One of the most uncommon symptoms of COVID-19 is that it can temporarily deaden your senses of taste and smell. We know that one of the first signs is loss of the sense of smell. But COVID-19 affects more than just your sense of smell and taste. New discoveries are uncovering an unusual, but longer-term problem: long lasting sensorineural hearing loss.
How Can COVID-19 Lead to Hearing Loss?
Scientists are discovering more about COVID-19 every single day. But we’re truly in the dark in many ways. The virus itself was only first discovered in late 2019. Normally, scientists work for years, even decades, to thoroughly describe a new pathogen. And COVIC-19 can be particularly difficult because it effects different individuals in different ways.
There are lots of symptoms you can suffer from. And permanent hearing loss is sometimes one of them. Scientists still aren’t sure why that happens. The virus may be causing a reaction called “cellular stress”. Certain cells (like the cells in your ear) will begin to deteriorate, according to this theory, because the virus puts so much strain on the body. But your body’s own immune response might also be responsible for this type of hearing loss. On occasion, your immune system can go into high gear and winds up contributing to considerable damage to your body.
It’s also worth pointing out that occasionally this hearing loss can first appear when other COVID symptoms are on their way out. Again, we’re not really sure why this takes place. We are also clueless why it’s more or less likely to happen.
Is There Any Treatment For This Kind of Hearing Loss?
Permanent sensorineural hearing loss is possible as a result of COVID-19. There may be a few treatment possibilities depending on specific variables. It’s already been observed that early steroid treatments seem to help protect your hearing from additional damage. If you are affected by sudden loss of hearing, you need to talk to a doctor.
Having a hearing test after your COVID has passed is always a good idea.
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. We don’t know yet how prevalent this particular symptom is at this point. But as scientists discover more about COVID-19 the science will adjust.
Can You Avoid COVID-Related Hearing Loss?
Presently, if you already have COVID, you need to let us or your doctor know as soon as possible if hearing changes suddenly. Long-term hearing loss can be reduced by rapid response.
Try to remain healthy: The best way to protect against COVID-related hearing loss is to do everything possible to avoid getting COVID in the first place. This means following guidelines regarding social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.
This symptom does happen though it’s rare. And the more insight you have concerning COVID and hearing loss, the better. It’s a good decision to come in for a test if you think you’ve suffered hearing damage.