Coping with Migraine and Ringing in Ears

Coping with Migraine and Ringing in Ears


Living with migraines and ringing in the ears can be challenging and disruptive. As someone who has personally experienced these conditions, I understand the impact they can have on daily life. In this article, we will explore how to cope with and manage migraine attacks and the accompanying symptom of ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus.

Understanding Migraines

Migraines are intense and recurring headaches that can be accompanied by a variety of symptoms. These include severe throbbing pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and sometimes, ringing in the ears. Migraine attacks can last for hours or even days, causing significant discomfort and disruption to daily activities.

There are several common triggers for migraine attacks, including stress, hormonal changes, certain foods and drinks, lack of sleep, and sensory stimuli such as bright lights or loud noises. It is essential to identify and understand your specific triggers to effectively manage migraines.

Understanding Ringing in Ears (Tinnitus)

Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the ears or head without any external source. It can manifest as ringing, buzzing, hissing, or other sounds. Tinnitus can be caused by various factors, including exposure to loud noises, age-related hearing loss, certain medications, and underlying health conditions. It can also be a symptom experienced during migraine attacks.

Link Between Migraines and Ringing in Ears

Migraines and tinnitus are often interconnected. Migraine attacks can cause or worsen tinnitus, leading to a temporary increase in the perception of ringing or other sounds in the ears. This phenomenon is more common during the prodromal and aura phases of a migraine, but can also occur during the headache phase.

During a migraine attack, changes in blood flow and brain activity can affect the auditory system and contribute to the perception of ringing in the ears. Understanding this link between migraines and tinnitus is crucial for developing effective coping mechanisms.

Coping Mechanisms for Migraines and Ringing in Ears

Seeking Medical Help

When dealing with migraines and ringing in the ears, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional. They can provide a proper diagnosis and offer guidance on available treatment options. It is important to keep in mind that everyone’s experience with migraines and tinnitus may be different, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Medical treatments for migraines may include over-the-counter or prescription medications to relieve pain and other symptoms. For tinnitus, treatment options might involve addressing the underlying cause, such as managing stress, reducing exposure to loud noises, or using hearing aids. In some cases, specialized therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy or sound therapy may also be recommended.

Lifestyle Changes

Making certain lifestyle changes can help manage both migraines and tinnitus. Start by identifying and avoiding triggers that may contribute to the onset or worsening of symptoms. Keep a headache diary or use a mobile app to track your migraine attacks and identify patterns or triggers that might be contributing to them. In addition, maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise routine, managing stress and anxiety, and ensuring sufficient sleep can all contribute to overall well-being and potentially reduce the frequency or severity of migraines and tinnitus episodes.

Self-Care Techniques

There are various self-care techniques that can provide relief during migraine attacks and help manage ringing in the ears. Applying cold or warm compresses to the head or neck, practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, and using over-the-counter pain relievers (under the guidance of a healthcare professional) can help alleviate symptoms. Additionally, some individuals find relief through alternative therapies like acupuncture, massage, or biofeedback. It is important to remember that self-care techniques may vary in effectiveness from person to person, so it is useful to explore different options and find what works best for you.

Managing Ringing in Ears During a Migraine Attack

When experiencing ringing in the ears during a migraine attack, there are several strategies you can try to help manage the perception of the sound. Distraction techniques, such as engaging in activities you enjoy or focusing on a particular task, can help shift your attention away from the ringing. Using white noise machines, relaxation apps, or soothing music can also provide a background sound that helps mask the ringing and promote relaxation. Avoiding silence during a migraine attack can prevent you from focusing on the ringing, as silence can sometimes make it more noticeable.

Support and Education

Dealing with migraines and tinnitus can be emotionally and psychologically challenging. Joining support groups for individuals with migraines or tinnitus can provide a sense of community and understanding. Sharing experiences, information, and resources with others who can relate to your situation can be invaluable. Seeking reliable information and self-educating about migraines and tinnitus can empower you to make informed decisions about your health and treatment options.

Impact on Daily Life

Migraine attacks and the presence of ringing in the ears can have a profound impact on various aspects of daily life. During a migraine attack, individuals may experience physical limitations, such as sensitivity to light, sound, and movement, making it difficult to engage in regular activities or work effectively. The emotional and psychological effects of chronic pain and disruption to normal routines can also take a toll on mental well-being. Migraine attacks and tinnitus can also present challenges in personal and professional relationships, leading to misunderstandings, missed engagements, or difficulties in communication. It is important to communicate openly with loved ones, colleagues, and employers about your condition and seek support when needed.

When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention

In some cases, certain symptoms during a migraine attack or the presence of ringing in the ears may indicate the need for immediate medical attention. If you experience severe and sudden onset headache with other concerning symptoms such as confusion, slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body, or vision changes, it is important to seek medical help right away, as these can be signs of a more serious underlying condition. Additionally, if you notice any significant changes in your tinnitus, such as sudden and persistent increase in volume or new accompanying symptoms, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional.


Coping with migraines and ringing in the ears can be a constant challenge, but with the right approaches, it is possible to manage and improve your quality of life. By seeking medical help, making necessary lifestyle changes, practicing self-care techniques, managing the perception of ringing in the ears during migraine attacks, and seeking support and education, you can develop effective coping mechanisms. Remember, everyone’s experience with migraines and tinnitus may differ, so it is important to find what works best for you. With patience and persistence, it is possible to minimize the impact of these conditions and regain control over your daily life.

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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