Chiari Online Support Group

Charity and hearing


Can Chiari affect hearing? I found out about my Chiari in January. When the results of my hearing tests were strange, the ear dr suspected an auditory tumor and sent me for an MRI. Images showed no tumor but a 15 mm herniation. The ear dr, as well as two different neurosurgeons, have told me that it isn’t the cause of my hearing loss, but I’m not convinced. My left ear has had a feeling of fullness for at least 5 years, and I’ve had nonstop tinnitus in the same ear. I got a hearing aid at the end of June, and at first it seemed to help. I could hear better…the full feeling was gone…I didn’t notice the tinnitus. Then, last week, I woke up with a lot of pressure in both ears and just felt strange. Not dizzy or light-headed, really, but sort of disconnected. Since then, I feel like the hearing aid hasn’t helped as much. I’ve checked it several times just to reassure myself that it’s still turned on. I’ve had tinnitus in my right ear as well, and the tinnitus in my left ear returned like someone flicked a switch. It was suddenly very loud and persistent, even over the hearing aid. Not sure whether this is just my brain adjusting to the hearing aid or a progression of the Chiari.


I have occasional trouble with tinnitus. My neurologist said that it is related to chiari, although I don’t know specifically how.

I did find this article on the topic on the Conquer Chiari website (which is a great resource):

Hope it’s helpful!


Yes, I am assuming the tinnitus is due to the Chiari. I guess I should have specified…I’m wondering whether the Chiari may be causing the hearing loss/changes/ear fullness.


I have been diagnosed with tinnitus. I get hearing loss a lot, especially when I am on the phone and stay in the same position too long. After I hang up and move my head in a different position I will lose my hearing for about 5 minutes. Slowing I hear a ssshhhh sound for about a minute then I can hear normal again. I also hear gurgling water sounds in my head at night, when I move into a new position.