Background: Tinnitus due to hyperactivity across neuronal ensembles along the auditory pathway is reported. We hypothesized that trigeminal neuralgia patients may subsequently suffer from tinnitus. Using nationwide, population-based data and a retrospective cohort study design, we investigated the risk of tinnitus within 1 year following trigeminal neuralgia. Methods: We used the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Dataset, a claims database, to identify all patients diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia from January 2001 to December 2014, 12,587 patients. From the remaining patients, we identified 12,587 comparison patients without trigeminal neuralgia by propensity score matching, using sex, age, monthly income, geographic region, residential urbanization level, and tinnitus-relevant comorbidities (hyperlipidemia, diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, cervical spondylosis, temporomandibular joint disorders and injury to head and neck and index year). All study patients (n = 25,174) were tracked for a one-year period to identify those with a subsequent diagnosis of tinnitus over 1-year follow-up. Results: Among total 25,174 sample patients, the incidence of tinnitus was 18.21 per 100 person-years (95% CI = 17.66 ~ 18.77), the rate being 23.57 (95% CI = 22.68 ~ 24.49) among patients with trigeminal neuralgia and 13.17 (95% CI = 12.53 ~ 13.84) among comparison patients. Furthermore, the adjusted Cox proportional hazard ratio for tinnitus in the trigeminal neuralgia group was 1.68 (95% CI = 1.58 ~ 1.80) relative to the comparison cohort. Conclusions: We found a significantly increased risk of tinnitus within 1 year of trigeminal neuralgia diagnosis compared to those without the diagnosis. Further studies in other countries and ethnicities are needed to explore the relationship between trigeminal neuralgia and subsequent tinnitus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number46
JournalJournal of Headache and Pain
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 6 2020


  • Tinnitus
  • Trigeminal nerve
  • Trigeminal neuralgia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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