Hearing Health Blog

Woman protects her hearing health by wearing a mask.

One of the most uncommon symptoms of COVID-19 is that it can temporarily dampen your senses of taste and smell. We know that one of the first signs is loss of the sense of smell. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense impacted by COVID-19. Sensorineural hearing loss is an uncommon and permanent issue according to new findings.

How Can COVID-19 Cause Hearing Loss?

Scientists are learning more about COVID-19 every single day. But there’s still a great deal we don’t understand. The virus itself was only first observed late in 2019. Usually, scientists work for years, if not decades, to thoroughly identify a new pathogen. One thing we’re discovering about COVID is that it affects different individuals in a lot of different ways (making it a really difficult and challenging nemesis).

You may experience a wide array of symptoms. And one of those symptoms is irreversible hearing loss. Scientists still aren’t certain why that is. It may be something called “cellular stress” caused by the virus. Some cells (such as the cells in your ear) will start to breakdown, according to this hypothesis, because the virus puts so much stress on the body. But this kind of hearing loss might also be a result of your body’s own immune response. Occasionally, your immune system can go into overdrive and ends up contributing to significant damage to your body.

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 precisely known. We are also clueless why it’s more or less likely to happen.

Is There Any Treatment For This Type of Hearing Loss?

Irreversible sensorineural hearing loss is possible with COVID-19. Needless to say, there are a lot of variables, and there are some treatments, too. It’s already been discovered that early steroid treatments seem to help protect your hearing from further damage. It’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible if you experience sudden hearing loss.

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

But it’s worth noting that there are a couple of qualifiers to all of this. First and foremost, hearing loss does seem to be a relatively uncommon symptom of COVID. We don’t know yet how common this particular symptom is yet. But it’s likely that the science on COVID will keep updating and changing as scientists learn more.

Can COVID Related Hearing Loss be Prevented?

If you have sudden changes in your hearing and you have COVID-19 contact your doctor and schedule a hearing test with us. Long-term hearing loss can be reduced by rapid response.

Try to avoid getting sick: The best way to prevent COVID-related hearing loss is to do whatever you can to steer clear of contracting COVID in the first place. This means following guidelines when it comes to social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.

This symptom does happen though it’s rare. And the more information you have about COVID and hearing loss, the better. If you think you’ve already had hearing damage, it’s probably a good idea to come in and get tested.

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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.
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