One of the most common questions I am asked today by my patients is whether they will develop tinnitus or if their tinnitus will become worse, if they get the COVID-19 vaccine.
There is no evidence to date of a link between the vaccine and tinnitus. However, some of my patients have reported developing tinnitus or an increase in tinnitus after receiving their vaccine. My professional opinion is that it is the stress around the vaccine and self monitoring of side effects that is the cause in these cases. There is more evidence pointing to sudden hearing loss and tinnitus as a side effect of the COVID-19 virus.
Many people are experiencing COVID fatigue or burnout. It is completely normal to feel burnout when a person is under prolonged extraordinary stress. This time of year, with the holidays approaching, we may experience added stress. Self care is extremely important to cope with this type of burnout and build your resilience. Self care includes physical and mental care.
Limiting exposure to the news can also help. My teen son checks the news a few times a week and was upset yesterday when he saw the pandemic stats for Ontario indicated another increase in cases to 1,607. I was disappointed too and I worry about the impact the gatherings during the holidays will have on the number of cases in the new year. I am especially frustrated when I hear about the use of fake vaccine documents. What helps me is to remember what I can and cannot control. I can control my exposure by using PPEs, and hand sanitizers and getting my vaccines. And I am also in control my mental and physical health.
Yesterday the weather was surprisingly mild so I decided to load my husband and son in the car and we drove to Richmond Green Park to walk along their beautiful paved trails. The sound of the water at the man-made waterfalls was soothing and the exercise and fresh air was energizing. We had fun watching my son fish chunks of ice out of the pond and throwing tree branches on it to see whose will slide the furthest across the partially frozen pond. If you were wondering about the selection of photos for this blog it’ll now make sense. It’s a photo my son with a sheet of ice. We all felt happier after that walk.
Now I want you to take a look at the hours ahead. You have a lot to get done, that’s a given. But taking care of your health and wellbeing should make the list, right up there with taking care of your work, your to dos and other people. We know that if we manage our stress we will also better manage our tinnitus. So what are you going to do today to focus on your wellbeing? Try to zero in on one thing not all the things, it’s one day not a week. Take a moment with this because research shows when you set aside time to focus and create a plan you’re much more likely to follow through. There you set a focus and created a plan to prioritized your well being and minimize your tinnitus. Now go on and conquer the day and week!