Objective: To determine the tinnitus severity and quality of life of patients with tinnitus followed before and during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
Materials and Methods: Tinnitus-related distress and quality of life were assessed before and during the COVID-19 lock-down period. The primary outcome was the mean change on the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI), the Mini-tinnitus Questionnaire (TQ 12-T), and the Short-form Health Survey (SF-36). Besides, all participants filled out an evaluation form, underwent audiological assessment, tinnitus mapping, and were administered mini-interviews regarding their tinnitus.
Results: We recruited 44 patients with tinnitus (22 females and 22 males, mean age: 50.25±14.51 years). Comparison of changes in mean score from baseline to the lockdown period showed no differences in overall outcomes for THI and TQ 12-T. Catastrophic (p=0.002), physical pain (p=0.020), and general health (p=0.046) subscales were found to be significantly improved. Only emotional subscales (p<0.001) of THI were found to be significantly increased.
Conclusion: Although the COVID-19 lockdown period for patients with tinnitus is a major source of stress, they did not show any increase in their tinnitus-related distress, except for the emotional state.