Migraines Or Headaches…
Approximately 6 million people in the UK are affected by migraines, and it is estimated that there are nearly 190,000 migraine attacks every day.
Sometimes it can be hard to tell if you are experiencing a headache or a migraine. Both instances include a pain located in the head. If this is a throbbing pain, however, this could be an indicator that you are experiencing a migraine. Other tell tale signs include nausea, dizziness, and sensitivity to light. If this pain is steadier and has a tight sensation, this could be a tension headache.
If you suffer with migraines often, you can usually spot your specific symptoms as they start to arrive, but many people do not know of the links between migraines and hearing loss.
How Are Migraines & Hearing Loss Linked?
According to research, a correlation exists between migraines and hearing loss. A study found that out of 58 migraine sufferers, nearly 2/3 had one or more abnormalities with their cochlea function and auditory pathways. More research is needed to determine why this may be, but the same study suggests that the link may be because of a compromised blood supply to the auditory system during a migraine attack.
We know that Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL) is caused by damage to the hair cells in the inner ear or to the nerve pathways between the inner ear and the brain. Other studies back up the claims of the research stated above, by suggesting that migraines can actually end up causing damage to these inner ear hair cells, which could then lead to SNHL. If the hair cells don’t receive enough blood supply, they can become damaged and die. During a migraine, a sudden constriction of the labyrinthine arteries can cut off the supply of blood to the auditory system. Leading to a gradual, but permanent hearing loss.
Research suggests that those who suffer with migraines, are more likely to develop a sudden SNHL than their matched counterparts (based on age, sex, and comorbidities). However, they were not able to determine if this was a direct cause. Sudden hearing loss is a rare condition, and is considered a medical emergency. If you have experienced sudden hearing loss, you should seek medical attention immediately.
The research supports the theory that migraines and hearing loss are linked. If you are a frequent migraine sufferer, it is important that you attend your recommended annual hearing tests to keep track of how well you are hearing. By doing this frequently, you will be able to see if you are experiencing a deterioration and whether intervention might be necessary. To book a Full Hearing Consultation, please call us on 01223 360700 or use our online booking form.