Trigeminal neuralgia may increase the risk of tinnitus: A Taiwanese retrospective cohort study

Takeaway

  • Gaining a clearer understanding of the association between the inflammation or pathology of the trigeminal nerve and tinnitus may help to define effective treatment options for patients with trigeminal neuralgia who go on to develop tinnitus.

Why this matters

  • Tinnitus is an auditory condition that affects almost 10% of the population making it one of the most common health conditions in the world. The main cause of tinnitus is thought to be hearing loss caused by noise overexposure and aging, however, emerging evidence suggests that non-otologic causes may also be significant mediators of the condition.

  • Trigeminal neuralgia is a common cause of chronic orofacial pain due to inflammation or pathology of the trigeminal nerve; increasing evidence in the field suggests that such pathology may also contribute to the hyperactivity across neuronal ensembles along the auditory pathway and interactions between the somatosensory and auditory pathways in the brainstem that have been attributed to tinnitus.