One of the most unusual symptoms of COVID-19 is that it’s able to temporarily dampen your senses of taste and smell. We recognize that one of the first symptoms is loss of smell. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense affected by COVID-19. Sensorineural hearing loss is an unusual and long-term issue according to new studies.
How is Hearing Loss Caused by COVID-19?
Each day scientists are learning more with regards to COVID-19. But we’re really in the dark in many ways. The virus itself was only first observed in late 2019. New pathogens often take years or even decades for scientists to identify. One thing we do know about COVID is that it impacts different individuals in countless different ways (making it an especially tricky and challenging nemesis).
You could experience a wide variety of symptoms. And one of those symptoms is lasting hearing loss. Scientists still aren’t certain why that is. The virus may be triggering a response known as “cellular stress”. Some cells (like the cells in your ear) will start to breakdown, according to this theory, because the virus places so much strain on the body. But this kind of hearing loss may also be a result of your body’s own immune response. Considerable damage can be done to your body when your immune system goes into overdrive.
Also, when other COVID symptoms are going away, this hearing loss can still become apparent. The actual timing isn’t precisely understood. Nor do we have a good grasp of what type of underlying conditions might cause COVID-related hearing loss to be more or less likely to occur.
Can This Hearing Loss be Managed?
Sensorineural hearing loss caused by COVID-19 can certainly be permanent. Needless to say, there are many variables, and there are a few treatments, too. It’s already been observed that early steroid treatments seem to help protect your hearing from additional damage. If you are affected by sudden loss of hearing, you should talk to a doctor.
In either case, once you’ve totally recovered from your COVID-19 experience, it might be a smart plan to visit us and have a hearing screening.
But it’s worth noting that there are a few qualifiers to all of this. Hearing loss, first off, isn’t a very common COVID symptom. We don’t know yet how prevalent this particular symptom is at this point. But it’s likely that the science on COVID will keep updating and changing as scientists learn more.
Can COVID Induced Hearing Loss be Prevented?
If you have sudden changes in your hearing and you have COVID-19 get in touch with your doctor and make an appointment for a hearing exam with us. An early response could help minimize long-term hearing loss.
Try to stay healthy: The best way to prevent COVID-related hearing loss is to do everything possible to steer clear of getting COVID in the first place. So when it comes to things such as social distancing, social gatherings, and wearing a mask, stick to the guidelines.
While this specific symptom is uncommon, it still happens. And you will be substantially better off with more knowledge about hearing loss and COIVID. It’s a good choice to come in for an evaluation if you think you have suffered hearing damage.