TINNITUS can be made worse by Covid-19 according to a study by Anglia Ruskin University – 40% of people with tinnitus who developed coronavirus symptoms experienced a worsening of their tinnitus . Further research also shows that tinnitus has been identified as a common symptom in ongoing symptomatic Covid-19 and post-Covid-19 syndrome .
And while research by Specsavers shows that as many as 94% of people are aware of tinnitus, only 6% know about the link with Covid, something which is of concern for more than half of people when becoming aware .
David Stockdale, Chief Executive of the British Tinnitus Association (BTA), says: ‘With the Covid-19 virus and the social measures taken to keep us safe found to worsen tinnitus symptoms in a high proportion of people, it’s important that people are aware of the support that is available – Tinnitus Week aims to do this.’
Tinnitus is the perception of noises in the ear that sound as if they’re internal, rather than coming from an outside source. Sounds can include ringing, buzzing, whistling, humming and hissing, and can be constant or occasional and occur at different volumes.
While it isn’t a condition in itself, it is often a symptom of something underlying, such as age-related hearing loss, an ear injury or a circulatory system disorder – but it is very common and most people will have experienced tinnitus at some point. Research shows that almost a fifth (19%) of 18-34-year-olds have experienced tinnitus, increasing to almost a quarter (24%) of 45-54-year-old’s and a third (33%) of those aged 65 and over .
Specsavers Chief Audiologist, Gordon Harrison, says: ‘Tinnitus is very common and can occur at any age. Although it is more common in people who have a hearing loss or other ear problems, it can also occur in people who don’t suffer with a hearing loss, particularly if they don’t protect their hearing.’
‘People who work in noisy environments should always make sure that they are wearing hearing protection, especially those who work with amplified music, loud machinery and those who are exposed to loud bangs.
‘You also need to exercise caution when you’re wearing headphones – to stay safe you should never listen to your music above 60% volume and you should give your ears a break every hour or so too.’
A variety of support is available for tinnitus sufferers depending on symptoms.