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Tinnitus/Hearing loss from Covid Vaccine?


mjbucks1
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Hi all.  I know there have been reports of tinnitus/hearing loss with people who caught Covid.  I have mild tinnitus now, and another ear issue (sort of complicated to explain...I have been to one of the top docs in my state).  I googled vaccine side effects, as well as looked on the vaccine adverse effects reporting site.  There are reports of people experiencing worsening tinnitus, new tinnitus, and sudden hearing loss within a day of having the vaccine.  I am in the medical field, so I know that this does not prove causation, but I am a bit hesitant to receive the vaccine, even though I really want to get it!

Have you or anyone you know had this reaction?  It is very rare (314 reports of tinnitus and 19 reports of hearing loss).  I tend to have a lot of anxiety when taking a new drug (I really try not to take anything), but I really would like to get the vaccine.  But with my current ear issues, I just do not want to make anything worse.  It took me several years to get used to my current symptoms.

So, any reports about these side effects from you or someone you know??

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So, the thing with the COVID vaccine is that if you don't get it, you're likely to get COVID. So what I'd weigh is the probability of issues from the vaccine (which isn't 0) and the probability of issues from COVID (which is also not 0.) 

Which one of those do you think is more likely to exacerbate your tinnitus? Or do you have a plan that will prevent you from getting COVID long-term? 

Edited by Not_a_Number
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I have tinnitus in both ears (as well as eustachian tube dysfunction in one ear).  I've had the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and noticed no change.  I'll try to remember to come back and update after the second dose (which will be on Saturday).

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huh. interesting. I haven't had or heard of anyone having tinnitus after the covid vaccine, but I did start getting very occasional,  mild tinnitus after my weird, probably not covid but who knows, long respiratory illness last March/April. It had never happened before that (although my son who has a hearing loss has it occasionally...no idea if there's a genetic component).

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My first thought is that it's likely correlation. A large number of the first people getting the shots are middle age or later. Tinnitus can be one of the first signs of hearing loss. I believe it's likely to be just the natural progression of hearing loss hitting people when it normally would, only this time there's a shot to blame it on. Have you seen reports of people who are getting tinnitus who don't have hearing loss or people who are under 40 becoming hearing impaired in significant numbers after their vaccinations?

I've seen reports of people getting tinnitus and hearing loss after covid but it's not unusual for hearing loss to occur with viruses. FWIW, we have no idea what caused my son's hearing impairment, but suspect it was a virus. He passed hearing screens when he was young and then he didn't. 

 

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Interesting.  I hadn't heard that about relating to covid, but I swore this past week, my tinnitus was louder in 1 ear, so I told myself that I had to pay more attention to it.  I just got my 2nd Moderna today, hmmm.  I do know that I was slammed with a headache again for 2 days last week. (This happened after my first vax, so I was not looking forward to my 2nd.) Not quite a migraine, but it wipes me out.   It was after the headache last week that I noticed the tinnitus. I happened to be sitting still long enough to watch tv and noticed it.  Maybe it has always been there like that, but when I am on the computer, or reading...I don't notice it so loud.  Shoot, I hope it doesn't get any worse now...

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I got my first shot this morning (pfizer) and this afternoon I have a mild headache, slight dizziness, and mild tinnitus.  It isn't enough to be overly bothersome, but I am going to be resting and hope that helps.

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Thank you all.  And @Not_a_NumberI have thought about the probably of getting Covid vs. the probability of issues with the vaccine.  It really is a roll of the dice, but I do think the probability of worsening tinnitus appears to be greater with Covid itself (which is what my husband has said as well). 

@Paigeyes, there are reports of people in their 20's and 30's developing tinnitus and hearing loss after the vaccine.  The ones that concern me are those that develop it within 24 hours of getting the shot.  

I just talked to my sister (who is fully vaccinated) and she just heard about it on the news tonight.  She said the manufactures are aware.

Some of the people on the Tinnitus Talk forum are saying that their ENT's have seen multiple people with tinnitus/hearing loss after the vaccines.  

Thank you all for your replies.  Not sure what I will do.  We have been very careful, so I might wait a month or so to see if any more information comes out. 

