Scientists estimate that 14.8% of people infected with COVID-19 suffer tinnitus
In a statement dated 28 April 2021, The American Academy of Audiology, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology stated that “emerging research suggests a strong link between COVID-19 and hearing loss and vestibular problems”. They referred to a study conducted by The University of Manchester and Manchester Biomedical Research Centre wherein scientists estimate that 14.8% of people infected with COVID-19 suffer tinnitus and 7.6% experience hearing loss. The authors of the study also identified “an urgent need” for more study of the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the auditory system.
UK’s National Health Service has listed tinnitus as a symptom of the long-term effects of coronavirus.
Additionally, the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) reported a 256% rise in the number of webchats and 16% rise in the number of calls to its helpline from May to December 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.
Media reports have also highlighted the link between COVID-19 and tinnitus. Kent Taylor, a the founder of a national restaurant chain in USA, reportedly took his own life as a result of developing post COVID-19 conditions including severe tinnitus. A statement issued by his family stated that Mr. Taylor fought the condition, but “the suffering that greatly intensified in recent days became unbearable.”
Further scientific studies highlighting the full extent and evidence of whether COVID-19 causes tinnitus both on its own, or with hearing loss, are awaited.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.