Woman protects her hearing health by wearing a mask.

COVID-19 has a few uncommon symptoms including dampening your sense of smell and taste. We recognize that one of the first signs is loss of smell. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense affected by COVID-19. New findings are pointing to an unusual, but longer-term issue: permanent sensorineural hearing loss.

How is Hearing Loss Caused by COVID-19?

Each day scientists are discovering more with regards to COVID-19. But we’re truly in the dark in a lot of ways. The virus itself was only first observed in late 2019. New pathogens normally take years or even decades for scientists to describe. One thing we do know about COVID is that it affects different people in countless different ways (making it an especially difficult and challenging nemesis).

There are numerous symptoms you can experience. And one of those symptoms is permanent hearing loss. Researchers still aren’t certain why that is. It could be something called “cellular stress” caused by the virus. Some cells (such as the cells in your ear) will begin to breakdown, according to this theory, because the virus puts so much stress on the body. 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 goes into overdrive.

Additionally, when other COVID symptoms are almost gone, this hearing loss can still become apparent. The exact timing isn’t completely understood. We also don’t have a good understanding of what type of underlying circumstances 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 caused by COVID-19 can indeed be permanent. 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. It’s essential to see a doctor as soon as possible if you experience sudden loss of hearing.

In either case, once you’ve fully recovered from your COVID-19 situation, it may be a good idea to visit us and undergo a hearing examination.

There are several qualifiers to all of this that should be pointed out. Hearing loss, first off, isn’t a very common COVID symptom. 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 Related Hearing Loss be Avoided?

Presently, if you’re already suffering with COVID, you should let us or your doctor know as soon as possible if hearing changes suddenly. Lasting hearing loss can be lessened by rapid response.

Try to prevent getting sick: The best way to prevent COVID-related hearing loss is to do everything possible to steer clear of 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 facts you have about COVID and hearing loss, the better. It’s a good choice to come in for an evaluation 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.

Main Line Audiology Consultants, PC