As we’ve become all too aware, a virus can often seem to come out of nowhere and cause a variety of frustrating, sometimes scary, symptoms. Viruses can be as mild as the common cold or as severe as Ebola. What you may not know, is that some viruses have also been linked to hearing loss.
Here’s what you need to know about the connection between viruses and hearing loss.
What is a virus?
We hear a lot about them, but what is a virus? By definition, a virus is “an infectious agent that can only replicate within a host organism.” They are microscopic in size but can be powerful and adaptable, posing a risk to the bacteria, plants, animals, and even people they infect.
Which viruses are linked to hearing loss?
If we’ve learned anything lately, it’s that every virus is different, and every virus affects every person a little differently. With that said, several viruses put us at higher risk for hearing loss, whether that is congenital hearing loss or a loss that happens due to a virus later in life. Here are the viruses most commonly linked with hearing loss:
The good news is that science is making great strides in preventing, identifying, and managing viruses like these to help keep us healthy and hearing well. The most important step you can take, besides washing your hands, is to follow physician recommendations for testing if you are pregnant, have a child showing symptoms of hearing loss, or a virus, or you are showing signs of a virus.
If you find yourself with sudden hearing loss, contact your hearing healthcare provider or physician to determine the reason, viral or other. The sooner it is identified and the reason treated, the better chance of avoiding permanent hearing loss.