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The COVID-19 crisis and lockdown have dramatically changed everyday life for people all over the world, and one of the most unpredictable effects the situation has had is an increase in hearing loss and tinnitus. People struggling with these conditions have faced additional difficulties in their everyday lives due to COVID-19 restrictions, and the virus itself could entail a higher risk of hearing loss.

COVID-19 May Cause Hearing Loss

A study conducted at the University of Manchester seems to indicate that hearing loss has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the virus could damage the nerve structures that carry auditory information to the brain. The study also linked Guillain-Barre syndrome to auditory neuropathy and COVID-19. COVID-19 might increase the risk of hearing loss for those who contract the virus.

Stress-Induced Tinnitus

Another recently observed development from the COVID-19 crisis is an increased level of tinnitus cases requiring medical treatment. Tinnitus is a chronic condition characterized by persistent ringing sounds in one or both ears. This condition can develop gradually over time and reach unbearable levels, or a person may develop it after a specific incident, such as attending a loud concert without hearing protection.

Audiologists have noticed that many people are now reporting tinnitus without experiencing acute damage to their hearing or ears. Anxiety and depression caused by the COVID-19 situation are responsible for a sharp increase in tinnitus cases, and these psychological factors are exacerbating preexisting cases of tinnitus for many. This reaction occurs due to the interaction between stress and the human limbic system. Tinnitus can be a symptom of an overtaxed limbic system, and stress and anxiety can exacerbate this breakdown.

Seeking Treatment for COVID-19-Related Hearing Issues

If the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown restrictions in your area have made your life stressful, or if you have developed symptoms of an anxiety disorder or depression due to the impact the virus has had on your life, hearing loss is a potential risk. This is especially true if you have tested positive for COVID-19.

In the event you need specific medical advice for your COVID-19-related hearing problems, Victoria Hearing Center is here to help. We maintain full compliance with all Victoria, TX, COVID-19 policies and regulations to ensure team and patient safety. We would be happy to provide you with the guidance you need to handle the lockdown with greater confidence and comfort. Contact us today for more information about treatment for COVID-19-related hearing loss and stress-induced tinnitus.

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200731/another-side-effect-of-covid-19—-lasting-hearing-problems#:~:text=It%20is%20possible%2C%20in,middle%20ear%20or%20cochlea.

Why Coronavirus Stress Can Spike Tinnitus and How to Manage It

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7151386/

https://www.starkey.com/blog/articles/2020/06/can-covid-cause-hearing-loss