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Woman protects her hearing health by wearing a mask.

One of the most unusual symptoms of COVID-19 is that it can temporarily deaden your senses of taste and smell. We recognize that one of the first symptoms is loss of the sense of smell. But COVID-19 impacts more than just your sense of taste and smell. Sensorineural hearing loss is an unusual and permanent problem according to new findings.

How is Hearing Loss Triggered by COVID-19?

Every day scientists are discovering more with regards to COVID-19. But there’s still a lot we don’t understand. 2019 is when the virus was first observed. Usually, scientists work for years, even decades, to thoroughly describe a new pathogen. One thing we’re discovering about COVID is that it impacts different people in a lot of different ways (making it a particularly difficult and challenging problem).

There are lots of symptoms you can experience. And permanent hearing loss is sometimes one of them. Researchers still aren’t sure why that happens. The virus may be triggering a response called “cellular stress”. According to this theory, COVID places so much strain on your body that some cells (like those responsible for hearing) start to deteriorate. But your body’s own immune response could also be responsible for this kind of hearing loss. On occasion, your immune system can go into overdrive and winds up causing considerable damage to your body.

It’s also worth noting that sometimes this hearing loss can first appear when other COVID symptoms are on their way out. The actual timing isn’t really understood. We also have no clue why it’s more or less likely to happen.

Can This Hearing Loss be Treated?

Irreversible sensorineural hearing loss is possible as a result of COVID-19. Naturally, there are many variables, and there are some treatments, too. In fact, researchers have already recognized that steroid treatments appear to help preserve your hearing, especially if you get early treatment. If you do experience sudden loss of hearing, you should speak with a doctor.

In either case, once you’ve completely recovered from your COVID-19 experience, it may be a smart move to visit us and get a hearing test.

There are a few qualifiers to all of this that should be pointed out. Hearing loss, first off, isn’t a very common COVID symptom. Right now, we’re not certain how common this symptom is. But it’s likely that the science on COVID will keep updating and changing as scientists discover more.

Can You Prevent COVID-Induced Hearing Loss?

Presently, if you’re already suffering with COVID, you should let us or your doctor know right away if you have any sudden change to your hearing. Lasting hearing loss can be minimized by quick response.

Try to avoid getting sick: The best way to protect against COVID-related hearing loss is to do whatever you can to steer clear of 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 you will be substantially better off with more knowledge about hearing loss and COIVID. It’s a good idea to come in for an assessment 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.