Hearing loss and tinnitus are common among people who experience chronic headaches. For hearing loss patients, those people with migraine headaches have a compromised blood supply to the auditory system, which causes hearing loss. In the case of tinnitus, research suggests that it may be related to abnormal neural activity. What about non-migraine headaches? What is the risk for tinnitus, sensorineural hearing impairments, and sudden deafness in patients with non-migraine headaches? A new study is seeking to find the answer.
Around 13 percent of the general population of the U.S. suffers from migraine headaches. It is common for these people also to report ear-related complaints such as hearing loss, vertigo, dizziness, ear fullness, and tinnitus. The common belief is that migraine headaches compromise the blood supply to the auditory system, which causes problems, including hearing loss and tinnitus. The sensory cells in the cochlea depend on healthy circulation to function correctly.
Migraine headache patients are not the only headache suffers at risk for tinnitus and hearing loss. The new research is demonstrating that people with non-migraine headaches have a higher risk for tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss than people without non-migraine headaches.
In the study, migraine and other types of secondary headaches in the non-migraine headache group receive exclusion and all kinds of headaches receive exclusion among the control group. The non-migraine headache cohort includes patients with TTH, medication overuse headache, temporal, or idiopathic low cerebrospinal fluid pressure.
To observe this association, researchers conducted a retrospective analysis which took data from people with non-migraine headache and patients without headache in the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005 (LHID2005) of Taiwan. Following the patients from January 1, 1996, to the first identification of sensorineural hearing impairment, tinnitus, sudden deafness, death, or to the conclusion of 2012 was the goal. A Cox proportional hazard model with correction for all covariates was used to analyze the link between non-migraine headaches and the risk for hearing disorders.
In those people with non-migraine headaches, there was a higher shared chance for either sensorineural hearing impairment, tinnitus, or sudden deafness compared with the non-headache control group. Individually, patients with non-migraine headaches have a higher risk for tinnitus, sensorineural hearing impairment, and sudden deafness.
When this study is taken together with the findings of previous studies, the outcomes suggest that non-migraine headache shares a connection with increased risks of tinnitus, sensorineural hearing impairment, and sudden deafness. The research team advises clinicians to pay close attention to the history of headaches when they are taking care of patients with tinnitus and hearing impairment.
Regardless if you have a migraine headache, non-migraine headache, or no headache, you need to have a hearing healthcare professional check your hearing. Early detection is critical to accurately diagnose and treat the underlying problem causing your hearing loss. A hearing healthcare professional will identify the problem and provide a treatment to help you live your life to the fullest.