One of the most unusual symptoms of COVID-19 is that it can temporarily deaden your senses of smell and taste. We know that one of the first signs is loss of the sense of smell. But COVID-19 impacts more than just your sense of smell and taste. New studies are pointing to an unusual, but longer-term problem: permanent sensorineural hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss Brought on by COVID-19?
Each day scientists are learning more with regards to COVID-19. But there’s still a lot we don’t know. The virus itself was only first observed in late 2019. New pathogens normally take years or even decades for scientists to identify. One thing we do know about COVID is that it impacts different individuals in many different ways (making it a really difficult and challenging nemesis).
There are a wide variety of symptoms you can suffer from. And one of those symptoms is lasting hearing loss. Why this occurs is still unknown. It might be something known as “cellular stress” caused by the virus. Based on this theory, COVID places so much strain on your body that some cells (like those responsible for hearing) begin to deteriorate. But your body’s own immune response might also be responsible for this type of hearing loss. Significant damage can be done to your body when your immune system goes into overdrive.
Additionally, when other COVID symptoms are going away, this hearing loss can still become apparent. Again, we aren’t quite sure why this takes place. Nor do we have a solid understanding of what kind of underlying conditions might cause COVID-related hearing loss to become more or less likely to happen.
Is There Any Treatment For This Sort of Hearing Loss?
Sensorineural hearing loss from COVID-19 can definitely be permanent. Of course, there are a lot of variables, and there are some treatments, also. As a matter of fact, researchers have noticed already that steroid treatments seem to help safeguard your hearing, especially if you get early treatment. It’s important to see a doctor right away if you experience sudden loss of hearing.
Getting a hearing exam after your COVID has passed is always a smart idea.
But it’s worth mentioning 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 sure how prevalent this symptom is. But it’s likely that the science on COVID will keep updating and changing as scientists discover more.
Can You Avoid COVID-Related Hearing Loss?
Presently, if you’re already suffering with COVID, you need to let us or your doctor know right away if hearing changes suddenly. Long-term hearing loss can be decreased by rapid response.
Try to remain healthy: The best way to protect against COVID-related hearing loss is to do whatever you can to avoid getting COVID in the first place. This means sticking with guidelines in regards to social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.
While this particular symptom isn’t common, it still occurs. And you will be substantially better off with more knowledge about hearing loss and COIVID. If you think you’ve already suffered hearing damage, it’s probably a good idea to come in and get checked.