COVID-19 has some uncommon symptoms including dampening your sense of taste and smell. Indeed, loss of smell is often one of the first indications of infection. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense impacted by COVID-19. Sensorineural hearing loss is an uncommon and permanent issue according to new findings.
How Can COVID-19 Cause Hearing Loss?
Scientists are discovering more about COVID-19 every single day. But there’s still a great deal we don’t know. The virus itself was only first observed in late 2019. New pathogens often take years or even decades for scientists to describe. And COVIC-19 is especially challenging because it impacts different individuals in different ways.
There are a multitude of symptoms you can experience. And permanent hearing loss can be one of them. Scientists still aren’t certain why that is. The virus could be creating a response known as “cellular stress”. Based on this hypothesis, COVID puts so much strain on your body that some cells (like those responsible for hearing) begin to deteriorate. But your body’s own immune response may also be responsible for this type of hearing loss. Sometimes, your immune system can go into overdrive and ends up causing considerable damage to your body.
Also, when other COVID symptoms are going away, this hearing loss can still become apparent. The exact timing isn’t precisely understood. We also have no clue why it’s more or less likely to occur.
Can This Hearing Loss be Treated?
Sensorineural hearing loss caused by COVID-19 can definitely 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 added damage. If you do experience 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.
There are a couple of qualifiers to all of this that are worth pointing out. Hearing loss, first off, isn’t a very common COVID symptom. At the moment, we’re not sure how prevalent this symptom is. But it’s likely that the science on COVID will continue to update and change as scientists discover more.
Can You Avoid COVID-Induced Hearing Loss?
Right now, if you’re already suffering with COVID, you should let us or your doctor know right away if hearing changes suddenly. Long-term hearing loss can be minimized by rapid response.
Try to prevent getting sick: Safeguarding yourself from getting COVID-19 is the best way to prevent this type of hearing loss. This means sticking with guidelines in regards to 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 definitely a good idea to come in and get evaluated.