COVID-19 has some uncommon symptoms including dampening your sense of smell and taste. Indeed, loss of smell is often one of the initial signs of infection. But COVID-19 affects more than just your sense of taste and smell. New studies are pointing to an unusual, but longer-term problem: irreversible sensorineural hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss Triggered by COVID-19?
Every day scientists are discovering more about COVID-19. But we’re truly in the dark in a lot of ways. The virus itself was only first discovered in late 2019. New pathogens often take years or decades for scientists to identify. And COVIC-19 is especially difficult because it effects different people in different ways.
There are a wide variety of symptoms you can suffer from. And irreversible hearing loss is sometimes one of them. Scientists still aren’t sure why that is. The virus could be creating a response known as “cellular stress”. Certain cells (such as the cells in your ear) will start to deteriorate, according to this theory, because the virus places so much strain on the body. But this type 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.
Additionally, when other COVID symptoms are going away, this hearing loss can still become apparent. The actual timing isn’t precisely known. We are also clueless why it’s more or less likely to occur.
Can This Hearing Loss be Managed?
Sensorineural hearing loss from COVID-19 can certainly be permanent. There may be a few treatment options depending on specific variables. It’s already been observed that early steroid treatments seem to help protect your hearing from additional damage. It’s important to see a doctor right away if you experience sudden hearing loss.
In either case, once you’ve fully recovered from your COVID-19 situation, it might be a good plan to visit us and get a hearing examination.
There are a few qualifiers to all of this that should be pointed out. First of all, hearing loss does seem to be a relatively uncommon symptom of COVID. Right now, we’re not certain how prevalent this symptom is. But it’s likely that the science on COVID will keep updating and changing 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. An early response may help lessen long-term hearing loss.
Try to avoid getting sick: Safeguarding yourself from contracting COVID-19 is the best way to prevent 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 isn’t common, it still happens. And you will be that much better off with more knowledge about hearing loss and COIVID. If you think you’ve already had hearing damage, it’s probably a wise decision to come in and get tested.