If you’ve ever gotten a migraine while at work or out with friends at Langer’s Bar & Grill, you know what a pain they can be. Research indicates that having them may also slightly increase your risk of experiencing sudden hearing loss.
Let’s take a closer look at the connection between migraines, hearing loss and other ear-related issues.
What Is a Migraine?
Migraines are a type of headache that can cause severe throbbing or pulsing pain. The pain usually occurs on one side. However, some people experience pain on both sides. They can last anywhere from a few hours to several days and be quite debilitating. In addition to pain, other symptoms include:
- Extreme sensitivity to light, sound and smell
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Visual disturbances, known as auras, come in the form of flashing lights, bright spots or various shapes. They can happen before or during a migraine attack.
Migraines and Ear-Related Symptoms
Many people who experience migraines have symptoms of vertigo and dizziness, especially if they get vestibular migraines. These are migraines that originate in the inner ear and the part of the brain responsible for balance.
Additionally, many sufferers experience tinnitus, which is often described as a ringing in the ear but can also be a buzzing, hissing, whooshing, roaring or other similar noise as well.
What About Sudden Hearing Loss?
Migraines don’t appear to increase your risk of developing hearing loss in general. However, research has indicated that it may raise your risk of experiencing a specific type of hearing loss, known as sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL). SSHL is when you experience hearing loss either immediately or rapidly over the course of hours to a few days.
A 2020 study compared the rates of SSHL in people who had migraines versus those who did not. Researchers discovered that 0.88% of those with migraines experienced sudden hearing loss compared to just 0.59% of those without migraines.
If you do experience any sort of sudden change in hearing or hearing loss that lasts more than 24 hours, schedule an appointment with a medical provider. While sudden hearing loss can clear up on its own, getting treatment early will reduce your chances of any hearing loss becoming permanent.
SSHL is usually treated with corticosteroids to reduce inflammation in the ear. If any hearing loss has become permanent, your audiologist will likely prescribe hearing aids to help.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, contact Nelson Hearing Clinics today.