Hearing Services of Nashville

Woman protects her hearing health by wearing a mask.

One of the most unusual symptoms of COVID-19 is that it can temporarily dampen your senses of smell and taste. Indeed, loss of smell is often one of the first indications of infection. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense affected by COVID-19. New studies are pointing to an uncommon, but longer-term issue: long lasting sensorineural hearing loss.

How is Hearing Loss Triggered by COVID-19?

Every day scientists are discovering more with regards to COVID-19. But we’re truly in the dark in a lot of ways. 2019 is when the virus was first observed. New pathogens normally take years or decades for scientists to describe. One thing we’re discovering about COVID is that it impacts different people in countless different ways (making it an especially tricky and challenging problem).

You could experience a wide variety of symptoms. And irreversible hearing loss can be one of them. Why this happens is still not known. The virus might be creating a response called “cellular stress”. Some cells (such as the cells in your ear) will begin to breakdown, according to this hypothesis, because the virus puts so much strain on the body. But this form of hearing loss could also be a result of your body’s own immune reaction. On occasion, your immune system can go into overdrive and winds up causing significant damage to your body.

Also, when other COVID symptoms are going away, this hearing loss can still show up. Again, we aren’t really sure why this takes place. Nor do we have a solid understanding of what type of underlying conditions might cause COVID-related hearing loss to become more or less likely to happen.

Is There Any Treatment For This Type of Hearing Loss?

Sensorineural hearing loss from COVID-19 can certainly be permanent. There might be a few treatment options depending on specific variables. It’s already been observed that early steroid treatments appear to help protect your hearing from further damage. If you do experience sudden loss of hearing, you need to talk to a doctor.

Either way, once you’ve fully recovered from your COVID-19 experience, it may be a good idea to visit us and have a hearing test.

But it’s worth pointing out that there are a few qualifiers to all of this. Hearing loss, first off, is not a very common COVID symptom. We don’t know yet how prevalent this particular symptom is yet. But as scientists learn more about COVID-19 the science will adjust.

Can COVID Related Hearing Loss be Prevented?

Presently, if you already have COVID, you should let us or your doctor know as soon as possible if hearing changes suddenly. An early response could help lessen lasting hearing loss.

Try to remain healthy: 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 when it comes to things such as social distancing, social gatherings, and wearing a mask, stick to the guidelines.

While this particular symptom isn’t common, it still occurs. And you will be that much 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’ve 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.
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