McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

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COVID-19 has some unusual symptoms like dampening your sense 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 affected by COVID-19. New findings are pointing to an uncommon, but longer-term problem: irreversible sensorineural hearing loss.

How is Hearing Loss Brought on by COVID-19?

Scientists are learning more about COVID-19 every single day. But we’re truly in the dark in many ways. The virus itself was only first observed in late 2019. Normally, scientists work for years, even decades, to completely identify a new pathogen. And COVIC-19 can be especially difficult because it effects different individuals in different ways.

There are lots of symptoms you can suffer from. And one of those symptoms is permanent hearing loss. Why this happens is still unknown. It may be something known as “cellular stress” caused by the virus. Some cells (like the cells in your ear) will start to breakdown, according to this hypothesis, because the virus puts so much stress on the body. But your body’s own immune response may also be responsible for this kind of hearing loss. Considerable damage can be done to your body when your immune system goes into overdrive.

It’s also worth noting that sometimes this hearing loss can first appear when other COVID symptoms are on their way out. Again, we’re not really certain why this takes place. We also don’t have a good understanding of what kind of underlying conditions might cause COVID-related hearing loss to be more or less likely to occur.

Can This Hearing Loss be Managed?

Permanent sensorineural hearing loss is possible with COVID-19. Of course, there are a lot of variables, and there are some treatments, too. Actually, researchers have already recognized that steroid treatments seem to help preserve your hearing, especially if you get early treatment. It’s important to see a doctor right away if you experience sudden loss of hearing.

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

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

Can You Prevent COVID-Induced Hearing Loss?

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 may help lessen long-term hearing loss.

Try to remain healthy: Protecting yourself from getting COVID-19 is the best way to prevent this kind of hearing loss. This means following guidelines in regards to social gatherings, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.

This symptom does happen though it’s rare. And you will be substantially better off with more knowledge about hearing loss and COIVID. If you think you’ve already suffered hearing damage, it’s probably a wise decision to come in and get evaluated.

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