Can Pulsatile Tinnitus Cause Chronic Headaches?

Discussion in 'Support' started by lphb, Sep 14, 2022.

    1. lphb

      lphb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      For about a year, I’ve suffered from chronic headaches. Sometimes it’s just my temples throbbing, sometimes it’s my temples and my heartbeat in my ears, sometimes it feels like my whole head is pulsing.

      For context, I’ve also had pulsatile tinnitus for about a year.

      I mostly only notice this throbbing when my head is touching something, so mostly just at night when it’s on a pillow. During the day it’s pretty much unnoticeable, but at night it often drives me crazy.

      I’ve gotten MRI, MRA, and CT scans done on my head and neck, and they all came back clean. The specialists had no suggestions for me as far as solutions for my headaches and pulsatile tinnitus. I’m seeing a chiropractor right now, but that hasn’t helped with the headaches either.

      Can pulsatile tinnitus cause such headaches? And if it can, is there anything I can do?

      Any advice is very much appreciated.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    2. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing + Somatic tinnitus from dental work
      lphb, do you have any scans of radiological procedures?

      What’s Causing the Pulse in My Temple?
      If referring to the back of head touching a pillow, then small occipital nerve inflammation. This will cause headaches and a temporary tinnitus increase. Your doctor may make a diagnosis using a physical examination to find tenderness in response to pressure along your occipital nerve. It may not have been noted on radiology. If so, therapy and compress use should help.

      Do you have any jaw problems?
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      lphb

      lphb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Greg Sacramento, I’m sorry, but I’m not sure what you mean by your first question. The scans I listed are the only ones I’ve undergone.

      And I’m a side sleeper, so the pulsing primarily occurs when the side of my head is against the pillow, not the back of it. I’ve had a doctor and a chiropractor check my head for tenderness/soreness, but I don’t have any spots like that. And no, I don’t have any jaw problems.
       
    4. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing + Somatic tinnitus from dental work
      It would be helpful it you could post dimensional images - slices - taken by the machines - that show the bones, organs, soft tissue and blood vessels.

      Images that may seem negative or normal to a radiologist may not to a neuro interventional radiologist, when one has tinnitus, physical tinnitus or pulsatile tinnitus. A consideration is to have your exams reviewed by neuro interventioal radiology. I suggest to see a neuro interventional radiologist. Most likely, you don't have a serious condition. Other tests may be needed.
      If an obstacle appears in the blood flow’s path, there may be a feeling of blood pressure pulsation. As one describe this symptom, the blood “pounds” in the temples.

      Increased palpitations when lying down might indicate certain underlying causes such as a drop in blood sugar or reduced hemoglobin - common and manageable. There's a list of thirty conditions that may contribute to what you mention with head touching and all are treatable. I don't want to guess.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      lphb

      lphb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Greg Sacramento, I didn’t receive any images from the folks who performed my scans—do you think I could obtain them? Thanks for the feedback, by the way. I understand this issue could stem from any number of conditions.
       
    6. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing + Somatic tinnitus from dental work
      I don't want to place any pressure on you to obtain images.
      Consider neurointerventioal radiology to review your scans.

      You mentioned that you experienced some minor hearing-loss the day after a concert in August, but you don't think that's what's initiated the tinnitus, especially the pulsatile part.

      Too young for blood pressure hypertension to cause pulsatile tinnitus.

      Electrocardiogram - a consideration.

      Most likely problem is neck or head.

      Has a doctor placed a stethoscope on your temporal arteries?

      Temporal Arteritis is more common among older patients and almost never occurs under the age of 55, but it's possible. CT should had at least picked up a clue.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      lphb

      lphb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Greg Sacramento, no, a doctor hasn’t done that. Maybe I should ask them to next time. Although, to be fair, I don’t have any Temporal Arteritis symptoms (unless the headaches count).
       
    8. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing + Somatic tinnitus from dental work
      @lphb, static allodynia or tactile allodynia is a headache from the pressure of something against your skin. Most common when putting head on a pillow. So headaches can make nerves sensitive (throbbing) with even the toughest touch.

      Migraine is more than just a headache. It is an overall condition of which the headache is just one symptom. During a migraine, your brain releases chemicals that cause the nerve endings around the brain to send signals to your central nervous system, and that can result in a throbbing head.

      You may have a hypersensitive condition - much of the time there's no other condition, but maybe an underlining association - anxiety, excitement, medications with causes a faster heart beat. Diabetes - blood sugar is possible, but I very much doubt diabetes for you.

      A Neurologist can provide treatment.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      lphb

      lphb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Greg Sacramento, are you saying chronic migraines are a possible cause? I’ve suffered them in the past, but very rarely (a few times a year). They’re much more severe (extreme headache, seeing spots) and they fade away within an hour or two. Unlike these throbbing headaches, which crop up every night and aren’t as severe and don’t cause spots or light sensitivity.
       
    10. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing + Somatic tinnitus from dental work
      @lphb, a hypnic headache is the only type of headache that occurs exclusively at night. It’s often called an alarm clock headache because it only happens when someone is sleeping. They also tend to happen at the same time every night.

      Before you click on the "hypnic headache", an allodynia headache can happen before it extends to a hypnic headache. Allodynia happens often when head is placed to a pillow.

      Again, like Temporal Arteritis, these types of headaches are rare, and very rare being male and under 50 years of age, although they can happen for someone your age.

      If there was another underlying condition causing your headaches and more so when head touches a pillow, problem most of the time could be noted per your MRI, MRA, and CT scans done on head and neck.

      Underlying conditions that won't be noted on scan tests (not saying specifically for you) under 50 years of age, are hypertension blood pressure - low blood pressure, stress, medications or street drugs, including steroids, heart - mitral valve (prolaspe) - a common condition, reduced hemoglobin, thyroid, anemia, low blood sugar, diabetes, which would be rare for what you have going on.

      Try taking blood pressure before lying down and then again when you get up to urinate. Everyone should have the need to get up sometime during the night to urinate.

      Like with anything to do with tinnitus or suspect physical problems related to one's tinnitus, a hundred or more research articles may need to be read.

      Let's go into deep tinnitus/pulsatile tinnitus research - the brain:

      When one is getting into bed, the brain has already decided on what position to take first. More so, when one has tinnitus. More so, when their brain is more tinnitus active - and with this, even more often when one get headaches. All this, often caused from a stress factor and/or high blood pressure. Those with tinnitus, after getting into bed before falling asleep, often have images of feelings and dreams from the night before.

      Since you have had pulsatile tinnitus for a year, I can't say for sure if there's not an underlying condition that causes headaches and more so when placing head to pillow.

      I would consider having a neuro interventional radiologist read scans of tests already taken. Angioplasty of head and neck, by them, may be of consideration.

      Then, if needed, I would consider seeing a Neurologist.
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      lphb

      lphb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
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