My Experience with Hearing Loss During a Migraine Attack
Last updated: May 2023
Anyone who has experienced the horrible adventure of a migraine attack has likely noticed they bring some unusual and sometimes scary symptoms. Many people start to notice these symptoms in the first stage of a migraine attack called prodrome.
These symptoms can be managed by us sometimes if we have found methods to do that, but some are just there for the duration of the attack cycle.
What should you do if you experience abnormal symptoms?
Let me also take a moment to advise everyone reading this that if you experience a headache and symptoms that are not normal for you, I encourage you to see your doctor. At the very least, report it to them so that it can be documented in your patient history. The emergency room is also another option just to get evaluated and rule out other possible causes for your symptoms that are out of the ordinary for you.
Is it related to my tinnitus?
One symptom that I have been dealing with for years has been tinnitus. This has been my normal and is especially bad during an attack, but lately, it has been accompanied by significant hearing loss in my left ear. The left side of my head is where the migraine monster resides!
Are ear symptoms common for migraine?
In my research and readings, I have learned that it is not uncommon for migraine sufferers to experience ear-related problems as part of their attack cycles. Symptoms may include vertigo, dizziness, ear fullness, and tinnitus, to name a few. I’ve read that Meniere’s disease has also been reported to be closely related to migraine disease. It is fascinating and scary to see the many different things intertwined with migraine disease. There are so many nerves in the head that can play a role in migraine attacks as well, like the vestibular and trigeminal systems. It’s no wonder why migraine attacks can mess with your hearing and cause additional facial and head pain.
What is idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss?
There is a condition referred to as idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL). Basically, this just means a spontaneous or unknown cause of sudden hearing loss. It was quite concerning for me as this was not in my usual group of symptoms. I have an appointment set up already with my headache specialist, and I’ve made sure to document how often and how long this occurred in my migraine journal. The good news is that the hearing loss resolved as the attack cycle calmed down. ISSHL, if that is what I was experiencing, usually resolves over time, but I want to spend some time with my doctor to get her opinions and guidance regarding this. Better to be safe than sorry!
I can't be alone
I know if I am experiencing a symptom like hearing loss during a migraine attack, there must be others that have had or are having similar experiences. Keeping in tune with our bodies and taking the time to acknowledge what it is telling us is an important part of self-care. I’ve always been one to take care of others first, but since developing chronic migraine, I’ve learned it is perfectly fine to care for myself.
I’d love to hear if you have had similar experiences. Please feel free to share them in the comments for the community to see!
Have others downplayed your migraine pain?