Treating Migraine with Ringing in Ears: Patient Insights

Treating Migraine with Ringing in Ears: Patient Insights


Migraine attacks are debilitating episodes characterized by intense headaches and a range of accompanying symptoms. One additional symptom that some individuals experience during migraine attacks is ringing in the ears, a condition known as tinnitus. In this article, I will share my personal journey with migraine attacks and discuss the impact of ringing in ears on daily life. Additionally, I will provide insights into seeking medical advice and exploring treatment options for managing both migraine attacks and the associated symptom of ringing in the ears.

Personal Experience with Ringing in Ears during Migraines

As someone who frequently experiences migraine attacks, I have also encountered the distressing symptom of ringing in my ears during these episodes. The frequency and duration of this symptom can vary between individuals.

Frequency of Migraines and Ringing in Ears

For me, migraine attacks with ringing in ears tend to occur every few weeks. However, it’s important to note that this may vary for different individuals. While some individuals may experience these symptoms more frequently, others may only have occasional episodes.

Duration of Ringing in Ears during a Migraine Attack

The duration of ringing in ears during a migraine attack can also differ. In my experience, the ringing typically lasts for the duration of the migraine, which can range from several hours to a few days. However, some individuals may have shorter or longer episodes of ringing in ears during their migraine attacks.

Impact of Ringing in Ears on Daily Life

The presence of ringing in ears during migraine attacks can significantly impact daily life. The continuous noise can make it challenging to focus and concentrate on tasks at hand. Sleep disturbances are also a common occurrence, as the ringing can interfere with falling asleep or disrupt sleep throughout the night. Additionally, the emotional and psychological impact of this symptom should not be underestimated. The constant ringing can be distressing and may cause feelings of anxiety and frustration.

Seeking Medical Advice

If you experience migraine attacks with ringing in ears, it is crucial to seek medical advice to understand the underlying causes and explore suitable treatment options. Initiating a conversation with a healthcare provider is the first step in addressing this symptom effectively.

Initial Visit to a Healthcare Provider

During my initial visit to a healthcare provider, I discussed my experience with migraine attacks and the additional symptom of ringing in ears. The healthcare provider performed a thorough assessment and considered various factors that could contribute to the ringing, such as increased blood flow to the brain or nerve sensitivity and hyperactivity.

Diagnosing and Confirming the Association of Ringing in Ears with Migraines

To diagnose and confirm the association of ringing in ears with migraine attacks, additional tests may be conducted. These tests can include a comprehensive medical history review, physical examination, and, in some cases, imaging studies to rule out other potential causes.

Potential Causes for Ringing in Ears during Migraines

While the exact cause of ringing in ears during migraine attacks is not fully understood, there are several potential explanations:

  • Increased blood flow to the brain: Migraine attacks involve changes in blood circulation, and the increased blood flow to the brain could contribute to the ringing sensation.
  • Nerve sensitivity and hyperactivity: Migraines are characterized by abnormal brain activity, which can affect the nerves responsible for hearing and lead to the perception of ringing in the ears.

Treatment Options

Managing migraine attacks with ringing in ears can involve both medical and non-pharmacological approaches. It’s essential to work closely with your healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your specific situation.

Medications to Manage Migraines and Ringing in Ears

Various medications are commonly used to manage migraine attacks, including those specifically targeting the ringing in ears symptom. These medications may include:

  • Triptans: These medications help relieve pain and reduce other migraine symptoms, including ringing in ears.
  • Antidepressants: Certain antidepressants can be effective in migraine management and may also help alleviate the ringing sensation.
  • Beta blockers: These medications, often used to treat high blood pressure, can also be beneficial in reducing migraine frequency and associated symptoms.
  • Anti-seizure medications: Some anti-seizure medications have been found to be effective in preventing migraine attacks and may have a positive impact on the ringing in ears symptom.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of these medications can vary for each individual. During my journey, I have tried multiple medications with varying degrees of success in reducing both migraine attacks and the accompanying ringing in ears. It’s crucial to be patient and work closely with your healthcare provider to find the right medication and dosage that works for you.

Non-pharmacological Approaches

Alongside medications, non-pharmacological approaches can play a significant role in managing migraine attacks and the associated ringing in ears. These approaches may include:

  • Lifestyle modifications: Adopting healthy lifestyle habits, such as stress management techniques, maintaining regular sleep patterns, making dietary changes, and avoiding triggers, can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks and the accompanying ringing.
  • Complementary therapies: Exploring complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, biofeedback, and cognitive-behavioral therapy, can provide additional support in managing migraine attacks and the associated symptom.

Tracking Symptom Changes during Treatment

Tracking and recording your migraine symptoms, including the presence of ringing in ears, can provide valuable insights into your condition and treatment effectiveness. Noting specific details about each migraine attack and its associated symptoms can help identify patterns and make informed decisions regarding treatment.

Importance of Tracking and Recording Symptoms

Recording symptoms serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it helps in personal motivation and reducing stress by providing a sense of control and awareness. Secondly, it enables more effective communication with your healthcare provider, as it provides a clear overview of your symptoms, their frequency, and triggers.

Strategies for Tracking Symptom Changes during a Migraine Attack

Several strategies can be employed for tracking symptom changes during a migraine attack:

  • Using a headache diary or mobile application: Documenting details about each migraine attack, including the duration, intensity, and presence of ringing in ears, using a dedicated headache diary or migraine-tracking mobile app can streamline the tracking process.
  • Recording the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks and ringing in ears: Taking note of how often migraine attacks occur, their duration, and the severity of the associated ringing sensation can provide valuable information for assessing treatment effectiveness.
  • Observing the impact of medication and lifestyle changes on symptoms: Tracking changes in symptoms, including the reduction or intensification of migraine attacks and the ringing in ears, after implementing lifestyle modifications or adjusting medication can help identify effective treatment strategies.

Sharing Symptom Records with Healthcare Provider

Sharing your symptom records with your healthcare provider is crucial for effective treatment. It enables discussions about the effectiveness of the chosen treatment options, identification of patterns or triggers, and adjustments to the treatment plan if needed.

Collaborating with Healthcare Provider

Collaborating with your healthcare provider is essential for the management of migraine attacks and ringing in ears. Open communication and regular check-ups help ensure that you receive the necessary support and modifications to your treatment plan based on your individual needs.

Importance of Open Communication

Openly sharing your concerns, experiences with medication side effects, and any challenges faced during treatment is pivotal in refining your management plan. Your healthcare provider should be aware of any issues you encounter to provide appropriate guidance.

Regular Check-ups and Follow-ups

Scheduling regular check-ups and follow-ups with your healthcare provider allows for consistent monitoring of your progress in managing migraine attacks and ringing in ears. During these appointments, your healthcare provider can assess the effectiveness of treatment, address any new or worsening symptoms, and modify the treatment plan if necessary.


Living with migraine attacks and the additional symptom of ringing in ears can be challenging, but there are various medical and non-pharmacological treatment options available to manage these symptoms. By seeking medical advice, tracking symptom changes, and collaborating closely with healthcare providers, individuals can find relief and improve their quality of life. If you are experiencing migraine attacks with ringing in ears, remember that you are not alone, and professional help is available.

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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