COVID-19 has some uncommon symptoms such as dampening your sense 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 problem: long lasting sensorineural hearing loss.
How Can COVID-19 Cause 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. New pathogens usually take years or even decades for scientists to identify. And COVIC-19 can be particularly challenging because it impacts different individuals in different ways.
There are numerous symptoms you can experience. And irreversible hearing loss can be one of them. Why this happens is still not known. The virus might be creating a reaction called “cellular stress”. Based on this theory, COVID puts so much strain on your body that certain cells (like those responsible for hearing) start to deteriorate. But your body’s own immune response may also be responsible for this type of hearing loss. Occasionally, your immune system can go into high gear and ends up contributing to considerable damage to your body.
It’s also worth mentioning that occasionally this hearing loss can first appear when other COVID symptoms are almost gone. The actual timing isn’t really understood. Nor do we have a solid grasp of what type of underlying conditions might cause COVID-related hearing loss to become more or less likely to take place.
Can This Hearing Loss be Managed?
Irreversible sensorineural hearing loss is possible with COVID-19. Needless to say, there are a lot of variables, and there are some treatments, too. As a matter of fact, researchers have already recognized that steroid treatments seem to help preserve your hearing, particularly if you get early treatment. If you do experience sudden loss of hearing, you need to talk to a doctor.
In either case, once you’ve fully recovered from your COVID-19 situation, it may be a smart plan to visit us and undergo a hearing test.
There are a couple of qualifiers to all of this that should be pointed out. Hearing loss, first off, is not a very common COVID symptom. We don’t know yet how prevalent this particular symptom is at this point. 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 examination with us. Lasting hearing loss can be reduced by quick response.
Try to remain healthy: Protecting yourself from getting COVID-19 is the best way to prevent this type of hearing loss. So when it comes to things like social distancing, social gatherings, and wearing a mask, stick to the guidelines.
While this specific symptom isn’t common, it still occurs. And you will be that much better off with more insight about hearing loss and COIVID. If you think you’ve already had hearing damage, it’s probably a wise decision to come in and get checked.