New Study Uncovers Hearing and Balance Disorders Post-COVID-19 Vaccination

siam.pukkato /
siam.pukkato /

In a groundbreaking discovery, researchers have pinpointed a notable surge in the cases of tinnitus and vertigo among individuals following their COVID-19 vaccinations, marking a first in the medical community’s understanding of post-vaccine side effects. This pivotal study is shedding light on the auditory and balance disturbances that have emerged in the wake of the global vaccination effort, signaling a critical call to action for the vaccinated populace and healthcare professionals to stay vigilant for these potentially debilitating conditions.

Published in the Vaccine Journal on February 22, the study conducted in south-eastern Australia sought to investigate the rise in “audiovestibular events,” encompassing hearing and balance disorders, in the aftermath of receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Healthcare professionals and individuals who have been vaccinated are advised to monitor for any signs of audiovestibular symptoms following their COVID-19 vaccination, the study’s authors recommend.

Vertigo and Tinnitus Incidences Escalate

The research indicated a noticeable increase in instances of vertigo and tinnitus post-vaccination. Tinnitus is characterized by hearing noises, such as humming or ringing, without any external source, while vertigo involves a sensation of spinning, leading to dizziness.

According to the research conducted, there is a significant increase in the probability of vertigo occurrence within 42 days following vaccination with mRNA vaccines. Furthermore, both Vaxzevria adenovirus vector and mRNA vaccines can cause an upsurge in tinnitus cases. It is worth noting that these findings are particularly noteworthy, as they represent the first confirmed reports of such incidents post-vaccination.

The researchers suggest that the vaccines may cause an immune response, which could lead to the development of certain conditions. This hypothesis could help us better understand the effects of vaccines on the human body and improve future vaccine development.

No Increase in Hearing Loss Detected

Conversely, the study found no significant increase in hearing loss incidents within the 42 days following vaccination. This information aligns with observational data from VAERS (U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System), as well as research from Finnish and Danish healthcare registries, which also reported no link between COVID-19 vaccinations and sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL).

Despite their findings, the authors acknowledged a limitation in their study regarding the potential concurrent COVID-19 infections, which other research suggests could relate to audiovestibular events.

Data Collection and Findings

The study analyzed data from two Australian databases, encompassing 45,350 records from the SAEFVIC and 4.94 million from the POLAR platform, spanning January 2021 to March 2023. It identified 415 vertigo cases, 226 tinnitus instances, and 76 hearing losses from SAEFVIC records, with additional cases identified through the POLAR data.

The analysis revealed a higher incidence of vertigo post-mRNA vaccines and increased tinnitus following both AstraZeneca and mRNA vaccines. Notably, AstraZeneca vaccines showed a higher rate of audiovestibular events than mRNA vaccines, with a significant difference observed after the first dose of AstraZeneca but not for mRNA vaccines.

Addressing Sudden Deafness

SSNHL, or sudden deafness, is a rapid loss of hearing caused by inner ear or nerve damage, typically affecting one ear. Although some studies have found a possible link between Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and SSNHL, the overall impact appears minimal.

The Tinnitus Experience

Highlighting the personal toll, Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group shared his struggle with tinnitus post-vaccination, describing it as an unrelenting condition. The experience of individuals impacted by this condition is marked by a profound sense of despair, which serves to underscore the devastating and far-reaching effects on their quality of life. Those with the condition often feel helpless and overwhelmed due to the emotional and psychological toll of the condition.

The World Health Organization reported receiving 367 tinnitus cases post-vaccination by February 2021, a significant portion of which followed the Pfizer vaccine, predominantly affecting women and healthcare professionals.