Tinnitus is the presence of a ringing, buzzing, roaring or other noise in the ears that cannot be heard from the outside. Affecting more than 50 million people in the United States, tinnitus can range from mild to severe. Severe symptoms can adversely affect sleep, mood and concentration. Tinnitus can arise from no identifiable cause, but some factors may aggravate your symptoms, including but not limited to:
- Lack of sleep
- A diet high in sugar or caffeine
- Headaches or migraines
A migraine is a severe headache that causes a throbbing pain or pulsing on one or both sides of the head. Migraines are often accompanied by extreme sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting, lasting from a couple of hours to multiple days.
Let’s examine the connection between tinnitus and migraines and what you can do to help alleviate your symptoms.
Why Do Migraines Worsen Tinnitus Symptoms?
One study analyzing the datasets of 193 patients with tinnitus and a headache found that 44.6% suffered from migraines. The study further asserted that there was evidence suggesting a significant relationship between the two conditions.
Multiple hypothesized reasons for the cooccurrence of migraines and tinnitus exist. One prevalent theory is that the spontaneous abnormal neural activity caused by a migraine could result in tinnitus symptoms. Others suggest migraines may cause allodynia (nerve pain sensitive to the touch) that negatively impacts tinnitus symptoms.
There is no known cure for migraines or tinnitus, but managing your symptoms can begin to help reduce their severity.
How Can You Manage Your Symptoms?
Tinnitus and migraines can get in the way of enjoying your favorite meal at On Swann or a night in with your friends. Tinnitus symptoms caused by migraines may be reduced by managing and preventing migraine attacks. Migraine medications fall into two broad categories:
- Pain-relieving medication. Pain-relieving medications are used during migraines to help stop symptoms from becoming debilitating.
- Preventive medication. Preventive medications are taken regularly to help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
If your tinnitus symptoms continue after a migraine attack, a couple of management tips include but are not limited to:
- Wear hearing aids. Hearing aids help reduce tinnitus symptoms by amplifying external noise or playing white noise to help distract from the internal sound of tinnitus.
- Use a noise machine. Tinnitus noise machines can play a variety of sounds to help distract the brain from the internal noise of tinnitus. Noise machines are especially helpful if tinnitus is negatively affecting your sleep.
For more information on managing your tinnitus symptoms, contact Kampsen Hearing today to make an appointment with one of our associates.