Learn about Tinnitus and COVID 19 Vaccine
Everyone, today I’ve got Joey Remini. She’s a vestibular audiologist and neuroplasticity specialist. And I’ve got her here today to talk about how some people are experiencing tinnitus symptoms that have come on after having having had COVID or having gotten a vaccine.
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Some people are experiencing tinnitus symptoms that have come on after having um having had COVID or having gotten a vaccine. Is that something you’re seeing a lot of? Yeah, I’m hearing, I’m getting people calling in, they’re distressed, they’re freaking out, they’re like no one can explain this and I have these distressing tinnitus sounds in my ears, in my body, and it’s after getting COVID or after getting the COVID vaccine.
So yes, we are seeing this and it’s it’s, I mean, the moral of this video is to say it’s nothing to be distressed about. It is a change to your body, and when we experience any virus or any vaccine our immune system is responding.
There are changes within our biological system, and any change within our biology changes the way our body produces sound. And these are healthy sounds, healthy body sounds, which usually we just phase out and filter out and tune out because they’re not important to us.
And the number one way tinnitus starts – so tinnitus is the sounds in the ears or the head that nobody else can hear. They’re internal sounds. They’re private. It usually starts with a head cold, you know, a nasal cold or an, you know, some kind of sinus infection, or people get their ears syringed out by the doctor and there’s there’s, you know, changing uncomfortable sensations and sounds around the ears.
And then they kind of focus there, and then they check in there, and then they monitor there, and then for the next week they’re like, Is it still there? Is it still there? So there’s um even some people get tinnitus just when a friend talks about it.
I’ve never noticed sounds?
They’re like, oh, okay, I’ve never noticed sounds in my ear. And then they start going, Do I have it? So it’s like this shift in awareness of background sound that’s actually always been there, and it’s healthy, that can then shift from being in no man’s land in the back of our brain where we don’t notice it – so it essentially doesn’t exist – and then it shifts through our attention filters, and suddenly it’s like right there.
So it could be pinging, it could be popping, it could be clicking, it could be squishing, it could be static roaring, like there’s it’s all normal. Whatever you hear is your inner body sound.
And so for people who have experienced COVID, they’ve had these huge changes to their biology, their immune system’s working overtime, their vital organs are working more strongly. And if you think about any mechanical system, whether it’s a car, a dishwasher, a washing machine, anything, there’s sound that is produced through that mechanical process through moving parts.
And the biological mechanisms also have lots of moving parts, lots of fluid moving, you know, there’s joints and bones and – but at a micro level there’s lots of neurological movements, and our immune system is sending immune messages up and down the body, working really hard to keep us safe, to help us heal.
A byproduct of that is an increased amount of sound. Then if you add on to that just regular normal immune response, an intense attention to the sound, a distrust of the sound, a dislike of the sound, a confusion of the sound, and a feeling of I’m abnormal.
I shouldn’t hear this, nobody can explain it to me, I didn’t hear this last week, why am I suddenly hearing it now? I didn’t have this when I was a little girl; why am I hearing it now? This must be a sign COVID’s getting worse.
I’m sick or something
This must be a sign I’m a weak person or I’m sick or something. So all of these questions are (a) unhelpful and (b) inaccurate. Your body sound is normal. It’s okay to hear tinnitus after COVID.
It’s okay to hear tinnitus after a COVID vaccine. So the best thing to do about it would be (a) get educational montana to citizen. I would probably say read, read my book I just wrote for that very reason.
There’s not many reliable resources out there for tinnitus, and that’s why I wrote this book Rock Steady. You can learn about your anatomy, you can learn about your brain, you can learn about how the neurons communicate to the brain, and what you can do to actually rewire the mapping of your neurons, change what your body’s hearing and sensing, change what your body’s feeling, and you can adapt to a completely new normal.
What does that mean? It’s reversible. You might have tinnitus today; that doesn’t mean you’ll have it for a week or a year or a month. You can change your brain and you can change the way those sounds manifest and the way those sounds perpetuate.
The worst thing we can do is worry about it, talk about it, focus on it, try and get rid of it, right, so start with education. Learn about it. Learn to not be afraid of it. And if you feel like you want to use neuroplasticity to develop a new normal and go back to a new sense of peace, calm, confidence, and ease in your body, you can simply do that by having a daily practice that teaches how to remap your body, how to remap your brain.
You’re in control of the process. And neuroplasticity is like any skill that you can learn. So a lot of people, for a lot of people this is the first time they’re really noticing their tinnitus, or the first time they’re really experiencing it, and it makes them wonder, What’s the matter with me? And then the more they focus on it, the worse it feels.
