Tinnitus, Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss, and Vestibular Neuritis As Complications of the Astra Zeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

Cureus. 2022 Jan 3;14(1):e20906. doi: 10.7759/cureus.20906. eCollection 2022 Jan.


Background: Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is most commonly defined as a sensorineural hearing loss of 30dB or greater over at least three contiguous audiometric frequencies occurring within a 72-hr period. The Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine is suspicious of causing thrombotic complications following its administration, and could theoretically induce hearing loss by damaging the hearing organs through this mechanism, as well as vestibular damage through similar mechanisms.

Material and methods: We reviewed the files of patients with otological symptoms after exposure to the Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine during the year 2021.

Case series: We studied a total of six cases with otologic symptoms temporally related to the Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine. We report four cases of patients presenting with hearing loss and tinnitus a few days after the second dose of the Astra Zeneca vaccine, and one case with the same symptoms after the first dose. Four cases were successfully treated with steroids; however, one case presented to the office two months after the onset of symptoms and did not improve with treatment. We also report the first case of vestibular neuritis temporally related to the administration of the first dose of the vaccine, which also had a good outcome after medical treatment.

Conclusions: Prompt treatment in the present cases was a factor associated with a good prognosis.

Keywords: astra zeneca covid vaccine; covid-19 vaccines; sensorineural hearing loss; tinnitus; vestibular neuritis.