Migraines – a common neurological condition that causes an intense headache, nausea, changes to your vision and sensitivity to light – can be very disruptive. But in addition to its uncomfortable symptoms, you may be wondering if migraines may lead to hearing problems and ear-related issues.
What Is a Vestibular Migraine?
Nearly 40% of all migraines are accompanied by vestibular syndrome, which involves feelings of dizziness or disruption in balance either before, during or after the migraine event. This event involves parts of the inner ear known as the vestibular system. Common triggers for vestibular migraines include:
- Aged cheeses.
- Smoked, processed or cured meats.
- Certain fruits.
- Hormonal fluctuations.
- Barometric pressure variations.
- Sleep disturbances.
Connection to Hearing Loss
Vestibular migraines affect the inner ear, which is responsible for hearing and balance. In addition to feelings of dizziness and vertigo, some may experience a change in their hearing or tinnitus during an event.
Experts agree that hearing loss or hearing problems brought on by the migraine itself are not common. Although there are hearing problems associated with migraines, there is not enough research to determine if they simply coexist, or if one condition causes the other.
Conditions Mistaken as Migraines
While there may not be a strong connection with migraines, there are some medical conditions that do cause hearing loss which may be misdiagnosed as this disorder.
Meniere’s disease is the result of a buildup of fluid within the inner ear. Changes in hearing, tinnitus, vertigo and migraine-like headaches are common symptoms.
Idiopathic intracranial hypertension is a condition that occurs when there is too much fluid, known as cerebrospinal fluid, around the brain and spinal cord. This condition can cause severe headaches, vision loss and tinnitus.
When to Seek Help
If you develop a headache that is accompanied by hearing loss, fever, chills, night sweats, weight loss or vomiting when you did not just get off a ride at Gator Mike’s Family Fun Park, then you should seek medical attention, as this may be the sign of a serious medical condition.
To learn more about conditions that can cause hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a hearing loss expert, contact Gulf Coast Audiology today.