One of the most uncommon 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 symptoms is loss of the sense of smell. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense impacted by COVID-19. New studies are uncovering an uncommon, but longer-term issue: permanent sensorineural hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss Brought on by COVID-19?
Every day scientists are discovering more about COVID-19. But there’s still a great deal we don’t understand. The virus itself was only first discovered in late 2019. New pathogens normally take years or decades for scientists to identify. One thing we’re discovering about COVID is that it affects different individuals in many different ways (making it a really tricky and challenging problem).
You may experience a wide variety of symptoms. And one of those symptoms is lasting hearing loss. Why this occurs is still unknown. The virus might be causing a reaction known as “cellular stress”. Certain cells (such as the cells in your ear) will begin to breakdown, according to this theory, because the virus puts so much strain on the body. But your body’s own immune response could also be responsible for this kind of hearing loss. On occasion, your immune system can go into high gear and ends up causing considerable damage to your body.
It’s also worth noting that occasionally this hearing loss can first appear when other COVID symptoms are almost gone. Again, we’re not really certain why this happens. Nor do we have a solid grasp of what sort of underlying conditions might cause COVID-related hearing loss to become more or less likely to take place.
Can This Hearing Loss be Treated?
Permanent sensorineural hearing loss is possible with COVID-19. Naturally, there are many variables, and there are a few treatments, too. It’s already been discovered that early steroid treatments appear to help protect your hearing from added damage. If you are affected by sudden loss of hearing, you need to see a doctor.
Getting a hearing exam after your COVID has passed is always a smart idea.
But it’s worth pointing out that there are a few qualifiers to all of this. Hearing loss, first off, is not a very common COVID symptom. At the moment, we’re not sure how common this symptom is. But as scientists discover more about COVID-19 the science will change.
Can You Prevent COVID-Related Hearing Loss?
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. Long-term hearing loss can be lessened by quick response.
Try to remain healthy: The best way to prevent COVID-related hearing loss is to do whatever you can to steer clear of getting COVID in the first place. This means sticking with guidelines regarding social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.
While this particular symptom isn’t common, it still happens. And you will be a lot better off with more knowledge about hearing loss and COIVID. It’s a good choice to come in for a test if you think you have suffered hearing damage.