Covid injections may cause tinnitus 2023

Thousands of Covid vaccinees report tinnitus. Researchers have hypothesized that the immunizations caused the disease.

Inflammation, particularly in the brain and spinal cord, may be to blame, according to University of Arizona, Tucson assistant professor Shaowen Bao.

Longtime tinnitus sufferer and American Tinnitus Association scientific advisory board member Bao has investigated tinniuts for over a decade.

Bao investigated when a Facebook group of Covid vaccination recipients suffered tinnitus. He polled 398 participants.

Cases were serious. One man told Bao he couldn’t hear the car radio over his head noise while driving.

Participants experienced headaches, dizziness, vertigo, ear pain, anxiety, and depression in addition to ringing. The first vaccine dose caused more tinnitus than the second.

The vaccine may be combining with pre-existing risk factors for tinnitus. “Risk factors will probably get it from the first dose,” Bao said.

He has not published preliminary results.

Vaccines and tinnitus?

As of Sunday, 16,183 persons had reported tinnitus after receiving a Covid vaccination to the CDC.

The CDC “did not find any data suggesting a link between Covid-19 vaccines and tinnitus,” a representative wrote in an email.

However, the CDC has not made those reviews public, as it did after investigating other possible vaccine side effects, such as heart inflammation or myocarditis, frustrating leading vaccine expert Dr. Gregory Poland, founder and director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group in Rochester, Minnesota.

“Why has the CDC not published this research?” Poland said.

Poland, who developed tinnitus two years after receiving Covid vaccinations, said the CDC is “unconcerned” about these incidents.

He hears a piercing whistle. The noise continues to disrupt his sleep and quality of life.

“Some days when I’m busy or haven’t been exposed to noise, it’s tolerable. “Some days I could just scream,” he remarked.

Since publicly sharing his experience, Poland receives emails from strangers “almost daily” who say they hear the same persistent noises and believe the Covid vaccinations caused it.

“Tinnitus is forever,” he said.

How does the brain create sound that influences daily life?

Stanford Medicine’s Molecular Neurotology Laboratory is investigating tinnitus’s cause. The goal is to find a biomarker that can predict vaccine-induced tinnitus.

“We think that many forms of tinnitus reflect some damage in the inner ear,” said Dr. Konstantina Stankovic, an otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon conducting the new research. “Then the brain tries to compensate for the damage and starts to make sound,” she said.

The investigation is early. Stankovic’s team has collected blood samples from fewer than 20 people.

“We may find nothing,” she added. “Or a home run. No idea. We are working hard to answer these questions.”

What’s tinnitus?

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 25% of American adults have tinnitus. Children can get it too.

Phantom noises in a patient’s ear are unheard by others.

Age, drugs, ear infections, and excessive blood pressure can cause hearing loss. Other vaccines and illnesses, including Covid, have caused tinnitus, according to the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

“It’s not surprising for the CDC to receive reports of tinnitus in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System after vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination,” a spokesman wrote in an email.

The Covid vaccine’s risk of tinnitus is “low,” but it’s not zero, according to a September research.

Poland thinks the virus’s spike protein may be involved, as it may continue to damage the host.

“MRNA vaccines circulate spike protein,” Poland stated. Is it like the spike protein in the heart that causes myocarditis? Is the inner ear susceptible?”

Yale University researchers are recruiting people to explore long-term Covid effects like tinnitus.

“There’s a heterogeneity of manifestations of long Covid,” stated Yale University professor of medicine and clinical long Covid researcher Dr. Harlan Krumholz. “We really need to be able to map this and organize it in a way that we can understand it.”

Anecdotally, Covid infection has been linked to strange tingling or buzzing in several body areas. Krumholz thinks ear vibrations create tinnitus.

“The strategy we’re taking is both to listen very carefully to the experience of people who are suffering and to try to correlate their experiences with what’s going on inside their bodies,” he said. “These people are suffering.”

Phantom sound management

Tinnitus cannot be diagnosed, but doctors recommend contacting an ear, nose, and throat specialist to rule out underlying reasons such ear infections or high blood pressure.

Tinnitus treatment is unproven otherwise.

Meditation helps minister Poland quiet the noise. “Orange noise” or classical music soothes him in his air pods.

“Then I can sort of relax,” Poland added. I imagine a volume dial lowering that noise. It’s hard, but it helps.”

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