Audiology Associates of North Florida - Tallahassee, FL

Woman protects her hearing health by wearing a mask.

One of the most unusual 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 symptoms of infection. But your sense of smell and taste aren’t the only sense affected by COVID-19. Sensorineural hearing loss is an unusual and permanent issue according to new findings.

How is Hearing Loss Caused by COVID-19?

Every day scientists are finding out more with regards to COVID-19. But there’s still a great deal we don’t know. The virus itself was only first observed late in 2019. Usually, scientists work for years, if not decades, to thoroughly describe a new pathogen. And COVIC-19 is particularly challenging because it impacts different individuals in different ways.

You could experience a wide variety of symptoms. And irreversible hearing loss can be one of them. Why this occurs is still not evident. It may be something known as “cellular stress” caused by the virus. Based on this hypothesis, COVID puts so much strain on your body that some cells (such as those responsible for hearing) begin to break down. But this form of hearing loss could also be the result of your body’s own immune reaction. Occasionally, 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 show up. The exact timing isn’t really known. Nor do we have a solid understanding of what type of underlying circumstances might cause COVID-related hearing loss to be more or less likely to happen.

Can This Hearing Loss be Treated?

Sensorineural hearing loss caused by COVID-19 can definitely be permanent. Needless to say, there are a lot of variables, and there are a few treatments, too. It’s already been discovered 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 hearing loss.

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

There are several qualifiers to all of this that should be pointed out. First and foremost, hearing loss does seem to be a fairly uncommon symptom of COVID. Right now, 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 schedule a hearing exam with us. An early response could help decrease lasting hearing loss.

Try to stay healthy: Protecting yourself from getting COVID-19 is the best way to prevent this kind of hearing loss. So with regards to things such as social distancing, social gatherings, and wearing a mask, follow the guidelines.

This symptom does happen though it’s rare. And the more information you have concerning COVID and hearing loss, the better. It’s a good choice to come in for a test 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.
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