Doctor of Audiology

Is There a Link Between Migraines and Hearing Loss?

Is There a Link Between Migraines and Hearing Loss?

Migraines are one of the enduring medical mysteries in our age of modern medicine. Scientists and doctors have some good theories about why migraines might happen, but no research has proven conclusive yet.
If you’re lucky enough not to be one of the 37 million Americans who suffer from migraines, you may not know how the condition manifests itself. Migraines are a form of a headache but with more extreme symptoms. Migraines usually have a quick onset, and can vary in strength from somewhat mild to completely debilitating. Sufferers frequently describe a throbbing or pulsing, sensitivity to light and sound, and even nausea and vomiting.
In addition to its unknown causes, little is known about the effects that this condition could have on the body. Research has shown that there may be a link between migraines and hearing loss, which the site healthyhearing.com drew attention to last month. A study tested the hearing of those who suffer from migraines and those who do not, and found that two thirds of those who suffer from migraines had some type of abnormality of the hearing apparatus. One possible reason the researchers came up with for these abnormalities is decreased blood supply to the auditory system during the migraine attacks.
So, while it’s important to note that correlation does not mean causation, what the study appears to show is that those suffering from migraines may have an increased risk of hearing loss due to a lower blood flow to the hearing apparatus.
More concerningly, another study, this one from Taiwan, found those who suffer from migraines could be twice as likely to develop a rare condition known as sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL), which consists of sudden-onset hearing loss. In the majority of cases, doctors are not able to find the cause of SSHL.
What does this mean for you? If you suffer from regular migraines, you should get your hearing tested to make sure everything is working as it should be. While there may not be much you can do about your migraines or the possible risk of hearing loss from them, correctly diagnosing and correcting any hearing loss can tangibly improve your quality of life. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

About Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D. is the owner of Chicago Hearing Services and a Doctor of Audiology dedicated to empowering her patients and the public with greater knowledge and education around hearing health.