Developed Pulsatile Tinnitus — Putting Pressure Under the Left Ear Stops It — Doing My Head In

Discussion in 'Support' started by Maz, Feb 19, 2019.

    1. Maz

      Maz Member

      Hi
      I'm new to this forum but am a little bit desperate at the moment.
      I've had chronic tinnitus for over 10 years now. 3 very loud different sounds in both ears constantly.
      Manage to carry on with everyday life with the odd "bad" day when it got to me too much.
      Now I have developed pulsatile tinnitus in my left ear and it is driving me to distraction.

      If I move my head at different angles I can sometimes get it to ease but oddly enough if I put pressure under my left ear it stops, them resumes when I remove pressure.

      Does anyone else find that pressure stops it? Obviously I can't hold my hand there all day as I'm guessing it's not good to restrict the blood flow either.

      Can anyone tell me their experience or what the Drs have said.
      Thank you
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @Maz Changes in blood flow such as general increased blood flow, local increased blood flow or turbulent blood flow may be the cause for pulsatile development. Also high blood pressure or a narrowing of a blood vessel near the ear may be the cause. Medication may help.

      But first, have you had complete blood work for WBC, infection, cholesterol and thyroid? An ultrasound of neck? Any other tests such as MRI?

      You mention 3 sounds in both ears and tinnitus before pulsatile tinnitus development. This is not that uncommon and it's been the same for me, but I have other serious stuff going on.

      Do you have recorded hearing loss? Any physical problems or injury including neck, jaw or oral cavity? Any posture problems? Any dental trauma? So many questions to ask about your history. Telling us about any history may help.
       
    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Maz

      HI Maz,

      Many people learn to live with tinnitus (habituate) as you have done for quite some time. It would help if you were able to say what originally caused the tinnitus, because is rarely appears out of nowhere and for no reason? Since it has become more problematic with pulsatile tinnitus, I think it's best you get a referral to ENT so tests can be carried out on your ears and auditory system.

      If you listen to music through headphones then for the moment, I advise you not to use them even at low volume. Please click on the links below and read my posts, which you may find helpful.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/is-positivity-important.23150/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-and-the-negative-mindset.23705/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/acquiring-a-positive-mindset.23969/
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Maz

      Maz Member

      Hi Greg & Michael
      Thanks for you responses.

      My tinnitus did just start. I woke up one morning to crickets and there was no main cause. No injury or exposure to loud noise.
      The hospitals all did tests and didn't know why either. A hearing test showed that I was high pitch deaf and it was more or less agreed that maybe I was born with it and didn't notice as I didn't know any different. A hearing specialist said that I miss numerous letters and sounds and somehow my brain has learnt to fill in the gaps.

      I haven't had an appointment at the Drs yet, as it's only been going on for about 2 weeks now.

      I had a similar experience a year or so ago and had pulsatile tinnitus in my left ear but Drs couldn't tell me why. Well he put a sethascope under my ear and said he couldn't hear anything and sent me to the hearing specialist (mentioned above) luckily it went as soon as it came.

      The only issues I have really health wise is hiatus hernia and lower back pain (rubbing fascet joints and 2 deflated discs) which is manages by spinal injections as and when needed.

      I have been under a lot of stress recently and am trying to calm down but am starting a new job in a week and I guess, stressing that I will be ok doing it doesn't help.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    5. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      HI @Maz

      Thank you for the additional information as it helps a lot. Some people such as my Hearing Therapist are born with tinnitus and this may have been in your case. Stress and tinnitus are intrinsically linked and I mention this in many of my posts. If you sleep in a quiet room then I advise that you start using a "sound machine" by your bedside at night. More about the benefits of using sound enrichment is in posts that I have sent you.

      I think you should still be seen at ENT and have a full examination on your auditory system. If the tinnitus persists and you find it difficult to cope with, a referral to a Hearing Therapist will probably help.

      Hope you start to feel better soon.
      Michael
       
      Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
      • Informative Informative x 1
    6. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @Michael Leigh and @GregCA are best to address this. I see that Michael just did. My only knowledge relating to this is serious hearing development at 4 months from delivery complications.

      This is common. An ultrasound and then a repeat MRI may be needed beyond blood work.

      All of this can relate and be a cause of tinnitus. Any acid reflex or GERD with association to a hiatus hernia can cause pulsatile tinnitus. Facet joints and deflated discs definitely can cause physical/somatic tinnitus. A doctor of physical therapy may be able to help with this. I could post several professional links on how facet joints and deflated disc relate to tinnitus, but detailed posture examination is what's needed now.
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Maz

      Maz Member

      This is all so helpful thank you very much.
      I shall book an appointment with the Dr and ask for a referral to ENT. As I agree, some sort of scan is necessary at this point.

      I do have GERD yes, and suffer with acid reflux, I take Omeprazole but still suffer. (Due a camera down in April)

      Interesting about the posture...

      I must sound like a right disaster lol
       
    8. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      I couldn't possibly comment @Maz but I do like your sense of humour....lol

      Best of luck
      Michael
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Maz

      Maz Member

      I'm a strong believer in laughing at yourself.
      Laughter is the best medicine :)
       
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    10. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Thanks for the mention, Greg.

      @Maz - I suggest you go down the diagnosis path with the help of this flowchart: https://www.tinnitusresearch.net/index.php/for-clinicians/diagnostic-flowchart

      You doctors can help you follow it.

      Obviously your high frequency hearing loss seems to be a good explanation for your T, but the addition of occasional pulsatile adds another dimension worth exploring.
      I do have the occasional PT too, but I have a "modified ossicles system" after my stapedotomy, so I am more sensitive to changes in my body that affect the middle ear. We don't notice it when our ears are healthy, but the middle ear is connected to many other parts of the body. Bending over or exerting a bit of force (like opening a jar) can easily affect my middle ear.

