getting sick: Safeguarding yourself from contracting COVID-19 is the best way to prevent this kind of hearing loss. This means sticking with guidelines when it comes to social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.
This symptom does happen though it’s rare. And the more insight you have concerning COVID and hearing loss, the better. If you think you’ve already suffered hearing damage, it’s probably a good idea to come in and get tested.