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Fox News Feature—Dr. Heidi Sorrells Explains the Potential Link Between Tinnitus & COVID

by | Feb 7, 2023 | Expert Insights, Hearing Loss, Industry News, Local News, Patient Resources, Tinnitus

Recently, I was featured on the local news to discuss the potential link between tinnitus and COVID.

Stephanie, a tinnitus sufferer, experienced a debilitating ringing in her ears after having COVID-19.

Tinnitus has made it difficult for her to enjoy life with her family, as she avoids large crowds and loud noises that could potentially trigger her symptoms.

Though there is little support for a correlation between COVID-19 and tinnitus, through my years of experience treating thousands of local people in Lake Charles I have found it isn’t uncommon to experience tinnitus after having any virus, such as a cold.

To help my patients, I always suggest finding the root cause of tinnitus, which could be any of the following –

  • Hearing loss
  • Middle ear infections
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • High blood pressure

Treatment options include hearing aids, stress reduction, and tinnitus management therapy. Stephanie hopes to bring awareness to the issue and see more research and better treatment available in her area.

Unfortunately, only a few people understand tinnitus and just how common it is.

Raising awareness is part of our pledge to this community, so we want to ensure everyone knows what tinnitus is and how to treat it should it affect you or your family.

Link Between Tinnitus & COVID

There is no direct link between COVID and tinnitus, but it is common to see tinnitus creep up in similar illnesses.

Scientifically speaking, we have not connected the dots, but history shows that people with a cold or similar symptoms can develop tinnitus.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is defined as the perception of sound, in one or both ears or in the head, that is not externally produced. It is usually described as –

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Hissing
  • Clicking

This can vary in pitch from low to high.

Tinnitus is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying problem. It is commonly associated with hearing loss but can also be caused by acoustic trauma, a side effect of certain medications, or a symptom of a medical condition such as Meniere’s disease.

Tinnitus can be temporary or permanent, and while there is no cure, there are treatments that can help manage the symptoms.

How To Manage Tinnitus

  • Avoid loud noises
  • Try white noise or other sound therapy
  • Use relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing
  • Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory
  • Try an auditory training program
  • Consider a hearing aid
  • Manage your stress level
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine
  • Exercise regularly
  • Consult with a medical professional

What Are the First Steps to Treating Tinnitus?

If you or a loved one is experiencing tinnitus, seek medical advice to identify the underlying cause and discuss treatment options.

Treatment options may include lifestyle changes, such as –

  • Avoiding loud noises
  • Reducing stress levels
  • Avoiding certain medications
  • Using hearing aids
  • Receiving sound therapy

We can only establish a tailored treatment plan once we perform a comprehensive assessment.

Schedule yours right here as the first step to managing your tinnitus.

We are happy to answer any questions over the phone if you need clarification on the process. Please call us anytime for a quick chat about your specific situation and what we can do to help.

We are always standing by to help everyone here in Lake Charles.

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Dr. Heidi J Sorrells - Audiologist

Dr. Heidi J. Sorrells obtained her doctorate degree from Salus University in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota. She is a certified audiologist by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and she holds a Louisiana and a Texas audiology license. Dr. Sorrells enjoys all aspects of working in a private practice audiology clinic but especially loves the challenges of vestibular (balance) assessment and rehabilitation.