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On 4/6/2021 at 5:57 PM, Paige said:

My first thought is that it's likely correlation. A large number of the first people getting the shots are middle age or later. Tinnitus can be one of the first signs of hearing loss. I believe it's likely to be just the natural progression of hearing loss hitting people when it normally would, only this time there's a shot to blame it on. Have you seen reports of people who are getting tinnitus who don't have hearing loss or people who are under 40 becoming hearing impaired in significant numbers after their vaccinations?

I've seen reports of people getting tinnitus and hearing loss after covid but it's not unusual for hearing loss to occur with viruses. FWIW, we have no idea what caused my son's hearing impairment, but suspect it was a virus. He passed hearing screens when he was young and then he didn't. 

Edited by Masers
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5 minutes ago, Masers said:

For us, my family has a history of significant autoimmune illness, Guillain Barre, and then the sometimes debilitating tinnitus my dad has...so those are the side effects I’m trying to keep an eye on!

I have a friend whose husband is a doctor at a nearby hospital.  They have a nurse at his hospital right now who has Guillain Barre and they are all pretty certain it is from the vaccine.  GB is rare.  I am in healthcare (a PT) and I remember one of my professors saying it does not matter if the risk is 1 in a million if you are that one.  GB is life changing.  I think there are reports of GB with many vaccines.  I have not heard of it being more prevalent with this one.  But I also think if you are being careful, you can wait a couple more months to see what the data shows.

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10 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

I had an especially bad bout for only a few minutes. I didn’t make any connection, so I can’t say how long after the shot. I’m used to the occasional low level instances of tinnitus, but this was worse.

Was it after your first or second dose?  And was it Moderna, Pfizer, or J and J?

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4 minutes ago, Masers said:

The neurologist told him to never get another flu shot in his life, and to be very careful about vaccines in general,

Oh my goodness!  I can't imagine going through all of that with young children.  There are definitely people who should not be vaccinated.  Praying for wisdom for you all when making the decision about what to do!!

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3 minutes ago, mjbucks1 said:

Oh my goodness!  I can't imagine going through all of that with young children.  There are definitely people who should not be vaccinated.  Praying for wisdom for you all when making the decision about what to do!!

Thank you so much, I appreciate that. 

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Since it's known that tinnitus can be caused by viruses, including covid, and since there have been reports of tinnitus for all three vaccines, it's mostly likely a function of immune response vs a response to a particular component in the vaccine — e.g. if this was only occurring with Pfizer and Moderna but not J&J, one might suspect there was an issue with PEG or some other component specific to those vaccines. If it's any comfort, 5 of the 6 cases of tinnitus that occurred in the J&J Phase 3 trials resolved.

I have generally mild tinnitus, with occasional flare-ups that are worse. Interestingly, I just had a really annoying bout a few days ago, although I haven't had the vaccine yet (scheduled for Friday). If that had happened the week after the shot, instead of the week before, I probably would have attributed it to the vaccine, but it was really just a random flare up. My dad has really bad tinnitus and he had 2 doses of Pfizer with no increase in symptoms.

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1 hour ago, mjbucks1 said:

Thank you all.  And @Not_a_NumberI have thought about the probably of getting Covid vs. the probability of issues with the vaccine.  It really is a roll of the dice, but I do think the probability of worsening tinnitus appears to be greater with Covid itself (which is what my husband has said as well). 

Yeah, it's a hard calculation... especially since people are much more loathe to do INTENTIONAL things that cause damage as oppose to unintentional ones. It's much less palatable to knowingly possibly cause harm to yourself, even if the probability is much lower. One of the many ways human beings are definitely not rational reasoning robots 😉 . 

For what it's worth, I think you're probably right on about the fact that tinnitus is more likely to get worse if you actually get COVID. But I understand that this probably doesn't make you feel better this very moment!! 

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@Corraleno, yes, I very much think it is a function of a person's immune response.

I also had a flare up yesterday, but it is back to normal today.  I really am more concerned about the people who have had sudden sensorineural hearing loss.  My mom had that (due to a virus), and it was terrible.  But of course it can happen with Covid as well.   

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My husband has had chronic tinnitus for years.  He had both doses of Pfizer and had no change.  

I had Moderna and after my second dose I ran a high fever for two days.  I developed tinnitus in one ear after the fever broke on the second day.  Per the V-safe recommendation I have seen my doctor and my specialist and they believe it is inflammatory and will resolve in time.  There really isn't any treatment, although I see people online trying all kinds of crazy stuff online.  For now I'm on something to help with sleep, and I'm giving myself time.  My immune system is still wonky, shy of two weeks out, but I have existing conditions as well that I knew would be impacted.

