Because although migraines are technically classified as primary headaches, they're quite different from ordinary head pain. They're far more severe, for one, often accompanied by nausea, intense sensitivity to light and noises, visual 'auras,’ and the ever-present head throbbing.

A migraine can last for hours. Sometimes even days. And there's rarely a single trigger for them — it varies by the person. 

There is also evidence to support a connection between migraines and hearing loss. According to The American Migraine Foundation, individuals that suffer from migraines may also experience tinnitus. Further research from Taiwan published in the academic journal Plos One, meanwhile, suggests that people who suffer from any sort of recurrent headache, migraine, or otherwise, may have an increased risk of hearing loss

Finally, researchers in the neurology and psychology department of Egypt's Assiut University Hospital tested the function of cochlea and auditory pathways in migraine victims, with patients that did not suffer from migraines as a control group. 

Their tests combined otoacoustic emissions testing (OAE), which measures the vibrations and reactions of the cochlea when stimulated, with the auditory brainstem response test. Abnormalities were present in two-thirds of the people who experienced migraines. The team's findings suggested that a compromised blood supply to the ears might be to blame.

Why are Migraines so Frequently Tied to Hearing Loss?

As you may already know, within your ears are thousands of tiny, susceptible hair cells. Known as stereocilia, they play a vital role in the hearing process. But they're also quite fragile, and like most areas of the body, require an unobstructed flow of blood lest they suffer damage.

During a migraine, the surface area of the brain essentially goes ballistic. This causes the blood vessels connected to the brain to constrict and limit blood flow to the area — including, in many cases, the ears. From there, it's something of a downward spiral, marked by an excess of electrical impulses known as a 'spreading cortical depression.' 

If circulation to the ears is interrupted frequently enough or for a long enough duration, this could cause the stereocilia to die off, leading to sensorineural hearing loss. 

You're probably a bit worried at this point. Don't be. Even if you suffer from frequent migraines, the chance that any of your attacks will be accompanied by sudden hearing loss is very low. 

Even still, there is a connection there. As such, it's likely worth your time to contact both an audiology professional and a neurology specialist. That way, if you are at risk of hearing impairment in the future, they can prepare you for it. 

Finally, suppose you experience sudden hearing loss in one or both ears at any point. This should be treated as a medical emergency and be addressed by a qualified professional as soon as possible.