Tinnitus — a condition characterized by whooshing, ringing, buzzing and hissing noises in the ear — can be triggered by a variety of factors, including exposure to loud noises, inner ear damage and stress. And while experts say the stress of the pandemic could be linked to worsening tinnitus symptoms, there’s growing evidence that the virus itself could also play a role.
It appears that Covid-19 worsen Tinnitus
Lots of people from all over the world suffer from tinnitus, nowadays. That annoying symptom can be triggered by a series of factors, including exposure to loud noises, ear damage, and stress. Covid-19 accounts for the worsening of several health conditions, including tinnitus. Although scientists have yet to determine if the stress of the pandemic worsens tinnitus or the virus itself could play a role, we can suspect there is a link between this pandemic and tinnitus.
I’ve had a constant high-pitched buzzing in my ear for the past 20 years, but there is no doubt that this is the worst my tinnitus has ever been,” said Rebecca Edgar, 29, of Essex County in southeast England. “I’m deaf in one ear, and I’m so scared that catching Covid-19 could destroy what’s left of my hearing.
A recent study published in the journal ”Frontiers in Public Health” revealed that 40% of people suffering from Covid-19 claimed a worsening of their tinnitus symptoms, as well. One-third of participants in this study who had tinnitus before the outbreak of the pandemic reported that a combination of lifestyle, emotional and social factors during the pandemic made their condition worse.
Another study published in the ”International Journal of Audiology” found that 15% of hospitalized Covid-19 patients claimed that their earing had worsened due to the virus.
“A lot of viruses do affect the ear, so it is possible that being infected with the SARS-Cov-2 virus did cause tinnitus in some people,” said Beukes, referring to the virus that causes Covid-19. “However, people who go through really stressful periods can also develop tinnitus as a result of that stress.”
Covid-19 multiple symptoms
Although Covid-19 is a respiratory virus, it has been linked with several symptoms outside the respiratory system.
A prominent symptom is the loss of smell and scientists try to relate the mechanism behind this symptom with hearing loss. Coronavirus can damage the tiny blood vessels in the ears and the damage could last even after the virus is gone.
There is also, evidence that any hearing damage caused by the virus has to do with our immune system’s response and not with the virus itself. The human body may unintentionally attack its own organs as a response to the intruder coronavirus.
Relationship between Tinnitus and Covid-19 under study
More research is needed to fully understand the relationship between coronavirus and tinnitus. Kevin Munro, director of the Manchester Centre for Audiology in the UK will soon start a new study that’ll focus on the real mechanisms under which the virus can directly affect the mechanisms around our ability to hear.
He also wishes to fully understand why some people suffering from Covid-19 have experienced a worsening in their hearing ability and others don’t. The fear people already suffering from tinnitus have in case they catch coronavirus is quite prominent.
Rebecca Edgar, 29 years old, struggles to fall asleep at night because the ringing in her ears becomes louder and the whole stress around the new pandemic makes things worse. Rebecca fears that catching the virus will make the current condition worse and unfortunately, there is evidence that her fears may come true.
Tinnitus is a symptom with several underlying causes. The ringing, hassling, buzzing, or any other sound you may experience all of a sudden can be quite annoying and affect your everyday life.
Although there are several methods that can alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus, there are nowadays, evidence that this condition is closely related to coronavirus.
In each case, it is vital that more research is performed to fully understand the relationship between tinnitus and the current pandemic our world suffers from. That will help patients suffering from tinnitus cope with this condition efficiently and avoid getting overly stressed or anxious over it.