Has anything good come from the COVID-19 pandemic? While it may be disheartening to try to find positive outcomes, researchers continue to investigate the long-term effects of the virus and its vaccinations and report both negative and positive, findings.
Parrino et al. (2021) published a report on three individuals with rapid onset unilateral tinnitus after COVID-19 vaccination. While two of the three subjects spontaneously recovered, one did not. However, Dorney and colleagues (2022) concluded that the rate of acute, newly diagnosed tinnitus after the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is exceptionally low. The authors investigated how often patients were diagnosed with new, onset tinnitus within three weeks after a COVID-19 vaccination and compared a new tinnitus diagnosis following other vaccinations.
More than 2.5 million records were gathered on patients who received a COVID-19 vaccine and filtered for those with new-onset tinnitus within 21 days the vaccination. There were five patient groups. Individuals in groups one and two received their first and second COVID-19 vaccine December 2020 to March 2022. The remaining three groups received the influenza (group three), Tdap (group four), or a pneumococcal (group five) vaccines.
The data suggested the rate of newly diagnosed tinnitus within three weeks of the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination was exceptionally low (<1 percent). Results also revealed that patients are more likely to develop a new diagnosis of tinnitus after the three other common vaccinations for influenza, Tdap, and pneumococcus when compared to the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Finally, new, onset tinnitus was lower after the second vaccination for COVID-19 than for the first, but the prevalence was still lower than the influenza, Tdap, or pneumococcus vaccines.
The authors are hopeful this information will address some of the hesitancy patients have about received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dorney I, Bobak L, Otteson T, Kaelber DC. (2022) Prevalence of new-onset tinnitus after COVID-19 vaccination with comparison to other vaccinations. Laryngoscope. https://doi.org/10.1002/lary.30395.
Parrino D, Frosolini A, Gallo C, De Siati RD, Spinato G, de Filippis C. (2021) Tinnitus following COVID-19 vaccination: report of three cases. Int J Audiol 13:1–4. https://doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2021.1931969.
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