Tinnitus and Suicidal Behavior

Written by Sonia Hamidi, Au.D, CCC-A

2020 was a very difficult year for many of us, and more so for some than others. The increased number of suicides from year to year is jaw-dropping. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Data & Statistics Fatal Injury Report for 2018, as of March 1, 2020, Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. The rate of suicide is truly saddening. During the year 2018, there were an estimated 1.4 million suicide attempts. Of the many causes of suicide, tinnitus remains on the list. The correlation between tinnitus and suicide is surprising to many individuals.

Nearly 30% of individuals experience tinnitus and approximately 6% report that their tinnitus is disabling. Tinnitus is any noise in your ears or head that is not related to a true sound within the environment. It can be perceived as ringing, buzzing, humming, hissing, and/or chirping. This can become extremely bothersome and can lead to anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, and suicidal thoughts. 

1 in 6 (16%) of tinnitus patients reported suicidal thoughts.

Tinnitus is horrible to experience day after day, and the lack of information, treatment options, and public awareness is not helpful. Tinnitus sufferers need to know that they are not alone, and that there is hope for their tinnitus to decrease and be less bothersome.

Treatment options that can provide significant relief include: 

  • Progressive Tinnitus Management
  • Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Sound generators
  • Hearing aids

COVID-19 Update:

 A recent study published by Frontiers in Public Health has revealed that 40% of individuals who had symptoms of COVID-19 are experiencing increased tinnitus in one or both of their ears. Results indicate that tinnitus management is extremely important for all individuals experiencing bothersome tinnitus.

Your hearing health is important to you, your loved ones, and to us. If you’re struggling with tinnitus, there are solutions and ways to manage it. To schedule an appointment with The Hearing Center at the Ear, Nose, and Throat Institute, please give us a call at 678-347-2123.


Beukes, Eldré W., et al. “Changes in Tinnitus Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 2 Oct. 2020, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2020.592878/full.