The Etiological Relationship Between Migraine and Sudden Hearing Loss

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To investigate the relationship between sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) and migraine, assess the prevalence of migraine in patients with idiopathic SSNHL, and determine a possible common vascular etiopathogenesis for migraine and SSNHL.

Study Design:

Prospective cohort study.


Tertiary referral center.


This study initially assessed 178 SSNHL cases obtained from the Head and Neck Surgery Clinic patient database at a tertiary hospital in Turkey between January 2011 and March 2016. Ultimately, a total of 61 idiopathic SSNHL patients participated in the present study.



Main Outcome Measures:

Cases with inflammation in the middle or inner ear; a retro cochlear tumor; autoimmune, infectious, functional, metabolic, neoplastic, traumatic, toxic, or vascular causes; Meniere's disease; otosclerosis; multiple sclerosis; and/or cerebrovascular diseases were excluded.


Of the 61 idiopathic SSHNL patients, 34 were women (55.74%); and 24 (39.34%) had migraine, according to the criteria of the International Headache Society (IHS). The mean age of the migraine patients (Group 1) was 43.83 ± 13.16 years, and that of those without migraine (Group 2) was 51.05 ± 16.49 years. The groups did not significantly differ in terms of age, sex, or SSNHL recovery rates according to the Siegel criteria (p > 0.05). Ten of the migraine patients experienced visual aura, and the recovery rates of this group were higher. Additionally, the rate of total hearing loss was lower in Group 1 (n = 3, 12.5%) than in Group 2 (n = 10, 27%).


SSNHL patients had a higher prevalence of migraine. Although those with migraine had higher recovery rates, the differences were not statistically significant.

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