And they get stuck in this cycle of it just getting, maybe perhaps feeling worse or not going away, and then feeling more upset about it. So most people have been given zero education about what to do about tinnitus.
Heal from tinnitus?
They just don’t know that there are practical skills they can use to learn to heal from tinnitus. And and to be honest, that includes doctors and even audiologists. A lot of health professionals have not chosen to specialize in tinnitus and what it is and what to do about it.
So because that hasn’t been their kind of educational choice, they’re like, Oh, well, you know, there’s nothing you can do; live with it. Because that’s, for them that’s their reality but – that’s the only skills they know; that’s the only skills they’re aware of.
Correct. Well, I was going to say, in order to overwrite – so surrender and acceptance is kind of like one step. That may not, that may not be everything to completely overcome the tinnitus, right, but it’s super important.
The next step would be saying, Well, what I, I don’t want to feel and hear the tinnitus all day long. I need something else to focus on. Are you – I I say to people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, use that as a, as a skill that benefits you.
Get obsessive about feeling calm; get obsessive about feeling at ease and connected and peace in your body. And focus on that every day and every moment of the day, and obsess over that. So that’s what your brain actually puts more energy and more neural patterning and neural firing into.
Yeah. Because otherwise we can become obsessive over our symptoms and things we hate and things we don’t like, and we end up perpetuating what we don’t want, right. So we want to shift our focus obsessively into how can I get into my body this feeling of calm and confidence and ease.
Right. So we shift out of the head, into the body, and then the neuroplasticity, um, therapy really begins to take place, and we automate a new normal. And before you know it, you’ll forget you ever had tinnitus.
You won’t ever think about it again, and you’ll create a completely new normal and you’ll feel back in your body and you’ll feel good again. So we can change the brain by using these um neuroplasticity techniques which actually you design, so it’s a very personal process.
Experiencing a new symptom
Yeah, and that’s such an uplifting message because we – like each person has an innate ability to heal, and experiencing a new symptom or a new um sensation like tinnitus can be really alarming.
But what you’re describing is basically this experience of a new sensation of tinnitus can be a pathway to learn a bunch of new skills that can heal your relationship with yourself and with your other sensations as well.
And yeah, and there are some really practical skills that, you know, you have free resources for in your website and in your book. Simple things that can, people could even practice in probably, what if they did 15 minutes a day of a body scan; would that be helpful? That would be plenty.
Ii often recommend start with, so, five minutes of your chosen neuroplasticity exercises three times a day is like a nice kind of beginner’s way to just dive into the process if you’re really new to this.
But I’ve had, I’ve had chronic tinnitus, obviously a lot of my clients have that come and see me, and they not only overcome and heal the tinnitus; they they get better knowledge of themselves and more loving kindness and respect towards themselves.
Their entire relationship to life changes. And so I feel like neuroplasticity forces us into non-judgment, self-compassion, self-kindness, acceptance, surrender, and really allowing life to flow in the direction that we choose.
We take back so much control by letting go. It’s like, it is paradoxical. Well that’s, that’s awesome. And I think that gives a lot of hope to people who are experiencing these these sensations um maybe for the first time or noticing them for the first time though.
Some really practical steps are things like get, you know, educated from a good source where um, like your book or other resources that offer some hope, that don’t just tell you, you know, this is uh there’s nothing you can do about it, because they don’t know what there is to do about it.
And then learn to practice some practical skills. They sound impossible, but skills of acceptance and surrender, learning to uh get into your body with the body scan, practicing loving kindness, and then some of these other neuroplasticity exercises, these can all help with this process of resolving those uh, you know, the discomfort around tinnitus.
Yeah, and I know on Emma’s channel and on my YouTube channel there are more free discussions about tinnitus: what to do about it, how to overcome it. So just immerse yourself in some of this proactive conversation so that you don’t feel powerless, helpless, hopeless.
It doesn’t matter if you got tinnitus from COVID or from the vaccine. The cause doesn’t matter; the process of healing is exactly the same as anybody else with tinnitus. And i have seen time and time again, regardless of diagnosis, people overcome it by changing their brains and changing their relationship to themselves.
It’s always coming back to that neural signal that needs to be changed, that we’re in control of. This is the exciting piece: we’re in control of how we relate to the sound we’re hearing.
And that’s how we change the long-term firing patterns of the sound signal. We can diminish them. Just like having a remote control and turning the volume down, we can learn how to do that on the inside using our neural patterning and neural maps.
So it’s very practical, it’s very methodical. It’s not a miracle. And anybody can do it from home. Awesome. That is so great, so helpful for us. Thank you so much for sharing those resources.
I will definitely put the link in the description to your book and to the uh other resources you have on your website. So thank you so much, Joey. Thanks for being here. It’s my absolute pleasure.