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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 deaden your senses of taste and smell. Indeed, loss of smell is often one of the initial signs of infection. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense impacted by COVID-19. New studies are pointing to an unusual, but longer-term issue: permanent sensorineural hearing loss.

How is Hearing Loss Caused by COVID-19?

Every day scientists are finding out more about COVID-19. But there’s still a great deal we don’t know. The virus itself was only first discovered late in 2019. Normally, scientists work for years, even decades, to thoroughly describe a new pathogen. And COVIC-19 is especially challenging because it effects different people in different ways.

There are a wide variety of symptoms you can suffer from. And irreversible hearing loss can be one of them. Why this occurs is still not known. It might be something called “cellular stress” caused by the virus. Based on this hypothesis, COVID puts so much stress on your body that some cells (such as those responsible for hearing) start to break down. But your body’s own immune response might 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 appear when other COVID symptoms are almost gone. The exact timing isn’t precisely understood. We also don’t have a solid grasp of what type of underlying circumstances would cause COVID-related hearing loss to be more or less likely to take place.

Can This Hearing Loss be Managed?

Permanent sensorineural hearing loss is possible as a result of COVID-19. There may be some treatment possibilities depending on certain variables. It’s already been observed that early steroid treatments appear to help protect your hearing from added damage. It’s essential to see a doctor as soon as possible if you experience sudden loss of hearing.

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. Hearing loss, first off, is not a very common COVID symptom. At the moment, we’re not sure how common this symptom is. But it’s likely that the science on COVID will continue to update and change as scientists learn more.

Can COVID Induced Hearing Loss be Avoided?

If you have sudden changes in your hearing and you have COVID-19 contact your doctor and make an appointment for a hearing exam with us. An early response could help decrease long-term hearing loss.

Try to remain healthy: Safeguarding yourself from getting COVID-19 is the best way to avoid this kind of hearing loss. So when it comes to things such as social distancing, social gatherings, and wearing a mask, stick to the guidelines.

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 suffered hearing damage, it’s definitely a wise decision 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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