A new study looking at the experiences of people with tinnitus worldwide during the Covid-19 pandemic has found that nearly half (46%) of UK sufferers report that their tinnitus has been made worse due to the impact of lockdown and lifestyle changes.

People living with tinnitus in the UK were most likely to report how the pandemic has negatively affected their tinnitus, compared to those in other countries. Overall, women and younger people (under 50) were more likely to report a worsening of their tinnitus since the start of the health crisis.

The researchers – a collaboration led by Dr Eldré Beukes from Anglia Ruskin University and including the British Tinnitus Association – also found that 4 out of 10 people who had had Covid-19 symptoms reported that their tinnitus more bothersome. This is a higher figure than the previous University of Manchester study.

The research team suggests that these worse affected groups may have been impacted by factors such as social distancing restrictions, changes in employment, increased childcare, and household responsibilities.

These findings back up the experience of our Tinnitus Support Team, as the people who have contacted us are often reporting tinnitus “spikes” or increased distress caused by their tinnitus. 

We are continuing to provide our support services as we have done throughout the pandemic, including our helpline, text/SMS, email, web chat, online support groups, webinars and online workshops.

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Beukes EW, Baguley DM, Jacquemin L, Lourenco MPCG, Allen PM, Onozuka J, Stockdale D, Kaldo V, Andersson G and Manchaiah V (2020). Changes in tinnitus experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic. Frontiers in Public Health 8:592878. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.592878