One of the most unusual symptoms of COVID-19 is that it’s able to temporarily dampen your senses of taste and smell. We know that one of the first symptoms is loss of the sense of smell. But COVID-19 affects more than just your sense of taste and smell. New findings are pointing to an uncommon, but longer-term issue: irreversible sensorineural hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss Triggered by COVID-19?
Every day scientists are finding out more about COVID-19. But we’re truly in the dark in a lot of ways. 2019 is when the virus was first discovered. Normally, scientists work for years, even decades, to completely identify a new pathogen. One thing we’re discovering about COVID is that it affects different people in countless different ways (making it an especially tricky and challenging nemesis).
You might experience a wide array of symptoms. And one of those symptoms is lasting hearing loss. Researchers still aren’t certain why that is. The virus might be causing a reaction called “cellular stress”. According to this hypothesis, COVID places so much stress on your body that certain cells (like those responsible for hearing) start to deteriorate. But this kind of hearing loss could also be the result of your body’s own immune reaction. Considerable damage can be done to your body when your immune system overcompensates.
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 precisely understood. We also don’t have a solid understanding of what kind of underlying conditions would cause COVID-related hearing loss to be more or less likely to happen.
Is There Any Treatment For This Sort of Hearing Loss?
Sensorineural hearing loss triggered by COVID-19 can definitely be permanent. There might be some treatment possibilities depending on certain variables. It’s already been observed that early steroid treatments seem to help protect your hearing from further damage. It’s essential to see a doctor as soon as possible if you experience sudden loss of hearing.
In either case, once you’ve fully recovered from your COVID-19 experience, it may be a good idea to visit us and get a hearing screening.
There are several qualifiers to all of this that should be pointed out. Hearing loss, first off, is not a very common COVID symptom. Right now, we’re not certain how prevalent this symptom is. But as scientists discover more about COVID-19 the science will adjust.
Can COVID Induced Hearing Loss be Avoided?
Presently, if you’re already suffering with COVID, you need to let us or your doctor know right away if you have any sudden change to your hearing. An early response may help minimize lasting hearing loss.
Try to prevent getting sick: Safeguarding yourself from contracting COVID-19 is the best way to avoid this type of hearing loss. This means following guidelines in regards to social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.
While this specific symptom is uncommon, it still occurs. And you will be that much better off with more knowledge about hearing loss and COIVID. It’s a good idea to come in for an assessment if you think you have suffered hearing damage.