One of the most uncommon symptoms of COVID-19 is that it’s able to temporarily deaden your senses of smell and taste. We know that one of the first symptoms is loss of smell. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense impacted by COVID-19. Sensorineural hearing loss is an uncommon and lasting issue according to new findings.
How Can COVID-19 Lead to Hearing Loss?
Every day scientists are discovering more about COVID-19. But we’re really in the dark in many ways. 2019 is when the virus was first discovered. New pathogens often take years or even decades for scientists to describe. One thing we do know about COVID is that it impacts different people in many different ways (making it a really difficult and challenging problem).
There are numerous symptoms you can experience. And one of those symptoms is permanent hearing loss. Why this occurs is still not evident. It might be something called “cellular stress” caused by the virus. Some cells (such as the cells in your ear) will start to breakdown, according to this hypothesis, because the virus puts so much stress on the body. But your body’s own immune response might also be responsible for this kind of hearing loss. Occasionally, your immune system can go into high gear and ends up causing significant damage to your body.
It’s also worth pointing out that sometimes this hearing loss can first present when other COVID symptoms are on their way out. Again, we’re not quite sure why this happens. We are also clueless why it’s more or less likely to happen.
Can This Hearing Loss be Treated?
Sensorineural hearing loss from COVID-19 can definitely be permanent. There may be a few treatment options depending on certain variables. It’s already been discovered that early steroid treatments seem to help protect your hearing from additional 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 several qualifiers to all of this that should be pointed out. Hearing loss, first off, isn’t a very common COVID symptom. We don’t know yet how widespread this particular symptom is yet. But it’s likely that the science on COVID will continue to update and change as scientists discover more.
Can COVID Related Hearing Loss be Avoided?
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 could help minimize lasting hearing loss.
Try to remain healthy: The best way to protect against COVID-related hearing loss is to do everything possible to steer clear of contracting COVID in the first place. This means following guidelines in regards to social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.
This symptom does occur though it’s rare. And the more information you have about COVID and hearing loss, the better. If you think you’ve already suffered hearing damage, it’s probably a good idea to come in and get evaluated.