Woman protects her hearing health by wearing a mask.

COVID-19 has some unusual symptoms like dampening your sense of smell and taste. Indeed, loss of smell is often one of the initial signs of infection. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense impacted by COVID-19. New studies are uncovering an uncommon, but longer-term problem: long lasting sensorineural hearing loss.

How is Hearing Loss Triggered by COVID-19?

Each day scientists are learning more with regards to COVID-19. 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 completely describe a new pathogen. And COVIC-19 is particularly difficult because it effects different individuals in different ways.

You might experience a wide variety of symptoms. And one of those symptoms is permanent hearing loss. Why this happens is still not evident. It might be something called “cellular stress” caused by the virus. Based on this hypothesis, COVID puts so much strain on your body that some cells (like those responsible for hearing) begin to deteriorate. But your body’s own immune response could 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 completely known. Nor do we have a solid grasp of what kind of underlying conditions would cause COVID-related hearing loss to be more or less likely to take place.

Can This Hearing Loss be Treated?

Sensorineural hearing loss triggered by COVID-19 can indeed be permanent. Of course, there are a lot of variables, and there are a few treatments, too. It’s already been discovered that early steroid treatments appear to help protect your hearing from added damage. It’s essential to see a doctor right away if you experience sudden hearing loss.

Either way, once you’ve totally recovered from your COVID-19 experience, it might be a smart plan to visit us and undergo a hearing test.

But it’s worth mentioning that there are a couple of qualifiers to all of this. First and foremost, hearing loss does appear to be a relatively uncommon symptom of COVID. We don’t know yet how widespread this particular symptom is at this point. But as scientists discover more about COVID-19 the science will adjust.

Can COVID Induced Hearing Loss be Prevented?

Presently, if you’re already suffering with COVID, you should let us or your doctor know as soon as possible if hearing changes suddenly. An early response might help lessen lasting hearing loss.

Try to stay healthy: The best way to protect against COVID-related hearing loss is to do everything possible to avoid getting COVID in the first place. 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 the more facts you have about COVID and hearing loss, the better. If you think you’ve already had hearing damage, it’s definitely a wise decision to come in and get tested.

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