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What Causes Migraines? The Surprising Link Between Hearing Loss and Chronic Pain


Migraines can be debilitating. The pain, the nausea, and the flashes of light can leave you feeling helpless and overwhelmed and can last hours or even several days. Here's what you need to know about migraines and the link between migraines and hearing loss.

What are migraines?

Millions of Americans have experienced migraines, yet doctors are still unsure of exactly what causes them. There's evidence to suggest they may be genetic, and some chronic sufferers may experience migraines when they encounter certain triggers.

Common Migraine Triggers

  • Hormones
  • Food
  • Alcohol
  • Stress
  • Caffeine
  • Bright Lights

Common signs and symptoms of migraines:

  • Throbbing pain, especially on one side of the head
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to sound
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Auras 


What causes migraines?

Have you been experiencing frequent migraines? Did you know that hearing loss may be to blame? Studies have shown that those who have moderate amounts of hearing loss are more prone to suffer from chronic migraines than those who do not have hearing loss.


According to a study by researchers in Egypt’s Assiut University Hospital’s Department of Neurology and Psychology, cochlear function and the frequency of migraines were studied using electrophysiological testing.

Using a test which measures the echo produced by the vibrations of hair cells in the cochlea when it’s stimulated and the auditory brainstem response (ABR) test, which measures the brain’s response to sound, researchers determined that fluctuations in blood supply could also contribute to migraines.

Because the cochlea uses circulation to function, this indicates a reduction in hearing can have a direct link to migraines, since a lack of circulation can damage hair cells and cause sensorineural hearing loss. 


Is there a cure for migraines?

While there is no known cure for migraines, there are several things one can do to alleviate the pain. 

Home remedies for migraines


Light, especially fluorescent light, is a common trigger for many migraine sufferers. Retiring to a dark space, such as a bedroom, has been known to alleviate migraine pain for some people.


Much like light, noise can cause migraines for many people. Turning off bright lights and loud noises, or removing yourself from environments in which they occur, can provide some relief from migraines.


Caffeine is known to reduce inflammation by expanding blood vessels, which can improve blood flow and reduce pain. Some over-the-counter pain relievers even include small amounts of caffeine. Strangely enough, caffeine is a migraine trigger for some, but a source of comfort for others.


Getting some rest can help get rid of your migraine, since studies have shown a link between stress and chronic headaches. If you're able, relax for a while, take a nap, or head to bed earlier. You just may wake up refreshed and energized. 


Getting the right amount of vitamins and nutrients can help you feel better in general, but avoiding fatty foods like cheese and fried foods, alcohol, and sweets, especially chocolate, can help prevent prolonged migraines.

Other forms of migraine treatment


If hearing loss is to blame for your migraines, a hearing evaluation can determine if you are in need of hearing devices. To schedule your free hearing evaluation, contact us today.