Anecdotal and scientific research is piling up to show that COVID 19 causes hearing loss and tinnitus (as do many other viruses).
Please encourage your younger family and friends to get the vaccine they are entitled to. Even if they do not fear getting the virus itself, there are lasting effects and damage caused by it.
Also, remember that sudden inner-ear (sensorineural) hearing loss can be treated/mitigated by steroid treatment if caught within the first 24-72 hours, so don’t ignore rapid hearing changes or write them off as wax-related. If the patient has no history of ear wax buildup, no crackling or popping sounds, no feeling of fullness/discomfort, sudden hearing loss (occurring/worsening over hours or days) should be seen at A&E or by a GP as an urgent case. You can contact an audiologist for advice if this happens to you, but don’t delay seeking medical treatment.