In a new study, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have attempted to deal with recent reports that sudden sensorineural hearing loss – a condition that occurs due to damage to the inner ear – was suspected of being a possible complication of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, the virus which leads to COVID-19. Their decision so much: Vaccination doesn’t raise one’s risk for sudden hearing loss.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins and throughout the nation experienced increased patients presenting with sensorineural hearing loss after the COVID-19 vaccination.

“Unusual hearing loss can happen naturally. Therefore it has not yet been confirmed whether sudden hearing loss occurring after COVID-19 disease is coincidental or associated with this embryo,” says research co-author Daniel Sun, M.D., assistant professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Though present statistics don’t provide clues about whether the hearing loss is temporary or permanent, doctors have been treating the hearing loss, such as other instances of idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss, together with either steroid by mouth or steroids recovered via the eardrum to the middle ear.

For their analysis, Sun and colleagues used information linked to sudden hearing loss after COVID vaccination from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), a national repository of reports monitoring medical issues subsequent vaccinations from the nation.

For the interval December 14, 2020, to March 2, 2021, the investigators discovered 40 reports of sudden hearing loss in 86,553,330 individuals who received a single dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines (0.3 cases per 100,000 annually ) and 147 reports in 43,276,665 patients that received two doses during precisely the same period (4.1 cases per 100,000 annually ).

The researchers narrowed the accounts to just those describing hearing loss diagnosed by a clinician in just three weeks of getting the vaccine. Researchers chose statistics for individuals experiencing hearing loss within this time framework because vaccines doses are separated between three and four months, and hearing loss analyzed after four months might not be associated with this vaccine.

“According to the speed of hearing loss reported in VAERS, thus far, there’s absolutely no proof that individuals getting a COVID-19 vaccination are at greater risk of developing sudden hearing loss compared to those who have yet to be vaccinated. The earlier it’s treated, it could restore the more probable the hearing”, says Sun.

Though this preliminary investigation suggests that the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t associated with sudden hearing loss, more study is necessary to deal with this question, says a study by lead author Eric Formeister, M.D., a neurotology fellow from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Our study relied on the information made by voluntary submission of reports into a database. Thus there’s a risk that there was underreporting, meaning some instances of post-vaccine hearing loss were undocumented.

To confirm the preliminary results of the most recent study, the investigators want to conduct comprehensive analyses that may more accurately specify the danger of hearing loss after the COVID-19 vaccination. They also aim to start looking for any particular medical risk factors that might increase the possibility of developing sudden hearing loss after COVID vaccination in certain people.