COVID May Cause Tinnitus

By Cara Murez
HealthDay reporter

FRIDAY, November 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Tinnitus, a common hearing problem, can be made worse by COVID-19 or possibly even triggered by the new coronavirus, new research shows.

What’s more, people with tinnitus struggle more because of the lifestyle changes forced by the pandemic, according to the study.

Tinnitus involves the perception of noise, such as ringing, in the ears and head. It is associated with reduced emotional well-being, depression, and anxiety.

“The results of this study highlight the complexities associated with experiencing tinnitus and how both internal factors, such as increased anxiety and feelings of loneliness, and external factors, such as changes in daily routines, can have a significant effect on the condition, ”study author Eldre Beukes said in a press release from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England. She is a researcher at Anglia Ruskin and Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

The researchers studied more than 3,100 people from 48 countries, most of them from the United States and the United Kingdom. They found that 40% of those who had symptoms of COVID-19 experienced worsening of their existing tinnitus. Some participants reported that their tinnitus was initially triggered by the development of coronavirus symptoms.

This could mean that tinnitus could be a “long COVID” symptom for some, according to the study.

The researchers also learned that many respondents believe that social distancing measures make their condition worse. About 46% of the UK and 29% in North America reported it.

They blamed the increase in video calls, noisier home environments, and increased coffee and alcohol consumption for their growing discomfort. About a third also cited fear of catching COVID-19, financial problems, loneliness and sleep disturbances as contributors. Women and people under the age of 50 have found their tinnitus particularly problematic during the pandemic.

The pandemic has also made it more difficult for patients to access health care for their condition, according to the study.

The results were published on November 5 in the journal Frontiers of public health.

“Improper treatment of early-stage tinnitus often leads to much worse cases, and severe tinnitus can have a huge impact on mental health,” said study co-author David Stockdale, CEO of the British Tinnitus Association.

“With this in mind, as the second wave of COVID-19 sets in, the healthcare system must ensure that anyone who develops tinnitus or experiences a worsening of their condition can access health care as quickly as possible. professionals she needs ”. he said in the statement.

More information

Learn more about tinnitus from the US National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

SOURCE: Anglia Ruskin University, press release, November 5, 2020

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