Original Article

Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 32, Issue 10, pp 1437-1441

First online:

Why do patients with fibromyalgia complain of ear-related symptoms? Ear-related symptoms and otological findings in patients with fibromyalgia

  • Fusako IikuniAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Nihon University School of Medicine
  • , Yasuyuki NomuraAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Nihon University School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Fumiyuki GotoAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology, National Hospital Organization Tokyo Medical Center
  • , Masato MurakamiAffiliated withDepartment of Psychosomatic Medicine, Nihon University School of Medicine Itabashi Hospital
  • , Shuntaro ShigiharaAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Nihon University School of Medicine
  • , Minoru IkedaAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Nihon University School of Medicine

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

While fibromyalgia is frequently associated with ear-related symptoms such as feeling of ear fullness, earache, and tinnitus, the pathogenesis of these ear-related symptoms in fibromyalgia patients is unknown. Here, we focused on clarifying the pathogenesis of ear fullness, a particularly common symptom observed in fibromyalgia patients. Twenty patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia on outpatient psychosomatic treatment complaining of ear-related symptoms answered our questionnaire and underwent neurotological examination, including pure tone audiometry and Eustachian tube function testing. While ear-related symptoms were significantly exacerbated after onset of fibromyalgia, we noted no correlation between the presence or absence of feeling of ear fullness and abnormal findings on neurotological examination. Given our findings, we suspect that onset of ear fullness may be associated not with abnormal findings in the middle and inner ear function tests but with other causes, such as central desensitization.

Keywords

Deafness Ear fullness Ear-related symptoms Eustachian tube function Fibromyalgia