COVID-19 has a few uncommon symptoms like dampening your sense of taste and smell. We know that one of the first signs is loss of smell. But COVID-19 affects more than just your sense of smell and taste. New findings are uncovering an unusual, but longer-term problem: irreversible sensorineural hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss Brought on by COVID-19?
Scientists are learning more about COVID-19 every single day. But there’s still a great deal we don’t understand. The virus itself was only first discovered late in 2019. New pathogens usually take years or decades for scientists to identify. And COVIC-19 is especially challenging because it impacts different people in different ways.
There are lots of symptoms you can experience. And permanent hearing loss can be one of them. Why this occurs is still unknown. The virus may be causing a response known as “cellular stress”. According to this hypothesis, COVID places so much stress on your body that some cells (such as those responsible for hearing) start to break down. But this kind of hearing loss may also be the result of your body’s own immune response. Considerable 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 present when other COVID symptoms are on their way out. Again, we aren’t really certain why this happens. Nor do we have a solid understanding of what sort of underlying circumstances might cause COVID-related hearing loss to become more or less likely to occur.
Is There Any Treatment For This Type of Hearing Loss?
Sensorineural hearing loss from COVID-19 can indeed be permanent. Needless to say, there are countless variables, and there are a few treatments, also. In fact, researchers have already recognized that steroid treatments seem to help safeguard your hearing, especially if you get early treatment. If you do experience sudden loss of hearing, you need to see a doctor.
In either case, once you’ve totally recovered from your COVID-19 situation, it may be a good move to visit us and have a hearing examination.
But it’s worth pointing out that there are a couple of qualifiers to all of this. Hearing loss, first off, is not a very common COVID symptom. Right now, we’re not certain how prevalent this symptom is. But it’s likely that the science on COVID will continue to update and change as scientists learn more.
Can You Avoid COVID-Related Hearing Loss?
Right now, if you already have COVID, you should let us or your doctor know as soon as possible if hearing changes suddenly. Lasting hearing loss can be decreased by rapid response.
Try to stay healthy: The best way to prevent COVID-related hearing loss is to do whatever you can to avoid getting COVID in the first place. This means following guidelines when it comes to social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.
This symptom does happen though it’s rare. And the more insight 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.