Beukes, E.W., Ulep, A., Eubank, T.N., & Manchaiah, V.
Journal of Clinical Medicine, 10(13), 2763.
Publication year: 2021

This review aimed to systematically review what has been published regarding tinnitus during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic up to March 2021 by performing both narrative and quantitative meta-analyses. Of the 181 records identified, 33 met the inclusion criteria, which generally had a fair risk of overall bias. In the included, 28 studies focused on the impact of the COVID-19 virus on tinnitus and 5 studies focused on the impact of the pandemic on tinnitus. From the studies identifying the impact of COVID-19 on tinnitus, there were 17 cross-sectional studies (n = 8913) and 11 case series or case report studies (n = 35). There were 2 cross-sectional studies (n = 3232) and 3 pre-post-test design studies (n = 326) focusing on the impact of the pandemic on tinnitus. No consistent patterns were found regarding the presentation of the tinnitus or additional factors that could have tinnitus developing in the disease impact studies. For the pandemic impact studies, the associated stress and anxiety of the pandemic were consistently suggested to contribute to tinnitus experiences. The pooled estimated prevalence of tinnitus post COVID-19 was 8% (CI: 5 to 13%). Medical professionals should be aware that tinnitus might be more problematic following the pandemic or after having COVID-19.