All COVID-19 vaccines currently available can help prevent serious illness, hospitalization or death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But with the multiple side effects many report experiencing after the shot, it is not surprising that some may be hesitant. Body aches and fatigue following the second dose are common; hearing a ringing in your ear is not. Continue reading to learn more about the connection between the COVID-19 vaccine and tinnitus.
Rates of Tinnitus
Tinnitus is not officially listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a vaccine side effect. According to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database, about 0.95% of patients, or 1,486 documented cases of tinnitus, have been reported following vaccination with any brand.
In the United Kingdom, fewer than 1 in 14,7000 people have reported tinnitus following the vaccine. The British Tinnitus Association has listed tinnitus as a very rare COVID-10 vaccine side effect.
While we cannot say for sure if the vaccine was responsible for these cases of tinnitus, experts agree that these numbers are not yet cause for concern.
Tinnitus & COVID-19
Aside from the vaccine, there has been an increase in tinnitus cases during the pandemic. A study published in November 2020 sought to determine the impact of the pandemic on individuals with tinnitus. They used data collected from an online survey completed by 3,103 participants from 48 different countries (most were from North America and Europe).
The researchers found that 40% of patients who already had tinnitus reported that their tinnitus was more bothersome due to pandemic-related lifestyle changes.
They suspect that the increase in social distancing and social isolation may have exacerbated tinnitus. Spending more time alone or in quiet areas, such as going out for a walk alone around Rancho Santa Fe Field, can make your tinnitus more noticeable.
While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are a number of treatments available to make it less distracting. Some of the most common include:
- Acoustic therapy
- Tinnitus retraining therapy
- Hearing aids
To learn more about tinnitus treatments or the link between hearing a ringing in your ear and COVID-19, schedule an appointment with an expert at Rancho Santa Fe Audiology today.