Migraines and Hearing/Balance Issues

Migraines and Hearing/Balance Issues

By Jamie Bogle

In recognition of May Is Better Hearing Month … take time to take care of yourself.

Your hearing and balance care is important to your overall well-being and can be affected by a migraines, headaches, and dizziness.

Migraine is one of the most common disorders in the world, impacting 16 percent of the world’s population over the course of a lifetime.1 Up to 69 percent of patients with migraine also report at least occasional dizziness.2 We know that this relationship exists, but unfortunately our understanding of why this happens is not clear.

Scientists and medical professionals believe that the relationship between migraine and dizziness may be because of anatomical and pathophysiological factors, such as neural pathway and neurotransmitter overlap and vascular and inflammatory processes. 3,4

Many patients with both headache and dizziness symptoms are diagnosed with “vestibular migraine.” Audiologists play a key role in diagnosing and managing patients under evaluation for vestibular migraine by gathering information about the function of the vestibular system.

The audiologist helps to identify possible causes of the dizziness. To do this, the audiologist plans a set of tests for the patient that evaluates the vestibular and balance systems. There are numerous test options that may be used in order to get the most important information for each individual.

The vestibular migraine diagnosis requires a team approach for management for the best outcomes. You may be evaluated by neurologists, audiologists, otologists, physical therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Each patient is different and patients need individualized treatment for the best outcome.             

Get Your Hearing and Balance Checked … Find an Audiologist Near You!

Jamie M. Bogle, AuD, PhD, is the division chair of audiology and a clinical audiologist at Mayo Clinic Arizona. She is the chair of the Academy’s Public Awareness Committee.



  1. World Health Organization. The Global Burden of Disease: 2004 Update. Geneva; 2008. Accessed April 9, 2019.
  2. Özge A, Aydinlar E, Tasdelen B. Grey zones in the diagnosis of adult migraine without aura based on the International Classification of Headache Disorders-III beta: exploring the covariates of possible migraine without aura. Pain Res Manag. 2015;20(1):e1-e7.
  3. Furman J, Marcus D, Balaban C. Vestibular migraine: clinical aspects and pathophysiology. Lancet Neurol. 2013;12:706-715.
  4. Lempert T, Neuhauser H. Migrainous vertigo. Neurol Clin. 2005;23:715-730.