If you suffer from migraines, then your chances of experiencing sudden hearing loss are double when compared to non-headache sufferers. Find out which groups of migraine patients are most likely to experience Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSNHL), according to this latest study.
Migraine headaches are a neurological disorder that affects millions of people of all ages, and has been linked closely with other illnesses, including epilepsy, stroke, and heart disease.
So it should come as no surprise that scientists have recently found a strong correlation between migraines and another neurologically-based condition, a rare form of deafness.
Study links migraines and deafness
According to a Taiwanese study focusing on hearing loss and migraines, people who get chronic migraine headaches are twice as likely to develop sudden deafness, which can occur without warning over the course of a few days.
The study, which included 10,280 migraine patients and compared them with over 40,000 healthy individuals over the course of ten years, was just published by Cephalalgia.
Scientists suspect that hypertension, a comorbid condition of migraines, may damage limit blood flow to the inner ear, causing nerve cell damage that increases your chances for hearing loss.
Many other studies have also been conducted linking migraines with sudden deafness, such as one which focused on inner ear pressure in migraine patients.
Who’s at risk?
If you suffer from hypertension and migraines, then your chances of developing sudden rare hearing loss are greater those of migraine patients who don’t have high blood pressure.
Although vascular problems are more common in patients of migraines with aura, the study found no difference in relation to your risk for hearing loss- headache sufferers who experience migraines with aura are just as likely to experience SSNHL as patients who don’t go through the aura phase of a migraine attack.
What is SSNHL?
SSNHL causes rapid deafness in one or both ears, and may occur all at once or over the course of three days.
SSNHL requires immediate medical attention, and may necessitate an MRI brain scan. Only a doctor can confirm if you have this rare condition.
Besides migraines, other causes may include ear infections, head injury, and nerve damage caused by multiple sclerosis.
Steroids are the most common prescribed treatment for SSNHL.
Additionally, alternative treatments that benefit migraine sufferers with hypertension by improving circulation may also help, such as acupuncture, yoga, and natural supplements.
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Migraine is a risk factor for sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a nationwide population-based study.
Sudden Deafness- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Can Migraine Damage the Inner Ear?
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