One of the most unusual symptoms of COVID-19 is that it’s able to temporarily dampen your senses of smell and taste. We know 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 affected by COVID-19. Sensorineural hearing loss is an unusual and long-term issue according to new findings.
How Can COVID-19 Result In Hearing Loss?
Scientists are learning more about COVID-19 every single day. But we’re really in the dark in a lot of ways. The virus itself was only first observed late in 2019. New pathogens often take years or decades for scientists to identify. One thing we’re discovering about COVID is that it impacts different individuals in many different ways (making it a particularly tricky and challenging problem).
You may experience a wide array of symptoms. And permanent hearing loss is sometimes one of them. Scientists still aren’t sure why that happens. It might be something known as “cellular stress” caused by the virus. Based on this hypothesis, COVID places so much stress on your body that some cells (like those responsible for hearing) start to break down. But your body’s own immune response might also be responsible for this type of hearing loss. Considerable damage can be done to your body when your immune system goes into overdrive.
Additionally, when other COVID symptoms are almost gone, this hearing loss can still become apparent. Again, we aren’t really sure why this occurs. We also don’t have a good grasp of what type of underlying conditions might cause COVID-related hearing loss to become more or less likely to occur.
Can This Hearing Loss be Managed?
Sensorineural hearing loss from COVID-19 can indeed be permanent. Needless to say, there are countless variables, and there are a few treatments, also. It’s already been observed that early steroid treatments seem to help protect your hearing from added damage. It’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible if you experience sudden loss of hearing.
Having a hearing test after your COVID has passed is always a smart idea.
But it’s worth mentioning that there are a few qualifiers to all of this. First and foremost, hearing loss does seem to be a relatively uncommon symptom of COVID. We don’t know yet how widespread this particular symptom is yet. But as scientists discover more about COVID-19 the science will adjust.
Can COVID Induced Hearing Loss be Avoided?
Presently, if you already have COVID, you should let us or your doctor know as soon as possible if you have any sudden change to your hearing. Lasting hearing loss can be minimized by rapid response.
Try to remain healthy: The best way to protect against COVID-related hearing loss is to do everything possible to avoid 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. It’s a good idea to come in for an assessment if you think you’ve suffered hearing damage.