Woman protects her hearing health by wearing a mask.

COVID-19 has a few unusual symptoms including dampening your sense of smell and taste. 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. New discoveries are pointing to an uncommon, but longer-term issue: long lasting sensorineural hearing loss.

How Can COVID-19 Cause Hearing Loss?

Every day scientists are learning more about COVID-19. But there’s still a great deal we don’t know. The virus itself was only first observed in late 2019. New pathogens usually take years or decades for scientists to identify. One thing we do know about COVID is that it affects different people in a lot of different ways (making it an especially tricky and challenging problem).

There are a wide variety of symptoms you can experience. And irreversible hearing loss can be one of them. Scientists still aren’t sure why that is. The virus might be causing a response called “cellular stress”. Some cells (like the cells in your ear) will begin to breakdown, according to this theory, because the virus places so much strain on the body. But your body’s own immune response may also be responsible for this type of hearing loss. Considerable damage can be done to your body when your immune system goes into overdrive.

It’s also worth mentioning that sometimes this hearing loss can first present when other COVID symptoms are almost gone. The actual timing isn’t completely understood. We also don’t have a solid understanding of what kind of underlying conditions might cause COVID-related hearing loss to become more or less likely to take place.

Can This Hearing Loss be Managed?

Sensorineural hearing loss triggered by COVID-19 can certainly be permanent. There may be a few treatment options depending on certain variables. As a matter of fact, researchers have already recognized that steroid treatments appear to help safeguard your hearing, particularly if you get early treatment. 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 move to visit us and undergo a hearing examination.

There are a few qualifiers to all of this that are worth pointing out. First and foremost, hearing loss does seem to be a relatively uncommon symptom of COVID. At the moment, we’re not certain how common this symptom is. But as scientists learn more about COVID-19 the science will adjust.

Can COVID Induced Hearing Loss be Prevented?

If you have sudden changes in your hearing and you have COVID-19 get in touch with your doctor and schedule a hearing examination with us. Lasting hearing loss can be reduced by quick response.

Try to avoid getting sick: Protecting yourself from contracting COVID-19 is the best way to avoid this kind of hearing loss. This means following guidelines when it comes to social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.

While this particular symptom is uncommon, it still happens. And you will be that much better off with more knowledge about hearing loss and COIVID. It’s a good idea to come in for a test if you think you have 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.