Migraine and Ear Numbness: How Patients Manage

Migraine and Ear Numbness: How Patients Manage

Migraine and Ear Numbness: How I Manage

Introduction to Migraine Attacks

Living with migraine attacks can be challenging, and one symptom that often accompanies my migraine attacks is ear numbness. Migraine attacks are debilitating episodes of intense headache, often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and in some cases, even ear numbness.

Understanding Ear Numbness during a Migraine Attack

During a migraine attack, the sensation of numbness in my ear can be distressing and alarming. The connection between migraine attacks and ear numbness is not yet fully understood, but it is believed to be related to the involvement of certain nerves in the head and neck region.

It is important to note that ear numbness during a migraine is different from a standalone condition called “numb ear syndrome.” While numb ear syndrome can also cause ear numbness, it is not specifically associated with migraine attacks and may have different underlying causes.

Occasionally, ear numbness during a migraine attack can also be caused by other factors such as sinus congestion or tension in the neck muscles. It is crucial to consult a healthcare professional to rule out any other potential causes and ensure proper management.

Strategies for Managing Migraines and Ear Numbness

Medications for Migraine Relief

Acute medications play a vital role in managing migraine attacks and relieving symptoms, including ear numbness. Some commonly prescribed medications for migraine attacks include:


Triptans are a class of medications specifically designed to target migraine attacks. They work by constricting blood vessels, reducing inflammation, and alleviating symptoms like headache and ear numbness. Examples of triptans include sumatriptan, rizatriptan, and eletriptan.

I find that triptans can be effective in providing relief, but it is essential to take them at the earliest signs of a migraine attack for maximum effectiveness.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, can also be used to manage migraine attacks. These medications help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain, including the discomfort of ear numbness. It is crucial to follow the recommended dose and instructions provided by a healthcare professional.

Combination Medications

In some cases, combination medications that include both a pain reliever and a sedative or anti-nausea component may be prescribed. These medications can help address multiple symptoms of migraine attacks, including ear numbness. However, it is important to carefully follow the instructions and be aware of potential side effects.

Tracking Medication Effects

Tracking the effects of each medication I take during a migraine attack has been crucial in understanding how well they work for me and identifying any potential side effects. Here are a few ways I track my medication effects:

Taking Quick Notes during an Attack

During a migraine attack, I make sure to take quick notes on my experience with the medication I take. This includes noting how fast the medication starts to work and any changes I observe in the intensity of my symptoms, including ear numbness.

Questions for the Doctor

I also compile a list of questions to discuss with my healthcare provider during my next visit. These questions may include:

  • Are there any potential side effects I should be aware of?
  • Is there a recommended time frame within which I should expect relief from symptoms?
  • Are there any specific instructions on how to use the medication effectively to address ear numbness?

Complementary and Alternative Therapies

In addition to medications, I have found certain complementary and alternative therapies to be helpful in managing migraine attacks and reducing ear numbness:

Yoga and Meditation

Practicing yoga and meditation regularly has helped me reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being. These practices promote relaxation, which in turn can alleviate migraine symptoms, including ear numbness.


Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese therapy involving the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body, has shown promise in relieving migraine attacks. While its exact mechanism is not fully understood, it is believed to stimulate the body’s natural pain-relieving mechanisms and promote healing.


Biofeedback is a technique that helps individuals gain control over certain bodily functions, such as heart rate and muscle tension, through the use of electronic devices. It can be used to manage migraine attacks by teaching individuals to recognize and reduce muscle tension, which may contribute to symptoms such as ear numbness.

Exploring Alternative Treatments

There are various alternative treatments that some individuals find helpful in managing migraine attacks and associated symptoms. It is important to approach these treatments with caution and consult a healthcare professional before trying them. Some alternatives include herbal supplements, vitamins and minerals, and chiropractic care.

Lifestyle Modifications to Prevent Migraines

While acute treatments are necessary for managing migraine attacks, I have also made certain lifestyle modifications to help prevent migraine attacks and reduce the frequency and intensity of ear numbness:

Identifying Triggers and Avoiding Them

Keeping a migraine diary to track triggers and symptoms has been immensely helpful in identifying the factors that contribute to my migraine attacks. Common triggers to watch out for include certain foods and beverages, stress, lack of sleep, and environmental factors. By avoiding these triggers, I have been able to prevent some migraine attacks and minimize the occurrence of ear numbness.

Maintaining a Regular Sleep Schedule

I have found that maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, including getting an adequate amount of sleep each night, has had a positive impact on my migraine attacks. Sudden changes in sleep patterns can trigger migraine attacks, so establishing a routine and prioritizing sleep has been beneficial.

Managing Stress through Relaxation Techniques

Stress is a known trigger for migraine attacks, including ear numbness. I have incorporated relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and taking regular breaks throughout the day to manage stress levels. These techniques help me reduce tension, promote relaxation, and minimize the impact of stress on my migraine attacks.

Adopting a Healthy Diet and Regular Exercise Routine

I have discovered that maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise can play a significant role in managing migraine attacks. While individual triggers may vary, I have found that consuming balanced meals, staying hydrated, and engaging in moderate exercise, such as walking or swimming, can help prevent migraine attacks and reduce the occurrence of ear numbness.

Seeking Professional Help for Migraines and Ear Numbness

While self-management strategies can be helpful, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan. Here are some important aspects to consider:

The Importance of Consulting a Healthcare Professional

Seeking professional help is crucial for effectively managing migraine attacks and addressing ear numbness. A healthcare professional can provide a proper diagnosis, recommend appropriate treatments, and help identify any underlying conditions that may contribute to migraine attacks.

Choosing the Right Healthcare Provider

It is important to choose a healthcare provider who specializes in treating migraine attacks, such as a neurologist or headache specialist. These specialists have in-depth knowledge and experience in managing migraine attacks and can provide expert guidance tailored to individual needs. In some cases, they may refer patients to other specialists, such as ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors, if necessary.


Living with migraine attacks and ear numbness can be challenging, but through a combination of medication, complementary therapies, lifestyle modifications, and professional guidance, I have been able to effectively manage my symptoms. By taking an active role in my own care, tracking my symptoms, and seeking appropriate help, I am hopeful for improved quality of life and relief from the distressing symptoms of migraine attacks and ear numbness.

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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