Edited by melmichigan
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16 minutes ago, mjbucks1 said:

@melmichiganhopefully it will only be temporary.  Will you check back in after a week or so and tell us how you are doing?

 

I will try to remember to check back.  It's been two weeks without change so far.  FTR: I don't regret getting the vaccine, and plan on getting any future boosters.  If it hasn't resolved when I go for my physical next month my doctors want me to have a full workup with a specialist to make sure there isn't any hearing loss, but for now there isn't any infection or fluid that could be causing it, so I'm going the conservative route.  I already get routine MRI's so I'm against scheduling any extra. 😉 I do have a new respect for what my husband goes through daily with his tinnitus.  His is the result of hearing loss and damage from his work environment.

 

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55 minutes ago, importswim said:

My Dad has Meniere's Disease and has had both of his vaccination shots. I will have to ask him if it's gotten worse. 🤔

Yes, that would be good to know!

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9 hours ago, mjbucks1 said:

Was it after your first or second dose?  And was it Moderna, Pfizer, or J and J?

First Moderna. Zero other side effects except for a normal degree of soreness.

I’m not sure if I believe my brief anomaly was a side effect, but I’m certainly a little more nervous about the second one now.   Personally, if it is an issue, I’d rather deal with it from the vaccine than with everything else that goes along with the virus.

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4 hours ago, Harpymom said:

Getting a second shot today, I'll see if it affects my pretty severe tinnitus.  Mine is definitely worse from coffee, which means it's worse every day!

Hopefully you will not have an increase.  Please let us know!  And yes, caffeine is definitely a trigger...lol!

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5 hours ago, Harpymom said:

Getting a second shot today, I'll see if it affects my pretty severe tinnitus.  Mine is definitely worse from coffee, which means it's worse every day!

🤞 I hope all goes well and you don't have any increase.  I have talked to a few people with existing tinnitus online that had a temporary increase, lasting a few days to a week, but those appear to have resolved.

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I've been doing some reading on HBOT and tinnitus to see whether there was any data indicating it could improve. I've done well over 30 sessions now, and my long standing tinnitus kind of goes in and out. Like right now I have it in my left ear and not my right. Prior to HBOT it was in both and pretty loud. 

Anyways, the studies I'm reading were looking at serc vs. HBOT + gingo and actually found good results with the HBOT combo IF you did it within 6 months of it beginning. 

So given that HBOT is considered vaguely to be working on inflammation while improving oxygen and since the vaccine is vaguely considered to increase inflammation, it seems like you could have a path there. But I wouldn't wait on trying treatments, because the study I was looking at seemed pretty clear that if you wait 6 months you're toast. That could explain why people in this thread who have longstanding tinnitus might not have any dramatic change with the vaccine. 

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21 hours ago, mjbucks1 said:

reports of people in their 20's and 30's developing tinnitus and hearing loss after the vaccine.

There is a gene for early onset hearing loss, so what you can't tell from reports is whether those people had that genetic pathway already in place and the vaccine just pushed it forward. We've got some of that gene in our family, and I can tell you the hearing loss was mild but obvious even at that age. By mid-40s the person was offered a hearing aid. So if you start giving a vaccine to millions of people like they're doing, you could start seeing some of that. 

Now maybe that's not what is happening. I'm just saying it might not be as random as it seems.

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FYI, most common cause of Guillane Barre syndrome is infection (they think...no one knows for sure what causes it, but 2/3 of people diagnosed had an infection in the weeks prior to diagnosis). So as an autoimmune thing, anything that triggers the immune system can cause it, but it isn't like vaccines are MORE likely to cause it than say, a respiratory infection or GI infection. 

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48 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

FYI, most common cause of Guillane Barre syndrome is infection (they think...no one knows for sure what causes it, but 2/3 of people diagnosed had an infection in the weeks prior to diagnosis). So as an autoimmune thing, anything that triggers the immune system can cause it, but it isn't like vaccines are MORE likely to cause it than say, a respiratory infection or GI infection. 

Agreed, and I do not think we were insinuating that a vaccine was more likely to cause GB.  As a physical therapist, I have seen people who have gotten GB from a viral infection.  Viruses cause all sorts of nasty things!!

