Caffeine & Pulsatile Tinnitus: Does It Relieve Your Symptoms?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Stumbleina, Dec 10, 2014.

?

What Does Caffeine Do to Your Pulsatile Tinnitus Symptoms?

  1. It makes them worse. I avoid caffeine.

  2. It alleviates them (even if only temporarily).

  3. It does nothing one way or the other.

Results are only viewable after voting.
tinnitus forum
    1. Stumbleina
      Wishful

      Stumbleina Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2013
      Hi everyone,
      I am brand new on this forum and this is my first post. I thought about making an introductory post first, but I thought that a lot of the information I was going to type would be better off in the PT forum anyway, so here I am!

      My name is Hannah and I've had pulsatile tinnitus off and on for a couple of years now. I can't remember exactly when it began, but I honestly didn't really pay much attention to it until it went on for several weeks and got worse over time.

      I have been struggling with my weight for years now, and at the time that I noticed the PT getting particularly bad, I was at my heaviest ever. This past summer, my PT went away completely as I started exercising and losing more weight. In July, I went on vacation and let myself go a bit, and the PT came back. I've been struggling to keep it in check again ever since.

      Let me preface this all by saying that I have not been officially diagnosed with PT, but I am not sure what else it could possibly be. My symptoms match exactly. I hear a whooshing, sometimes whining noise in my right ear which corresponds to my heartbeat. If I change positions, or bend over, the whooshing can get significantly worse and I get the feeling of pressure in my head (though I do NOT have lots of headaches, dizziness, or blurred vision). Recently, I read an article about obesity and PT, and how obesity can increase the pressure in your head and basically cause PT. The only reason I have not yet gone to a doctor about it is because I lack the financial security to see a specialist about it. I am hoping this will change early next year, but for now I am just doing my best to lose the weight again, and find ways to cope (another article I found mentioned a study done on a number of women who were obese and had PT - when these women lost weight their cerebrospinal fluid pressure decreased, and 90% of them were cured of PT. This gives me hope!).

      This all leads me to my question for you guys - have any of you seen relief from PT with the use of caffeine?

      I ask because when it was particularly bad a few days ago, I took some Excedrin to relieve the headache that I had. About a half hour later, my PT lessened by about half. On a hunch, I drank a cup of coffee, and lo and behold - the PT was muted. I still get the feeling of pressure when I bend over (not a ton - I've never liked that feeling of blood rushing to my head! It may be that I'm just more sensitive to it now, or maybe it really is a little more noticeable), but the whooshing associated with my PT subsides for several hours.

      Now, it's entirely possible that the fact that I am on track again on my diet and losing weight is at least partially the reason for my PT getting better. However, I can't deny the correlation between drinking coffee or having a bit of caffeine and my PT subsiding almost completely a few hours later.

      I started to think back to the summer, when my PT was gone completely, and I was definitely drinking more coffee at that point. In fact, it was to the point where I made myself stop drinking coffee because I would get coffee headaches on the days that I did not drink it! I "quit" drinking coffee shortly before I gained that weight back in July. It's entirely possible that the caffeine constantly being in my system was the reason that I didn't experience any symptoms of PT at the time, or it could be because I was losing weight every week. Or both!

      In any case, I've rambled on long enough, and I'd love to hear from anyone else who may have noticed the same thing. Would it make sense that caffeine could possibly alleviate (even temporarily) the symptoms of pulsatile tinnitus?
       
      • Like Like x 1
    2. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Hannah, and welcome to Tinnitus Talk!

      I'm glad to hear you've found something that will temporarily mute your pulsatile tinnitus, and I wish I could say that it worked for me, too. However, I don't really notice a change when I drink caffeine. Since my PT started, I have cut way, way back on my caffeine consumption, and have been drinking mostly decaf tea and water for these past four years. I'll try it again, however, and see if I notice any difference in my PT. If I do, I'll post a follow-up here.

      Yes, I do think your PT could be related to your weight gain/weight loss cycle, and wanted to be sure you've heard about IIH (benign intracranial hypertension), which sounds like what you're describing. You might want to Google it and read the symptoms. Do you ever get headaches accompanying the PT? A feeling of pressure in your head? I believe there is a drug that some people with IIH take that relieves the PT symptoms for them. You could ask your doctor about it when you are able to get a check-up.

      My PT has a different cause. It started after I took blood pressure meds, so mine may be blood-pressure related, or related to taking an ototoxic drug.

      I wish you well, and am glad you've joined us here at Tinnitus Talk!

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Winner Winner x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    3. Stumbleina
      Wishful

      Stumbleina Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2013
      Hi Karen! Thanks very much for the reply :)
      I have indeed heard of BIH - I have a hunch that is what may be causing my PT, but I am not positive since I rarely have headaches or dizziness as they have described tends to accompany BIH. That doesn't mean I don't have it though, and I'm well aware of that fact! I do sometimes feel pressure in my head, for example. However, it's generally when I have my head down - like when I am bending over to reach something. Still, it's definitely something I will be mentioning to my doctor when I am able to get an appointment. If I could get a medication to help with that and get rid of the PT completely, that would improve my quality of life so much. I have always been a bit of a baby when it comes to pain (which is why I am sure I don't get many headaches associated with my PT - I would be crying over it constantly!), and this PT has had me on edge for far too long. On the days when it is bad, I can be a real "peach" to be around.

      Until I can get in to see my doctor, I am just going to keep working on my weight loss (I am currently on a ketogenic diet which has done wonders so far, and has been the easiest 'diet' I've ever tried to stick to!) and drinking coffee occasionally to see if it does help with my PT. I won't be convinced of that until I successfully alleviate the PT on multiple occasions with the help of caffeine (and ruling out any other obvious possibilities), but I am hopeful that it could be an easy go-to for me to get quick relief.

      And thank you for making it a point to try it yourself! I certainly hope that it doesn't have any negative consequences though, as I know there are definitely people who react the opposite way to caffeine. Still, bravo for being so open to investigate! I will really appreciate hearing your feedback, either way it goes.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. Lous22

      Lous22 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2015
      Did you ever find out the cause of your pt? Mine is also lessened if i drink caffeine.
       
    5. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, @Lous22,

      I never have found the cause for my PT, and lately I have just been "living with it". It hasn't gotten any worse, and in fact, it has gotten somewhat better with time. I've found that, for me, keeping busy really helps me to not focus on it so much.

      Caffeine doesn't seem to affect my PT or T one way or the other, but I do wish it would lessen it, as it does for you.

      How long have you had PT? Do you have regular tinnitus along with it? And have you had any tests to try to determine the cause?

      I'd be interested in hearing more from you about your PT.

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
    6. menno

      menno Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      3 weeks
      Might be low cortisol. I got low cortisol, and caffeine, stress, and exercise gives me a lot of relieve.
       

Share This Page

Loading...
If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.