One of the most unusual symptoms of COVID-19 is that it can temporarily dampen your senses of smell and taste. We know that one of the first signs is loss of smell. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense affected by COVID-19. New findings are uncovering an unusual, but longer-term issue: permanent sensorineural hearing loss.
How Can COVID-19 Cause Hearing Loss?
Scientists are learning more about COVID-19 each day. But there’s still a great deal we don’t understand. The virus itself was only first observed in late 2019. Normally, scientists work for years, even decades, to fully describe a new pathogen. One thing we’re discovering about COVID is that it affects different people in a lot of different ways (making it a really tricky and challenging nemesis).
There are a wide variety of symptoms you can experience. And irreversible hearing loss can be one of them. Scientists still aren’t certain why that is. The virus may be creating a reaction known as “cellular stress”. Based on this theory, COVID puts so much stress on your body that certain cells (like those responsible for hearing) start to deteriorate. But this form of hearing loss could also be the result of your body’s own immune response. Significant damage can be done to your body when your immune system goes into overdrive.
It’s also worth pointing out that sometimes this hearing loss can first appear when other COVID symptoms are on their way out. The exact timing isn’t precisely known. We are also clueless why it’s more or less likely to occur.
Is There Any Treatment For This Sort of Hearing Loss?
Sensorineural hearing loss caused by COVID-19 can certainly be permanent. There might be a few treatment possibilities depending on certain variables. It’s already been discovered that early steroid treatments appear to help protect your hearing from additional 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.
There are several qualifiers to all of this that are worth pointing 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 learn 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 hearing changes suddenly. Lasting hearing loss can be reduced by rapid response.
Try to avoid getting sick: Protecting yourself from getting COVID-19 is the best way to avoid this kind of hearing loss. So with regards to things like social distancing, social gatherings, and wearing a mask, stick to the guidelines.
While this specific symptom is uncommon, it still occurs. And the more facts you have concerning COVID and hearing loss, the better. It’s a good choice to come in for an assessment if you think you’ve suffered hearing damage.