CEO suicide raises questions about COVID and tinnitus

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– An audiology professor who co-authored a paper on COVID-19 and tinnitus that was published on Monday got a great response: about 100 emails in 24 hours, Kevin Munro of the University of Manchester told the New York Times. “Almost all of them were people who said, ‘I was very happy to read about this, because my doctor thought I was crazy when I mentioned tinnitus and now I know I’m not the only one.’ Ears are not listed by the WHO or CDC as a symptom of COVID-19 (the UK NHS lists it on a list of symptoms from long haul carriers), it turns out it could be one, and The possibility is receiving attention after Thursday, the suicide of Texas Roadhouse CEO Kent Taylor, whose family said he took his own life after suffering “excruciatingly” COVID-19-related symptoms, including severe tinnitus.

the Times see what evidence is emerging. For example, there is Munro’s article, published Monday in the Journal of International Audiology. It reviewed COVID-19 case reports and studies through December 2020 and found that “tinnitus was the most commonly documented audio-vestibular symptom … with an estimated prevalence of 14.8%.” That said, the authors urged caution on several points, including the fact that some studies relied on national tinnitus associations to reach participants. They noted that while they found no reports of audio-vestibular symptoms related to previously known coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS, other viruses such as measles and rubella are associated with hearing loss. the Washington Post looks at theories of what might be at stake, including the impact of viral inflammation on the inner ear. (Read more stories about tinnitus).


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