Tinnitus and Covid-19 FAQs

Frequently asked questions about coronavirus and tinnitus

Here are some common questions we have been receiving regarding tinnitus and Covid-19. If you have concerns about anything else related to tinnitus, please do get in touch.

Possibly. A study by audiologists at the University of Manchester found that 6.6% of patients who had been hospitalised for Covid-19 reported developing tinnitus. 

We already know that some viruses can cause hearing loss or damage the nerves that carry information to and from the brain. However, more research needs to be done to confirm whether Covid-19 has the same effect. 

Tinnitus, along with many other health conditions, has been listed as a symptom of long Covid. The onset of tinnitus, or the worsening of existing tinnitus, may be as a result of the initial infection itself, changes to your physical wellbeing or stress.

A recent study showed that around 38% of people with long Covid experienced tinnitus, but that it was generally temporary and improved over time.

The short answer is no. In the trials prior to release, no mention was made of the onset or worsening of tinnitus for any of the Covid-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK. 

We are closely monitoring the safety update reports from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and will update our vaccine page with any important updates. 

However, factors associated with having a vaccination, such as stress, anxiety and feeling unwell, are common triggers of tinnitus and could contribute to making it more intrusive. 

If you are concerned, please discuss your worries with your GP or with the medical professionals at the vaccination centre, as they will be able to advise you. If you do experience any side effects, please report them using the MHRA’s Yellow Card Scheme. 

No, it wasn’t just you. Looking at the experiences of people with tinnitus worldwide during the Covid-19 pandemic, research showed that 46% of UK sufferers reported their tinnitus had been made worse due to the impact of lockdown and the lifestyle changes we all had to go through. These include being more isolated, feeling anxious and being more stressed.

Lots of people let know that their tinnitus changed or got worse during, so you are not alone.

Home is probably much quieter and calmer than being in an office or busy working environment which can mean you notice your tinnitus more. Also, a lack of face-to-face interactions, video calls and online meetings can all lead to higher levels of stress and anxiety.

If possible, try and relax where you can, practise relaxation techniques, breathing exercises and take time for yourself to do the things you enjoy when you aren’t working. See our What can I do section for more information and contact our Tinnitus Support Team.

Working from home may mean you find yourself using headsets more often. Here are some tips about how to make sure you are using them safely.  

  • Make sure you have the volume switched down. 
  • Noise cancelling headsets / headphones can help. They block out external sounds which means you can keep the volume of the headphones low.  
  • Bone conduction headsets may be another option as they transmit the sound through your cheekbones instead of your ears. 
  • Take regular breaks to give your ears a rest.  
  • Use the speakers on your computer or phone so that you don’t have to wear headphones all the time.  

Anxiety and stress can have a real impact on tinnitus, so keep doing the things you enjoy. Speak to family and friends and try to keep to as normal a routine as possible. 

Our free e-learning resource, ‘Take on Tinnitus’ has lots of short modules which you work through at your own pace. Each will give you more information on tinnitus and management techniques. It’s available all day, every day. 

Talking with other people can help too. Online and in-person tinnitus support groups can connect you with others in a similar situation. We also run workshops and webinars. 

We are here to help you. You can contact our Tinnitus Support Team for help and advice. We are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Our Tinnitus Support Team can answer your questions on any tinnitus related topics:

Telephone: 0800 018 0527

Web chat: – click on the icon

Email: helpline@tinnitus.org.uk 

Text/SMS: 07537 416841

If you have medical questions, you should contact your GP or audiologist.