Woman protects her hearing health by wearing a mask.

One of the most uncommon symptoms of COVID-19 is that it’s able to temporarily dampen your senses of taste and smell. Indeed, loss of smell is often one of the first signs of infection. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense affected by COVID-19. Sensorineural hearing loss is an unusual and permanent issue according to new studies.

How is Hearing Loss Triggered by COVID-19?

Scientists are learning more about COVID-19 every single day. But we’re truly in the dark in many ways. The virus itself was only first discovered late in 2019. New pathogens usually take years or even decades for scientists to identify. One thing we’re discovering about COVID is that it affects different people in a lot of different ways (making it a really tricky and challenging problem).

You could experience a wide variety of symptoms. And permanent hearing loss is sometimes one of them. Why this happens is still not evident. It could be something called “cellular stress” caused by the virus. Based on this theory, COVID puts so much stress on your body that certain cells (such as those responsible for hearing) begin to deteriorate. But this form of hearing loss might also be a result of your body’s own immune reaction. Sometimes, your immune system can go into overdrive and winds up contributing to significant damage to your body.

It’s also worth noting that occasionally this hearing loss can first present when other COVID symptoms are almost gone. Again, we aren’t quite sure why this happens. We also don’t have a solid understanding of what sort of underlying conditions would cause COVID-related hearing loss to be more or less likely to take place.

Is There Any Treatment For This Type of Hearing Loss?

Sensorineural hearing loss from COVID-19 can certainly be permanent. Of course, there are many variables, and there are some treatments, too. It’s already been discovered that early steroid treatments appear to help protect your hearing from further damage. If you do experience sudden loss of hearing, you should see a doctor.

Either way, once you’ve totally recovered from your COVID-19 situation, it might be a smart move to visit us and get a hearing screening.

But it’s worth mentioning that there are a few qualifiers to all of this. Hearing loss, first off, is not a very common COVID symptom. We don’t know yet how widespread this particular symptom is yet. But it’s likely that the science on COVID will continue to update and change as scientists discover more.

Can COVID Related Hearing Loss be Prevented?

Presently, if you already have COVID, you should let us or your doctor know as soon as possible if you have any sudden change to your hearing. Long-term hearing loss can be reduced by rapid response.

Try to prevent getting sick: Protecting yourself from contracting COVID-19 is the best way to avoid this type of hearing loss. So when it comes to things like social distancing, social gatherings, and wearing a mask, follow 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 decision to come in for a test if you think you’ve suffered hearing damage.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.