March 23, 2022, by Adele Horobin

COVID and hearing – please help us

Graphic illustrating a virus particle

Have you had COVID before?

Do you feel this has affected your hearing and balance or had no effect at all?

Seventeen more volunteers needed to complete our study on COVID and hearing! Could you be one of them?


It is two years to the day since the first national UK COVID lockdown was announced. While restrictions are now more relaxed, we are not out of the pandemic yet, and unfortunately, COVID cases are on the rise again – locally and nationally.

There is still much to learn about the lasting effects of COVID and one aspect is hearing. We know that some viruses, such as measles for instance, can damage the delicate structures involved in hearing. However, we don’t yet know what effect the coronavirus bug may or may not have on hearing. Does it cause hearing loss or make it worse? Can it bring tinnitus on? Can it effect balance? We just don’t know. Finding these answers will help people recognise and understand any lasting effects of infection. And, as so many people have had COVID, these answers will be helpful when planning NHS hearing services for years to come.

Individual having an ear examined with an otoscopeHearing researchers at the University of Nottingham and the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre launched the CHEAR study in 2021 to find out the effect of COVID on hearing and balance. Interest in the study has been high and recruitment of participants through GP surgeries has gone really well. It is fantastic that so many of you are wanting to help. We need just 17 more participants to finish recruitment for the study. Can you help?

After an initial assessment of hearing at NHS Ropewalk House in Nottingham where hearing services are based, we will monitor your hearing and balance over a 2-year period. We aim to keep face-to-face visits to a minimum, so ongoing testing can be done by yourself at home.

Photo showing head and shouldersof Professor David Baguley

Professor David Baguley

Professor David Baguley, who leads the study said “There are many people that have had COVID-19 who want to make human understanding of this disease deeper and better, so the CHEAR study is a real chance to contribute to our research efforts in Nottingham… we will carefully monitor our study to ensure this is a safe experience. And our carefully considered survey questions and hearing tests have been thoughtfully designed to create a minimal burden for people who might wish to contribute to this research.”

For more information about the CHEAR study, please visit our website at:

If you think you have had COVID before and are interested in taking part, please email Paul Bateman at It doesn’t matter whether you feel your hearing and balance has been affected or not. You will be welcome. Thank you.

Posted in Balance and vertigoCoronavirusHearing lossTinnitus