COVID-19 has some unusual symptoms like dampening your sense of taste and smell. Indeed, loss of smell is often one of the initial signs of infection. But COVID-19 impacts more than just your sense of taste and smell. New studies are uncovering an unusual, but longer-term problem: irreversible sensorineural hearing loss.
How Can COVID-19 Result In Hearing Loss?
Scientists are discovering more about COVID-19 every single day. But we’re really in the dark in many ways. The virus itself was only first discovered in late 2019. Normally, scientists work for years, even decades, to completely describe a new pathogen. One thing we do know about COVID is that it impacts different people in many different ways (making it a particularly difficult and challenging nemesis).
There are a wide variety of symptoms you can suffer from. And permanent hearing loss is sometimes one of them. Researchers still aren’t certain why that is. The virus might be triggering a response called “cellular stress”. According to this theory, COVID places so much stress on your body that some cells (like those responsible for hearing) begin to break down. But this form of hearing loss may also be a result of your body’s own immune reaction. Significant damage can be done to your body when your immune system overcompensates.
Additionally, when other COVID symptoms are almost gone, this hearing loss can still show up. Again, we’re not really certain why this occurs. We also have no clue why it’s more or less likely to occur.
Is There Any Treatment For This Sort of Hearing Loss?
Sensorineural hearing loss triggered by COVID-19 can definitely be permanent. There might be a few treatment possibilities depending on certain variables. In fact, researchers have already recognized that steroid treatments seem to help protect your hearing, especially if you get early treatment. If you do experience sudden loss of hearing, you should see a doctor.
Getting a hearing test after your COVID has passed is always a smart idea.
There are a couple of qualifiers to all of this that should be pointed out. Hearing loss, first off, is not a very common COVID symptom. We don’t know yet how common 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 COVID Related Hearing Loss be Avoided?
Presently, if you’re already suffering with COVID, you need to let us or your doctor know as soon as possible if you have any sudden change to your hearing. An early response might help reduce lasting hearing loss.
Try to avoid getting sick: Safeguarding yourself from contracting COVID-19 is the best way to avoid this type of hearing loss. So with regards to things like social distancing, social gatherings, and wearing a mask, stick to the guidelines.
This symptom does occur though it’s rare. And you will be a lot better off with more insight about hearing loss and COIVID. It’s a good idea to come in for an evaluation if you think you have suffered hearing damage.