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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 797416, 7 pages
Research Article

Tinnitus and Headache

1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Regensburg, 93049 Regensburg, Germany
2Department of Systems Neuroscience, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
3Department of Neurology, Catholic University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
4Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, Kbo-Lech-Mangfall-Klinik Agatharied, 83734 Hausham, Germany

Received 6 May 2015; Accepted 21 July 2015

Academic Editor: Martin Kompis

Copyright © 2015 Berthold Langguth et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Tinnitus and headache are frequent disorders. Here, we aimed to investigate whether the occurrence of headache among tinnitus patients is purely coincidental or whether tinnitus and headache are pathophysiologically linked. We investigated a large sample of patients with tinnitus and headache to estimate prevalence rates of different headache forms, to determine the relationship between tinnitus laterality and headache laterality, and to explore the relationship between tinnitus and headache over time. Method. Patients who presented at a tertiary referral center because of tinnitus and reported comorbid headache were asked to complete validated questionnaires to determine the prevalence of migraine and tension-type headache and to assess tinnitus severity. In addition, several questions about the relationship between headache and tinnitus were asked. Results. Datasets of 193 patients with tinnitus and headache were analysed. 44.6% suffered from migraine, 13% from tension-type headache, and 5.7% from both. Headache laterality was significantly related to tinnitus laterality and in the majority of patients fluctuations in symptom severity of tinnitus and headache were interrelated. Conclusion. These findings suggest a significant relationship between tinnitus and headache laterality and symptom interaction over time and argue against a purely coincidental cooccurrence of tinnitus and headache. Both disorders may be linked by common pathophysiological mechanisms.