Fairly Fast Thumping Noise at Random Times — Could I Have Pulsatile Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by seaweedgirl, Jun 13, 2021.

    1. seaweedgirl

      seaweedgirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknowm
      Hi all,

      Hoping to get some ideas about what might be going on with my right ear!

      A bit of history:

      In 2016, I went to the ER because I felt like my right eardrum was going to explode. It turned out that I had swimmers ear. It took two rounds of ear medication to finally go away (so about a month to recover). The medication caused the skin inside my right ear to become very sensitive, and I would get random sharp spikes of pain. I went to an ENT and was advised that my skin was just super sensitive and would need time to heal.

      Over the years, I’ve had on and off “aching” feeling in my right ear, but nothing constant. Needless to say, I’ve seen my GP multiple times to make sure I didn’t have another ear infection.

      2 weeks ago, I was asleep and felt a sharp pain in my ear and loud thumping. This lasted about 3 seconds. The pain was similar to what I experienced when I had an ear infection.

      The pain and thumping noise returned during the day randomly, and was painful, but not as painful as the first time; it only lasted 3 seconds.

      I have now experienced this random thumping noise for 2 weeks, and the pain has gone away. It happens at random times during the day, and still only lasts about 3 seconds. The thumping happens much more frequently when sleeping as it affects my dreams.

      I have found hiccups and burps sometimes trigger the thumping noise. It only ever last about 3 seconds. But can come in waves when I’m sleeping - for example, 3 second thumping, then a minute later, thumping for another 3 seconds, etc.

      I went to an ENT the other day and they said nothing looked unusual with my ear, and that it is probably pulsatile tinnitus and nothing to worry about.

      However, I just don’t think it’s my pulse I’m hearing. I have a very slow pulse, and the noise I hear sounds like a fairly fast thumping. Very confusing and annoying!
       
    2. Orions Pain
      Sad

      Orions Pain Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A series of unfortunate events
      This sounds like Tonic Tensor Tympani Syndrome.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      seaweedgirl

      seaweedgirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknowm
      Thank you for the reply!

      I searched up Tonic Tensor Tympani Syndrome... and it kinda sounds like it, but not quite.

      For example, I am sensitive to loud noises (such as loud music bass) and never go to loud concerts, loud events etc - I avoid them. My ears will get physically sore if I go to a bar and there is loud bass live music (and I end up leaving the bar consequently). I’ve always been one to protect my hearing, but ever since 2016 when I got the ear infection, my ears can get physically sore if I am exposed to loud music - I’ve never have had this thumping as a symptom.

      But this is where it gets confusing:
      • Tonic Tensor Tympani Syndrome typically is constant
      • Tonic Tensor Tympani Syndrome typically occurs after being exposed to intolerable sounds or loud sounds
      • Tonic Tensor Tympani Syndrome typically are made worse when exposed to intolerable or loud sounds
      The thumping in my ears occurs most frequently when I am lying down asleep, in a quiet room. It’s becoming an issue because it wakes me up from my sleep. It can come in frequent waves, and then suddenly disappear. It seems like it triggers the most when I’m in a sleepy-state and lying down. There is no noise that is triggering it. But similar to Tonic Tensor Tympani Syndrome, when the thumping happens, my ears do feel “full”.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      seaweedgirl

      seaweedgirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknowm
      I’ve done a bit of experimenting today to see how I can get this thumping to trigger. A hiccup definitely sets it off when I’m awake - I end up having multiple thumping episodes - initially 3 seconds, then a few seconds break, then a further 3 seconds, a few seconds break, etc. I ended up having about 20 bursts of 3 second thumping before it stopped.

      I’ve found holding down on my right ear opening (tragus) provides relief from the thumping and I can’t seem to hear the loud thumping or feel the pulsating sensation when I do this. This doesn’t stop the thumping episodes from happening, so not super helpful.

      I also have been able to test the thumping against my actual pulse now, and its not the same consistent beat or timing as my pulse. So guess that rules out pulsatile tinnitus?
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      seaweedgirl

      seaweedgirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknowm
      So for anyone who may stumble across this post while looking for answers, and you're not sure what the hell is going on in your ear, try recording your ear with your phone mic close up to your ear opening.

      Make sure you record late at night (like 3 am), when everything is super quiet.

      I was able to record my ear, and you can hear it thumping.

      Obviously this doesn't determine what I have just because it can be heard, but at least now, when I go to another ENT, I'll have a clear audio example of what I'm talking about.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      seaweedgirl

      seaweedgirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknowm
      Update!

      Turns out I have a TMJ issue.

      The ENT I saw was hopeless.

      If you suspect you have an ear spasm (that doesn’t get triggered from noise), it might be related to your TMJ.
       
    7. JaneDo

      JaneDo Member

      Location:
      Amsterdam, Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Vitamins, surgery
      Hi Seaweedgirl,

      How did you get diagnosed with TMJ?
      How did you solve the problem or did it go away?
      Could I get in contact with you?

      Best
       
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