Migraine is a risk factor for sudden hearing loss

Sudden hearing loss is a rare condition, but it is more common in people who suffer from migraine headaches, according to just published study by Taiwanese researchers. Taiwan, just like many Scandinavian countries has national health insurance and the large computerized data base allows doctors to perform reliable studies of many medical conditions. This study, which was published in Cephalalgia, an international headache journal, involved 10,280 migraine sufferers who were compared to 41,120 healthy control subjects. Doctors examined ten years worth of records of these people and discovered that having migraines almost doubled the risk of sudden hearing loss (the medical term is sudden sensorineural hearing loss). The incidence was about 82 per 100,000 person-years in migraine sufferers and 46 in those without migraines. They also discovered that having hypertension (high blood pressure) increased the risk of sudden hearing loss. This suggests that the hearing loss may be due to sudden drop in blood supply to the hearing nerves. Surprisingly the increased risk was not more pronounced in patients with migraine with aura since vascular problems are more common in those with auras. Treatment of sudden hearing loss requires immediate visit to a doctor, who takes a detailed history, examines the patient, does hearing tests, and obtains an MRI scan of the brain. Sudden loss of hearing can be caused by impacted wax in the ear, brain tumor and other brain disorders, but usually no such causes are found. If no obvious cause is found, treatment typically involves taking a steroid medication. Acupuncture may also help.
hearing loss migraine
Photo credit kids-ent.com

Submit comment