This COVID Symptom May Have Contributed to Texas Roadhouse CEO's Suicide

A company statement said "the suffering that greatly intensified in recent days became unbearable.”

Texas Roadhouse CEO Kent Taylor died by suicide at the age of 65, the company announced on Mar. 18. Tragically, it was also revealed that he had been struggling greatly with the lingering effects of COVID, with one symptom in particular weighing heavily on his well-being: tinnitus. According to a statement later released by Taylor's family, the popular restaurant's founder had been suffering in the days leading up to his death, saying: "After a battle with post-COVID-related symptoms, including severe tinnitus, Kent Taylor took his own life this week. Kent battled and fought hard like the former track champion that he was, but the suffering that greatly intensified in recent days became unbearable."

The Mayo Clinic describes tinnitus as a ringing in the ears that others can't hear. The common symptom, which is not a disease itself and affects 15 to 20 percent of people, may also sound like a buzzing, clicking, roaring, humming, or hissing in those it affects, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Research has recently been able to establish a link between tinnitus and those with "long COVID," which is officially referred to as "post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection" (PASC). According to a study published in Nov. 2020 in the journal Frontiers in Public Health that analyzed 3,103 people from 48 countries, researchers found that 40 percent of those who had COVID-19 symptoms experienced a worsening of their existing tinnitus. Other participants in the study who were not already dealing with the symptom said they developed tinnitus after contracting the disease.

"The findings of this study highlight the complexities associated with experiencing tinnitus and how both internal factors, such as increased anxiety and feelings of loneliness, and external factors, such as changes to daily routines, can have a significant effect on the condition," study author Eldre Beukes, PhD, a research fellow at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England and Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, said in a statement.

Unfortunately, tinnitus is hardly the only symptom of "long COVID" affecting patients. Read on to see what the most common ones are, and for more on other side effects of the novel coronavirus that can linger, check out Dr. Fauci Says These Are the COVID Symptoms That Don't Go Away.

1
Fatigue

Sick young woman lying in the bed covered with blanket. Ill woman lying in bed with high temperature.
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During a press briefing held by the White House's COVID-19 response team in late February, chief White House COVID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, shared a new study on PASC conducted by the University of Washington that found that "persistent symptoms were reported by one-third of outpatients with mild disease," of which "fatigue was the most common." Fauci noted that 13.6 percent of the patients in the study said they experienced it.

2
Loss of sense of smell or taste

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The loss of smell or taste—medically known as anosmia and ageusia, respectively—has become an infamous symptom among COVID patients and a common indicator of the virus. But what's extra troubling is how common it is to deal with the condition for months: the University of Washington study found that 13.6 percent of participants reported the symptom. And for more on how the novel coronavirus can make you feel, check out If You're Over 65, You Could Be Missing This COVID Symptom, Study Says.

3
Trouble breathing

Business woman in mask sitting at desk is suffering from repeated coughing and breathing difficulties
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COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory infection, meaning it can greatly affect the lungs. But even during recovery and for months after, the effects can linger. Roughly 10 percent of respondents in the University of Washington study reported suffering from shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

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4
Muscle or body aches

Woman sitting and feeling back pain
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The study's participants also reported body and muscle aches as another comment effect of PASC. Data shows that an estimated 10 percent of patients were still experiencing these aches and pains months after their initial infection had cleared. And for more on the symptoms that might actually be good news, check out The CDC Says These 3 Side Effects Mean Your Vaccine Is Working.

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Zachary Mack
Zachary covers beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He's the owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. in New York City and is a Certified Cicerone. Read more
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