Is There a Link Between the COVID-19 Vaccine & Tinnitus?

It’s fair to say that the last few years have changed our lives. The novel coronavirus COVID-19 affected all of us. We all had to come to terms with what became the ‘new normal.’ 

Throughout the pandemic, scientists and researchers worked relentlessly to increase our understanding of the virus. As time went on, we increased our understanding of how the virus was transmitted. Additionally, scientists were able to release the COVID-19 vaccine to help save millions of lives. 

The vaccine breakthrough gave us a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. It offers an opportunity to protect our most vulnerable to COVID-19. Estimates show that almost 65% of the population in the United States are fully vaccinated. 

For millions of Americans, the vaccines have proven safe. They’ve also shown to be effective at helping slow how quickly COVID-19 is able to spread. 

For some, however, the vaccine has caused side effects. Tinnitus is one reported side effect. We’re exploring if there is a link between the COVID-19 vaccine and tinnitus. 

Is There a Link Between the COVID-19 Vaccine & Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is also known as ringing in the ears. It is when you are able to hear sounds that are not being made by sources outside your body. 

Common symptoms of tinnitus may include: 

  • Buzzing 
  • Ringing
  • Hissing
  • Whistling
  • Roaring

Tinnitus is commonly connected to hearing loss. That is not the only cause though. Other causes may include: 

  • Ear infection
  • Ear wax
  • Head injury
  • Medication

Can the COVID-19 Vaccine Cause Tinnitus?

A hypothesis has been raised by some researchers that there could be a link between the Covid-19 vaccine and tinnitus. Over 362 million COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in the US by August of 2021. According to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), there were 9,166 reports of people experiencing tinnitus after their vaccine during the same time period. 

If you break that down, it works out as 1 reported event of tinnitus to every 40k doses of the vaccine that were administered. 

While the figures may be interesting, researches highlight that further research is needed to determine a link. In some cases, it could be that the individual may have been prone to experiencing tinnitus, regardless of the vaccine. For example: 

  • They have an underlying hearing loss
  • They have a history of tinnitus
  • They use medications that can trigger tinnitus
  • They have underlying health conditions that can trigger tinnitus

Researchers will be continuing to investigate the link between the vaccine and tinnitus. In the meantime, we recommend that everyone continue to follow the advice of their local health officials to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

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