      Good luck with the diagnosis.
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Maz

      Maz Member

      Hi Greg.
      Did you have your stapeotomy because of tinnitus, or did it help it or cause it?
      Could be something unrelated too I guess.
      Thanks for the information and I will discuss the flow chart with my Dr and see what happens.

      I must admit I just got so used to Drs and people telling me that I had to "Just get used to" my tinnitus I guess that's what I tried to do. However, this pulsatile tinnitus takes the biscuit and is almost too much to bear at times.

      Interesting to think that other parts of the body effect the ears, apart from the obvious.

      Thanks guys. All helps :)
       
    12. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I had my stapedotomy because I have otosclerosis and it is your typical surgery for it (replace the stapes bone with a prosthesis). Its primary goal is to close your air-gap so you can hear better. In 50% of the cases roughly, the T also subsides after surgery. I wasn't so lucky, mostly because my losses weren't just conductive: I also had sensorineural losses because the disease can also damage your cochlea if you are unlucky.
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Maz

      Maz Member

      Sorry to hear that. (No pun intended)
      I hope your hearing improved from the operation though.
       
    14. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Overall I think it was positive: I regained a good chunk of hearing (most of my low frequencies) but I did lose a bit on the high frequencies. The biggest godsend for me is that it got rid of 99% of my severe hyperacusis.

      The second thing that seems to have happened is that my hearing degradation seems to have been arrested by surgery, or perhaps by the fluoride treatment along with the rest of the supplements. Whichever is responsible for this I don't know, as they all started around the same time, but I'm grateful that things aren't getting measurably worse.
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Maz

      Maz Member

      Yes does sound overall a positive success.
      Hyperacusis, must've been awful, good riddance that is as good as gone.
       
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    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Maz

      Maz Member

      Went to Drs today and I'm being referred to ENT.
      Probably be months but..... on the right track
       
    17. AZeurotuner

      AZeurotuner Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tucson, AZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I used to have quite intrusive pulsatile tinnitus. I too have noticed that different head positions could either relieve, or exacerbate it. At its worst, I could put my head down and have this drum-like pounding mixed with a jet rumbling noise. It was terrible.

      What helped significantly was when I staring using a konftec laser (808nm) about a year ago and later switched to a Redlightman LED unit (830nm). As of now, I can only hear it in quiet rooms or when straining, lifting heavy weights for example. Head movement can still modulate it, but to a far lesser extant than before.

      I'd recommended giving it a shot before having a surgical procedure performed. The Redlightman is cheap (~$120 USD) and comes with practically no risks (unlike laser).

      Give Dr. Micheal Hamblin a Google, he's a Harvard professor who has published hundreds of peer reviewed articles and studies on the lllt. It's not snake oil like some folks will try to suggest. At this point my PT is effectively cured, no BS.

      Just my two cents,
      Ross
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Maz

      Maz Member

      Hi Azeurotuner
      I had a Google of those things as I've never heard of them.
      Glad they work for you. Do you know what caused your pulsatile tinnitus?
       
    19. AZeurotuner

      AZeurotuner Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tucson, AZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      You know Maz, I'm not 100 percent sure. I have sustained a few ruptured ear drums, been exposed to extremely loud noises (gunshots, motorcycles, bouncing at a very loud night club, pro car audio, etc.), had frequent ear infections as a child, and taken my fair share of ototoxic medications (lots of antibiotics for ear and sinus infections, as well as a considerable amount of pain relievers from back when I had frequent migraine headaches). It's likely a culmination of all the abuse my ears have sustained over the years.

      The light therapy didn't have much of an effect on my regular tinnitus, but man did it knock down the pulsatile aspect of it. Photobiomodulation's healing effects can be very profound for certain alignments, luckily PT happened to be one of them.

      The cool thing about the Redlightman is that it's not specifically made for tinnitus, it casts a wide and powerful beam that can be used on other parts of the body as well.

      Good luck, hopefully you can get some relief!
       
    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Maz

      Maz Member

      Good to know and nice to hear some things actually do work/help.
      Will look into it.
      Thanks
       
    21. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Maz

      The ear and auditory system are delicate. For straightforward tinnitus, a 4 to 6 months wait to be seen at ENT is the right approach. If you had additional symptoms: impaired hearing (deafness) dizziness or pain in the ears, then this requires more urgent attention.

      Michael
       
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    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Maz

      Maz Member

      Just headaches and the depressing feeling that, as if 3 deafening sounds aren't enough, now got pulsatile to add into the mix.
      Must admit I had an aspirin earlier and it helped a little. A little blood thining goes a long way lol :)
       
    23. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Cool, but keep tabs on the aspirin you take. It is ototoxic unfortunately. I wouldn't worry about the occasional intake, but if you wanted to either take high doses or for long periods of time, it may be worth consulting with a doc.
       
    24. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Good to see you are maintaining your humour @Maz for I know it isn't easy. It's quite understandable the way that you feel, with the additional sounds that you are now hearing. A light sedative maybe helpful and advise that you have a word with your GP about how you feel. Please do not be quick to dismiss what I'm suggesting because it can be of immense help and doesn't need to be taken long term. Please click on the links below and read my posts.

      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-and-mental-health.21978/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/can-antidepressants-and-other-medications-help-tinnitus.18466/
       
    25. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Maz

      Maz Member

      I

      I've been taking citalopram for a few years now, I feel they help.

      Must admit I'm the first to "show" that I'm fine and laugh and joke. Guess it's just my own masking, trying to convince myself I'm ok. Works most of the time.
       
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    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Maz

      Maz Member

      I though a little aspirin a day is good for you? So many conflicting reports. Google is a good thing but also confusing.
       

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