The Sound of Post-COVID Syndrome

Apr 2, 2021 | Greg Vanichkachorn | @drvan | Comments (13)

We are learning more and more about Post COVID Syndrome (PCS) every day. One symptom patients have been reporting lately is ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus.

This is a relatively common problem, affecting 12-20% of people in general. It is more common as we age and more common among males and people who smoke.  Patients can experience not just ringing, but other sounds, such as clicking, humming, and roaring. The condition can be caused by many things, including hearing loss, circulation problems, and nerve issues.  In addition, depression and anxiety can significantly worsen tinnitus. Sometimes tinnitus can be severe enough to limit your daily activities and sleep.

We do not have enough information yet to say that infection by COVID-19 or that Post COVID Syndrome causes tinnitus. However, that doesn’t mean nothing can be done to help. If tinnitus is affecting your life after COVID-19, please speak with your local primary care provider. A local audiologist may also be able to help. Finally, please visit the American Tinnitus Association website for helpful information and support, including support groups.

You're not alone. Talk with others about living with long-term symptoms in the online Post-COVID Recovery support group.

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Post-COVID Recovery blog.


Hi Joanne, I just read your post and agree with you, 100%. I too developed a very loud, high pitched ringing in my ears after my Oct. 01, 2021 Pfizer vaccines and my life has been just awful ever since. I’m driven crazy with this non stop sound that seems to vary in its intensity day to day. I’ve lost all my up beat, spunkiness and can barely get through some days. I have trouble falling asleep every night and have the tv on or a sound machine set to ocean waves. During the day I can no longer enjoy the quiet peacefulness of my home and neighborhood and have to wear headphones blasting music in my ears and my head if I want to get anything accomplished otherwise this high intensity alarm ringing in my ears makes me feel out of it, I’m unable to focus on doing ANYTHING which includes work, watching tv, conversing with others, memory, reading, following directions, making decisions, and much much more. I’ve had to pull myself out of drowning misery and depression because of this over and over and over. It makes me crazy, it’s just clogging my head up making me give up on so much because I can’t handle to complexity of everything in life, in general. I too didn’t want to get the vaccines. I too went against my inner voice and got the initial 2 shots, no boosters, no way. I do sometimes wonder if I get the boosters maybe the ringing will go away since everyone I personally know doesn’t have this side effect going on and they all got the boosters! Sometimes this ringing is so debilitating that I begin to think that maybe I should test my theory and get all the boosters and maybe the ringing will STOP, but I’m too scared because what if it gets even worse? I can’t imagine it getting any louder, I even hear it above my own voice within my head.

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I did not see the original post. I'm sorry that you all are going through what you're going through I understand I am as well. I had a popping in my ears one night, all of a sudden I had this loud ringing and I sat up because I thought it was something outside I had no idea at the time it was inside of my own ears. Not outside noise. I had to keep telling myself night after night Mind Over Matter Mind Over Matter. Otherwise it would have drove me crazy! Eventually it started to get a little less annoying to say the least. Either that or I was getting used to it. It is now gone if that's any help to you as well as any hope. Every now and then I get it and I just keep myself busy and keep saying Mind Over Matter. The last time I wrote something about Pfizer Mayo took it off here. I respect mail so I'm going to keep my mouth shut but I also had the Pfizer shot. I had five of them I will not have another shot. I've been dealing with long covered for a year and a half. I've been in the hospital five times and I refuse to accept this as my life. I went back out and started playing tennis again and started doing everything that I possibly could and push myself in some days it was hard. Whenever I couldn't have a conversation with somebody because I knew I was clueless that day I totally just avoided people. I couldn't focus on what they were saying and I couldn't remember things that they were talking about it was horrible as you know. But I will tell you it has gotten better I feel better it's taking a long time. Every now and then I'll get thrown off again but I have hope that in time it will totally be gone. I will not get another shot and I don't discourage anybody for getting one. I don't know if it was the shot or the covid nobody knows. I choose to wear a mask in public places and I know it sounds crazy but I put Zicam in my nose constantly. If I hear somebody sneeze near me I keep them in my car and I go right in my car and use one. I take autoimmune boosters. I take extra B12 I do everything I can to get my immune system back to where it should be. I keep telling myself it can always be worse. The heart issues is what scared me the most, the other stuff I can do with. Unfortunately my doctor will not discuss this with me every time I bring it up he does not believe in it that I know of because he won't discuss it he told me I have anxiety which is very upsetting. Of course I have anxiety now that I've gone through this for a year and a half who wouldn't. I don't have it bad but when I start having a health issue I used to get panicky thinking that it was going to start affecting my heart again and I was going to have to go to the emergency room. You guys hang in there, thank God for this Mayo connect site that we can go on. Because I had no body to talk to except for my supporting loving husband and my family. There's so many people that do not believe in this because they've never dealt with it. It's like when people say they have Lupus, or fibromyalgia, it's something that nobody else can see so they question it. Until they go through it!


I feel as if I have changed since dealing with Covid. There’s no good care for this! I see a pulmonologist and try to do something every day but everything is such an effort. I need a Covid casemanger/coach and there isn’t anyone like that where I live. It all makes getting olde so much more difficult

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I agree, there seems to be a lack of resources to assist in navigating these post covid symptoms. I have been dealing with post covid nausea for 8 weeks and its been personally debilitating and beyond treating symptoms, I cannot find any help to get this resolved. Of course, this causes anxiety. Any suggestions on experts others are working with would be helpful!


I am so grateful to have found these posts and Mayo Connect. These are extremely reassuring to me that I have done the right thing in listening to my “inner voice” and not getting any of the covid vaccines for fear of worsening my 30-year-long tinnitus and hearing loss. There have already been times when I thought I couldn’t live with it. My heart breaks for all of you who have told your stories here. I want to offer two ideas of things which have brought me significant relief. The first is the use of what is known as a bimodal device—the one I use was developed in the Stanford lab of neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman—and the other idea to see what happens when you greatly reduce sugar or refined carbohydrates. Some research shows that there may be a preexisting condition which predisposes some of us to tinnitus. I read some accounts of others trying this. You may find, as I did, that altering my diet made a significant difference. Don’t give up.

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