Woman protects her hearing health by wearing a mask.

COVID-19 has some uncommon symptoms such as dampening your sense of smell and taste. Indeed, loss of smell is often one of the first signs of infection. But COVID-19 affects more than just your sense of smell and taste. New discoveries are uncovering an unusual, but longer-term problem: irreversible sensorineural hearing loss.

How is Hearing Loss Triggered by COVID-19?

Scientists are learning more about COVID-19 every single day. But there’s still a lot we don’t understand. 2019 is when the virus was first observed. New pathogens often take years or even decades for scientists to describe. One thing we’re discovering about COVID is that it impacts different individuals in countless different ways (making it a really difficult and challenging problem).

You might experience a wide variety of symptoms. And one of those symptoms is irreversible hearing loss. Why this occurs is still not evident. The virus could be causing a reaction known as “cellular stress”. Some cells (like the cells in your ear) will start to breakdown, according to this theory, because the virus puts so much strain on the body. But this kind of hearing loss might also be a result of your body’s own immune reaction. Sometimes, your immune system can go into high gear and ends up contributing to considerable damage to your body.

Additionally, when other COVID symptoms are almost gone, this hearing loss can still become apparent. The exact timing isn’t completely understood. Nor do we have a good grasp 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 caused by COVID-19 can indeed be permanent. Of course, there are a lot of variables, and there are some treatments, too. Actually, researchers have noticed already that steroid treatments appear to help safeguard your hearing, especially if you get early treatment. It’s essential to see a doctor right away if you experience sudden loss of hearing.

Having a hearing test after your COVID has passed is always a good idea.

There are several qualifiers to all of this that are worth pointing out. Hearing loss, first off, isn’t a very common COVID symptom. We don’t know yet how prevalent this particular symptom is at this point. But as scientists discover more about COVID-19 the science will change.

Can COVID Induced Hearing Loss be Prevented?

Presently, if you’re already suffering with COVID, you should let us or your doctor know right away if hearing changes suddenly. Long-term hearing loss can be reduced by quick response.

Try to remain healthy: The best way to protect against COVID-related hearing loss is to do everything possible to avoid contracting 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 occurs. And the more facts you have concerning COVID and hearing loss, the better. It’s a good idea to come in for a test if you think you’ve suffered hearing damage.

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