Amid pushes for a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccines, the World Health Organization has said it is looking into reports of hearing problems stemming from the vaccines.
According to NBC News, the WHO has reported 367 cases of tinnitus among people who had received a COVID-19 vaccine.
The condition is characterized by ringing in the ears, and it usually occurred within one day of the vaccine being administered to patients who reported it.
Patients who experienced this side effect ranged in age from 19 to 91, NBC reported. Almost 75 percent of those who reported the condition were women.
In addition to the cases of tinnitus, the WHO reported 164 people identified new hearing loss after receiving the vaccine as of Feb. 22.
“A recent signal detection activity at the Uppsala Monitoring Centre (UMC) identified hearing loss (including sudden cases) and tinnitus following COVID-19 vaccination as a preliminary signal to be further assessed,” the WHO wrote in a newsletter.
Some of the patients who experienced these symptoms also reported “headache, dizziness and nausea,” the WHO said.
NBC said reports of tinnitus came from 27 different countries including Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.
While some patients recovered quickly, others had to undergo “steroid treatment” to address the side effects, the newsletter said.
In addition, multiple patients described their tinnitus after vaccination as “unrelenting and life-altering for months,” NBC reported.
The WHO said it needed to continue monitoring reports of these side effects to make a final determination on next steps.
“Awareness of this possible link may help healthcare professionals and those vaccinated to monitor symptoms and seek care, as appropriate,” the newsletter said.
“As there is still only limited data in the literature providing evidence for this link, further monitoring is required.”
This report comes as the Food and Drug Administration authorized a fourth dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday.
According to CNBC, the FDA authorized a second booster shot for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for anyone over the age of 50. It is meant to go along with the original two doses and the first booster shot, meaning people who have this vaccine will have been inoculated four times.
In addition, the FDA authorized another Pfizer booster to anyone age 12 and up with a compromised immune system, as well as a second Moderna booster to anyone age 18 and up with a compromised immune system.
The FDA did not hold a meeting of its vaccine advisory committee before issuing the new authorizations, CNBC reported. The move comes just two weeks after Pfizer and Moderna initially requested authorization for a fourth shot.