COVID-19 has some uncommon symptoms like dampening your sense of taste and smell. We recognize that one of the first signs is loss of smell. 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 problem: long lasting sensorineural hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss Brought on by COVID-19?
Scientists are learning more about COVID-19 every single day. But we’re truly in the dark in many ways. The virus itself was only first discovered in late 2019. Usually, scientists work for years, if not decades, to fully identify a new pathogen. One thing we do know about COVID is that it affects different people in a lot of different ways (making it a particularly tricky and challenging problem).
You could experience a wide variety of symptoms. And irreversible hearing loss can be one of them. Researchers still aren’t sure why that happens. It could be something called “cellular stress” caused by the virus. Certain cells (such as the cells in your ear) will start to deteriorate, according to this hypothesis, because the virus places so much strain on the body. But your body’s own immune response may also be responsible for this kind of hearing loss. Sometimes, your immune system can go into overdrive and winds up contributing to considerable damage to your body.
Additionally, when other COVID symptoms are almost gone, this hearing loss can still become apparent. The actual timing isn’t completely known. We also have no clue why it’s more or less likely to happen.
Can This Hearing Loss be Treated?
Irreversible sensorineural hearing loss is possible as a result of COVID-19. There might be a few treatment options depending on specific variables. It’s already been observed that early steroid treatments appear to help protect your hearing from further damage. If you are affected by sudden loss of hearing, you need to speak with a doctor.
Getting a hearing test after your COVID has passed is always a good idea.
But it’s worth pointing out that there are a few qualifiers to all of this. First of all, hearing loss does seem to be a relatively uncommon symptom of COVID. We don’t know yet how common this particular symptom is yet. But as scientists discover more about COVID-19 the science will adjust.
Can You Prevent COVID-Induced Hearing Loss?
Right now, if you’re already suffering with COVID, you need to let us or your doctor know as soon as possible if you have any sudden change to your hearing. An early response might help reduce lasting hearing loss.
Try to remain healthy: Safeguarding yourself from getting COVID-19 is the best way to prevent this kind of hearing loss. This means sticking with 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.