18 February 2020

Headaches increase the risk of tinnitus and hearing loss

Tinnitus, hearing loss and sudden hearing loss are much more common among people with non-migraine headaches than among people who do not experience chronic headaches, a study finds.

A Taiwanese study has found that the risks of tinnitus, sensorineural hearing loss and sudden hearing loss are significantly higher in people with chronic non-migraine headaches than in those without headaches.

Up to three times higher risk

The study found that the combined risk of either tinnitus, sensorineural hearing loss or sudden hearing loss were all almost three times higher (risk factor 2.73) among people with non-migraine headaches than in the group without chronic headaches.

People with non-migraine headaches also had a three times higher risk of developing tinnitus (risk factor 3.05) and had a two times higher risk of sensorineural hearing loss (risk factor 1.89) and sudden hearing loss (risk factor 2.14) than those without headaches.

Earlier studies have found that migraines increase the risk of both hearing loss and sudden hearing loss.

About the study

The study consisted of 43,294 patients with non-migraine headaches and 173,176 patients with no headaches (the control group) from the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005 of the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. The incidence rates of tinnitus, sensorineural hearing loss and sudden hearing loss were compared between the two groups.

The study “Risks of tinnitus, sensorineural hearing impairment, and sudden deafness in patients with non-migraine headache” was published in the journal PLoSOne.

Sources: www.neurologyadvisor.com and the journal PLoSOne.

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