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I treated my tinnitis successfully using pemf, pulsed electromagnetic frequency therapy. It took a month before any noticeable results, about 40” per day, maybe 5 days per week, but by the second month the tinnitis was gone. I used the Sota device, the slow frequency (there are only two) placing the paddle an inch above my right ear and 2” toward the front. Exact placement did not appear to be necessary in some studies but I chose that area anyway. I’ve used pemf almost daily for at least 10 years for a variety of things and general well being. It’s great. Don't use if pregnant (hasn’t been studied) or you have an implant or something that could be affected by a magnetic force.

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A quick Twitter search gets a tonne of people talking about Pfizer and tinnitus.  It is kind of one of those tricky things that at least for me gets worse when I think about it although it’s always mild.  So it’s possible that there’s a bit of an effect where people think about it then notice it but I suspect by the number of reports it could be a real thing.  I would take that over some of the effects of Covid any day though.  Encouragingly a fair few people are commenting that it resolved somewhere between three days and two weeks after the vaccine.

Edited by Ausmumof3
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10 hours ago, BeachGal said:

I treated my tinnitis successfully using pemf, pulsed electromagnetic frequency therapy. It took a month before any noticeable results, about 40” per day, maybe 5 days per week, but by the second month the tinnitis was gone. I used the Sota device, the slow frequency (there are only two) placing the paddle an inch above my right ear and 2” toward the front. Exact placement did not appear to be necessary in some studies but I chose that area anyway. I’ve used pemf almost daily for at least 10 years for a variety of things and general well being. It’s great. Don't use if pregnant (hasn’t been studied) or you have an implant or something that could be affected by a magnetic force.

Thanks for sharing this.  How long had you had tinnitus before treating it?  Did you treat it under the guidance of a physician or on your own?

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18 hours ago, mjbucks1 said:

Agreed, and I do not think we were insinuating that a vaccine was more likely to cause GB.  As a physical therapist, I have seen people who have gotten GB from a viral infection.  Viruses cause all sorts of nasty things!!

Honestly, I kind of think I didn't treat viruses seriously enough before!!

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8 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

A quick Twitter search gets a tonne of people talking about Pfizer and tinnitus.  It is kind of one of those tricky things that at least for me gets worse when I think about it although it’s always mild.  So it’s possible that there’s a bit of an effect where people think about it then notice it but I suspect by the number of reports it could be a real thing.  I would take that over some of the effects of Covid any day though.  Encouragingly a fair few people are commenting that it resolved somewhere between three days and two weeks after the vaccine.

This totally happened to me after reading this thread for the first time.  I'd hardly noticed mine for weeks (which is why I knew it didn't get worse after my vaccine). Then the night after reading this (a week after vaccine), it was really loud.  The next morning and now it is back down low.  The more attention I give my tinnitus, the worse it is for sure.

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On 4/6/2021 at 1:33 PM, mjbucks1 said:

Hi all.  I know there have been reports of tinnitus/hearing loss with people who caught Covid.   

This came across an EBV support group. EBV can cause tinnitus, and there were studies that having covid/the vaccine can trigger a reactivation of EBV.

I'm currently being treated for EBV, and after reading lysine helps with the EBV related tinnitus, have started a large dose.   Supposedly it takes a few weeks, so we'll see.  It did help with my herxheimer reactions.

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14 hours ago, BeachGal said:

I treated my tinnitis successfully using pemf, pulsed electromagnetic frequency therapy. It took a month before any noticeable results, about 40” per day, maybe 5 days per week, but by the second month the tinnitis was gone. I used the Sota device, the slow frequency (there are only two) placing the paddle an inch above my right ear and 2” toward the front. Exact placement did not appear to be necessary in some studies but I chose that area anyway. I’ve used pemf almost daily for at least 10 years for a variety of things and general well being. It’s great. Don't use if pregnant (hasn’t been studied) or you have an implant or something that could be affected by a magnetic force.

Do you know the cause of  your tinnitus?   did you go through a provider or treat on your own?

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I most likely had Covid in March of 2020 but not tested. About 10 days after symptoms, I woke up to horrifying vertigo, ringing in my ears, and substantial hearing loss in one ear. Despite large doses of prednisone and working with an ent and audiologist, the hearing loss and ringing has remained. It is considered permanent in my case.

