Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

Woman protects her hearing health by wearing a mask.

COVID-19 has some uncommon symptoms including dampening your sense of taste and smell. We recognize that one of the first symptoms is loss of smell. But COVID-19 affects more than just your sense of taste and smell. Sensorineural hearing loss is an unusual and long-term problem according to new studies.

How is Hearing Loss Triggered by COVID-19?

Scientists are learning more about COVID-19 each day. But there’s still a great deal we don’t understand. 2019 is when the virus was first observed. Normally, scientists work for years, if not decades, to fully describe a new pathogen. One thing we’re discovering about COVID is that it impacts different individuals in many different ways (making it a particularly tricky and challenging problem).

There are a multitude of symptoms you can suffer from. And one of those symptoms is irreversible hearing loss. Why this happens is still unknown. It could be something known as “cellular stress” caused by the virus. Some cells (such as the cells in your ear) will start to deteriorate, according to this hypothesis, because the virus puts so much stress on the body. But your body’s own immune response might also be responsible for this type of hearing loss. Significant 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 actual timing isn’t really known. Nor do we have a good grasp of what type of underlying conditions would cause COVID-related hearing loss to be more or less likely to take place.

Is There Any Treatment For This Sort of Hearing Loss?

Permanent sensorineural hearing loss is possible with COVID-19. Needless to say, there are a lot of variables, and there are a few treatments, also. It’s already been discovered that early steroid treatments seem to help protect your hearing from further damage. It’s essential to see a doctor right away if you experience sudden loss of hearing.

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

There are a few qualifiers to all of this that should be pointed out. First and foremost, hearing loss does appear to be a relatively uncommon symptom of COVID. At the moment, we’re not sure how prevalent this symptom is. But as scientists learn more about COVID-19 the science will change.

Can You Avoid COVID-Related Hearing Loss?

If you have sudden changes in your hearing and you have COVID-19 get in touch with your doctor and make an appointment for a hearing exam with us. An early response may help lessen lasting hearing loss.

Try to remain healthy: The best way to prevent COVID-related hearing loss is to do everything possible to avoid getting 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.

This symptom does happen though it’s rare. And the more insight you have about COVID and hearing loss, the better. It’s a good decision 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.
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