Hearing Sciences
The CHEAR logo, with an ear in the C and a coronavirus in the R

CHEAR study

COVID and Hearing, a study examining the effects of Covid-19 on hearing, tinnitus and balance.

Thank you for your interest, however, this study is no longer actively recruiting new participants. If you are already taking part and have a query, please contact us via chear@nottingham.ac.uk

1. Why are we doing this study?

Some scientists and clinicians have suggested that Covid-19 may possibly have an impact on patient’s hearing, cause or worsen tinnitus (ringing or other sounds in the ears) or affect one’s balance. Others have suggested that some treatments for Covid-19 may also affect hearing, tinnitus, or balance. However, no research has been done to assess these hearing-related outcomes following recovery from Covid-19. Therefore, the short and longer-term implications of Covid-19 for hearing health are largely unknown. For some people, hearing loss, tinnitus and/or balance problems can make day to day life difficult. There are many options for treatment and support available for these conditions, and it is best if any problems can be identified and diagnosed early. The information gained from this study will help us find out if there are any effects of Covid-19 infection and/or treatment on hearing, tinnitus and balance. If an effect is found, it will help make sure a support system is created to help those whose hearing health is impacted by Covid-19.

2. Who can take part?

To examine if there are links between Covid-19 and hearing health, we aim to recruit participants over 16 who have been referred to NUH for Covid-19-related illness or had a positive test for Covid-19 or are self-reporting experiencing Covid-19 symptoms.

3. What will the study involve?

Table of CHEAR study stages
  Location Duration Activity
Stage 1 Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, Ropewalk House, or NUH clinic Approx. 2 hours

Some quick, simple tests which will allow us to get a comprehensive overview of your hearing and balance levels.

During your visit we will also ask you to complete some questionnaires regarding lifestyle, Covid-19 symptoms, changes in stress, hearing, tinnitus and balance.

Stage 2 At home Up to 2 years' periodic follow-up

Recommended once a month:
Completing an online hearing test. You will need an internet-connected device (computer, tablet, or phone) and a pair of headphones.

Approximately every 3 months:
Completing online questionnaires about changes to your levels of stress, hearing, tinnitus and balance. You will need an internet-connected device (computer, tablet, or phone).

4. How long will the study take?

We will follow participants for a period of up to 2 years to see if new problems emerge over time, or if existing problems change.

5. I think I would like to take part or I have more questions, who should I contact?

Please email the CHEAR team at chear@nottingham.ac.uk.

Hearing Sciences

Mental Health & Clinical Neuroscience
School of Medicine
University of Nottingham
Medical School, QMC
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

telephone: University Park +44 (0) 115 74 86900
Ropewalk House +44 (0) 115 82 32600
Glasgow +44 (0) 141 242 9665
email: hearing-research@nottingham.ac.uk