I had my one year check up recently and my ent talked about seeing quite a bit of hearing loss from Covid this last year. He said he has seen tinnitus and hearing loss recently and he has (anecdotally) felt it is worse with Pfizer than the other two. I did have both doses of Pfizer and saw no change in my symptoms. 

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3 hours ago, momto3innc said:

He said he has seen tinnitus and hearing loss recently and he has (anecdotally) felt it is worse with Pfizer than the other two. I did have both doses of Pfizer and saw no change in my symptoms. 

I joined a facebook group yesterday for people who have experienced tinnitus/hearing loss thought to be related to the vaccine.  There are quite a few people who have ENTs who definitely think the vaccine is the cause.  I feel like one has to make a choice between bad a worse.  So far, on the FB group, more people have had issues with Moderna and Pfizer (only one has had an issue with J & J), but I also wonder if that is because not as many doses have been given of that one.  J & J does report Tinnitus as a possible side effect (I think 8 people in the trial reported that as a symptom).  

I do think I am going to wait a bit to get the vaccine.  I am hoping those who have experienced a reaction will find it is temporary.  And I also hope that with more data I can decide which vaccine is right for me.  I am in a very low risk group (ideal weight, exercise, no previous health conditions other than the weird ear issue).  And we have been very careful (we don't really go many places).  

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15 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

A quick Twitter search gets a tonne of people talking about Pfizer and tinnitus.  It is kind of one of those tricky things that at least for me gets worse when I think about it although it’s always mild.  So it’s possible that there’s a bit of an effect where people think about it then notice it but I suspect by the number of reports it could be a real thing.  I would take that over some of the effects of Covid any day though.  Encouragingly a fair few people are commenting that it resolved somewhere between three days and two weeks after the vaccine.

For sure thinking about it makes it worse!  What is really concerning is the number of people who have not had any issues before and are now dealing with tinnitus (and some with hearing loss) and it has been a month (and sometimes more).  There are quite a few reports of this on the FB group I joined.  Of course, we still do not know that this is a cause and effect situation, but there case studies of people having increased tinnitus and hearing loss with flu vaccines, so I don't doubt that this can be an issue for some people (although I do think it is rare).

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12 hours ago, klmama said:

Thanks for sharing this.  How long had you had tinnitus before treating it?  Did you treat it under the guidance of a physician or on your own?

 

8 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

Do you know the cause of  your tinnitus?   did you go through a provider or treat on your own?

I treated myself. No diagnosis by a physician because I knew what it was and knew about pemf/tinnitis studies. I had been using pemf for eight years or so before tinnitis and felt very comfortable administering it myself. Many doctors In the US don't know about pemf anyway. It's used more in Europe -- Germany and Austria -- and Russia. Unfortunately, there is a lot of woo that has latched onto it as well. However, I think it's nuts that we are not using it for pain, tissue regeneration and things like tinnitis.

The reason I use the Sota is because it's one of the cheaper devices, about $500 from Amazon. We own five devices, though, including the FlexPulse which could also be used for tinnitis. IME, the Sota seemed to do a better job. It's also recommended and sold by Dr. Pawluk, an MD who researches pemf and uses it in his practice. His website is very informative if you want to learn more. Another good source is Robert Dennis's YouTube site. He developed devices for NASA that the astronauts use while in space. He also sells a few devices which would be trustworthy.

https://www.drpawluk.com

https://www.amazon.com/SOTA-Magnetic-Pulser-Model-MP6/dp/B078X3DP4P

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFBcm3nVkKL6tZst5VvbSiQ/videos

*****

Something else that can cause tinnitis is hyperinsulinemia. It's one of those festering conditions that can eventually cause all sorts of problems.

A short article about hyperinsulinemia, tinnitis and Meniere's:

https://www.reynoldsaudiology.com/tinnitus-articles/sweet-treats-can-make-tinnitus-terrifying/

Quote

At least one 2004 study found that somewhere between 84 to 92 percent of people with tinnitus have hyperinsulinemia, too. It may be related to the development of Meniere’s disease — a condition caused by changes in inner ear fluid pressure.

If you want to learn more about hyperinsulinemia, a good source would be Benjamin Bikman's videos on YouTube. He studies metabolic disorders and teaches at BYU. He has also written a book, Why We Get Sick, that I'd like to read this year. He's very informative.

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