COVID-19 has some uncommon symptoms including dampening your sense of taste and smell. Indeed, loss of smell is often one of the initial indications of infection. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense affected by COVID-19. New findings are pointing to an uncommon, but longer-term problem: long lasting sensorineural hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss Triggered by COVID-19?
Scientists are discovering more about COVID-19 each day. But there’s still a lot we don’t know. 2019 is when the virus was first observed. Usually, scientists work for years, if not decades, to thoroughly describe a new pathogen. One thing we’re discovering about COVID is that it affects different individuals in many different ways (making it an especially tricky and challenging problem).
There are a wide variety of symptoms you can experience. And permanent hearing loss is sometimes one of them. Researchers still aren’t certain why that is. The virus might be causing a response called “cellular stress”. According to this hypothesis, COVID places so much stress on your body that some cells (such as those responsible for hearing) begin to break down. But this kind of hearing loss might also be a result of your body’s own immune reaction. Significant damage can be done to your body when your immune system goes into overdrive.
It’s also worth pointing out that occasionally this hearing loss can first present when other COVID symptoms are on their way out. The exact timing isn’t completely known. Nor do we have a solid understanding of what type of underlying conditions would cause COVID-related hearing loss to be more or less likely to happen.
Is There Any Treatment For This Type of Hearing Loss?
Sensorineural hearing loss triggered by COVID-19 can definitely be permanent. There might be some treatment options depending on specific variables. It’s already been observed that early steroid treatments appear to help protect your hearing from added damage. It’s essential 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 a couple of qualifiers to all of this that are worth pointing out. First of all, hearing loss does seem to be a fairly uncommon symptom of COVID. We don’t know yet how widespread this particular symptom is at this point. But it’s likely that the science on COVID will keep updating and changing as scientists learn more.
Can You Avoid COVID-Induced Hearing Loss?
Presently, if you already have COVID, you need to let us or your doctor know right away if you have any sudden change to your hearing. Long-term hearing loss can be lessened by quick response.
Try to avoid getting sick: The best way to prevent COVID-related hearing loss is to do everything possible to steer clear of getting COVID in the first place. So with regards to things such as social distancing, social gatherings, and wearing a mask, stick to the guidelines.
While this particular symptom is uncommon, it still happens. And you will be that much better off with more insight about hearing loss and COIVID. If you think you’ve already had hearing damage, it’s probably a good idea to come in and get checked.