Hearing loss isn’t unusual for patients with cervical spine issues and damage. Studies have shown a link between head and neck injuries and tinnitus; however, the good news is that most of these problems can be treated. In this article, Health and Hearing is taking a closer look at the link between cervical spine problems and hearing loss.
Understanding the Cervical Spine and Hearing Loss
The neck consists of seven vertebrae, and the most common area for spinal injuries is the lumbar area. Studies have shown that abnormalities to the cervical spine, especially in the upper cervical spine, can affect the arteries and nerves connected to the ears, disturbing their functions in certain ways. For example, 60% of patients with cervical rheumatoid arthritis suffer from hearing problems.
Common causes of cervical injury include:
- Sudden trauma from accidents, sports injuries or falls
- Compression fractures from osteoporosis
- Inflammation of the spinal cord
Commonly, the earliest symptom of cervical spine injuries is movement limitation. Recent studies have shown that the gradual degradation of the intervertebral disk and articular cartilage causes problems with the spinal nerves. Over time, these problems will worsen and they can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus.
Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by inflamed blood vessels and nerves, ligament injuries, and damaged middle ear bones caused by untreated cervical spine damage.
Tinnitus Caused by Cervical Spine Issues
Tinnitus is a physical condition that causes ringing or noises in the ears when there is no external source of the sound. Tinnitus is a symptom, not a disease, and it usually goes hand in hand with an additional medical issue.
More than one in ten people who suffer from chronic tinnitus can blame their problem on a neck or head injury. Chronic tinnitus can cause awful discomfort; however, it tends to lessen or disappear once the root cause of the issue has been treated.
Tinnitus caused by a head or neck injury tends to be harder to cope with than gradual tinnitus caused by other factors, meaning these patients are more likely to seek treatment sooner.
Treating Cervical Spine Issues
Problems with hearing due to cervical spine issues can usually be treated by a chiropractor who will locate the spinal misalignments that affect the central nervous system. It’s important to understand the root cause of your issue before making any decisions about treatment.
The first step to treating your hearing loss or tinnitus is to book a hearing test with Health and Hearing in Brisbane. Our experienced specialists will determine the cause of your hearing problems and then make recommendations for the best treatment plan. You can book a free consultation by calling (07) 3366 9355 or contacting us online.