Woman protects her hearing health by wearing a mask.

One of the most unusual symptoms of COVID-19 is that it can temporarily dampen your senses of taste and smell. Indeed, loss of smell is often one of the first symptoms of infection. But COVID-19 impacts more than just your sense of smell and taste. Sensorineural hearing loss is an unusual and permanent problem according to new findings.

How is Hearing Loss Caused by COVID-19?

Every day scientists are finding out more with regards to COVID-19. But we’re really in the dark in many ways. 2019 is when the virus was first observed. Normally, scientists work for years, even decades, to thoroughly identify a new pathogen. One thing we do know about COVID is that it affects different people in a lot of different ways (making it a particularly difficult and challenging problem).

You might experience a wide range of symptoms. And one of those symptoms is irreversible hearing loss. Why this occurs is still unknown. It may be something known as “cellular stress” caused by the virus. According to this hypothesis, COVID places so much strain on your body that certain cells (like those responsible for hearing) begin to deteriorate. But your body’s own immune response might also be responsible for this kind of hearing loss. Considerable damage can be done to your body when your immune system overcompensates.

Additionally, when other COVID symptoms are going away, this hearing loss can still show up. The exact timing isn’t precisely known. We also don’t have a good grasp of what kind of underlying circumstances would cause COVID-related hearing loss to be more or less likely to occur.

Can This Hearing Loss be Treated?

Sensorineural hearing loss from COVID-19 can indeed be permanent. Naturally, there are countless variables, and there are a few treatments, also. It’s already been observed that early steroid treatments seem to help protect your hearing from further damage. If you are affected by sudden loss of hearing, you need to see a doctor.

Getting a hearing exam after your COVID has passed is always a smart idea.

There are a few qualifiers to all of this that should be pointed out. First and foremost, hearing loss does seem to be a fairly uncommon symptom of COVID. Right now, we’re not sure 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 COVID Induced Hearing Loss be Avoided?

If you have sudden changes in your hearing and you have COVID-19 contact your doctor and schedule a hearing examination with us. An early response could help minimize lasting hearing loss.

Try to avoid getting sick: The best way to prevent COVID-related hearing loss is to do whatever you can to avoid contracting COVID in the first place. So with regards to things such as social distancing, social gatherings, and wearing a mask, stick to the guidelines.

While this specific symptom is uncommon, it still happens. And you will be a lot better off with more knowledge about hearing loss and COIVID. It’s a good idea to come in for an evaluation if you think you have suffered hearing damage.

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