If Your Tinnitus Goes From Pulsatile to Constant, Is It Pulsatile Tinnitus Still?

Discussion in 'Support' started by yaom, Jan 23, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. yaom

      yaom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      dont know
      I don't know when my tinnitus started, I noticed it about two months ago which is around the time I started to have vertigo.

      My tinnitus has the following characteristics:

      1. its often but not always louder on the right ear
      2. often goes on both ears and sounds like a tea kettle or static electricity
      3. at times it turns pulsatile on my left ear and disappears on my right ear
      4. there are instances where its pulsatile on left and constant on right at same time

      for example this morning had it on both ears constant, then it turned pulsatile on the left, and went back to constant on the right, then it turned constant on both

      would this be considered pulsatile tinnitus?
       
    2. James
      No Mood

      James Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      Pulsing 03/2013
      Welcome @yaom
      You have described it well. I normally have pulsatile T (hearing/sensing heartbeat), which really never goes away, and actually I think it’s a natural part of my body. And I have had constant tone T thats usually very short lived. So I think they can blend together at times. Maybe that's a good sign that it’s kind of unstable and has not settled in yet, of what’s going on in your body. If only you (we) can get the volume to reduce. Please repeat the last sentence.

      It's you vertigo comment that worries me. I had the same thing. Something going on in the balance system. Please work with you doctor. I think something’s wrong with my nervous system. The initial stages of it all can be very disheartening. I live with mine and still enjoy life and I think you will too. It takes time, much time, I’m still working at it. I hate the times the pulsing gets bad. See the doctor and do the best for yourself.
       
    3. Kaelon
      Wishful

      Kaelon Member Benefactor Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      Boston, Mass.
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Muscle Spasms
      Hi @yaom,

      What you are describing is not pulsatile tinnitus in the classic sense -- which is generally typified by a rhythmic pulsing, wooshing, swishing, clicking, or thumping sound or sensation (like a flutter) that is perfectly in sync with your heartbeat. Instead, what you are describing - a high-pitched oscillation that comes and goes with time, and is sometimes constant - is typical of inflammation. That may not be particularly helpful in the sense that it's unclear what is inflamed -- is it a muscle? is it a nerve? is it a blood vessel? -- but at the very least, it narrows down the etiology to move beyond looking for blockages.

      I presume you've had the usual post-Tinnitus work-ups: MRIs and MRAs of the brain, audiological examinations, and the like, correct? Have you had any conclusions done? Since you mention you don't have any specific "since date," is this something you've had your whole life or is it just something you recently noticed?

      Most of this high-pulse oscillation sound is a symptom of severe stress, neuromuscular trauma, or nerve damage caused by a variety of factors and, because it's multi-factorial, usually does not have an immediate fix but rather a longer-term physical therapy-driven recovery model. I would get a full neurological workup (including sleep study) followed by visits to your dentist for possible TMJ complications to narrow down aggravating factors.

      Best always,
      Kaelon
       
    4. 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
      I agree with James and Kaelon about going to your doctor for further screening, testing, etc. Pulsatile tinnitus is usually constant, whereas yours sounds more like a fluttering or spasm. I don't believe yours is typical pulsatile tinnitus, which is usually vascular in nature.

      Your tinnitus appears to be of fairly recent origin, and in the beginning, tinnitus can be very up-and-down and unpredictable. Vertigo is a common symptom accompanying tinnitus; many of us have experienced it, at least in the early stages. I had vertigo off and on for about four years after my tinnitus/pulsatile tinnitus worsened, but it finally went away. Today, I have no vertigo, and things have improved considerably.

      I wish you well, and hope you'll update us on how you're doing after you see your doctor. You could start with an ENT, then consider going to a neurologist or neurotologist if further evaluation is warranted. You also might want to try to find a TMJ specialist in your area. I went through all of those evaluations myself, and it helped to be able to rule out certain things.

      Good luck, and keep us posted!
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    5. yaom

      yaom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      dont know
      My tinnitus started around November, I started to suffer from vertigo and now I have a diagnosis (Vestibular neuritis) I am currently doing Vestibular therapy and is helping with the vertigo, what is not helping with its with the tinnitus.... my affected ear is the left, that is where I have neuritis, but the ear the causes trouble as far as tinnitus goes is the right (I have it on both but is louder on right).

      I had a brain MRI and neurologist found nothing, they checked my hearing and I am fine, in fact I hear better than most (according to the results probably because I dont use headphones and never exposed myself to loud sounds), my problem is my right ear hurts a bit and goes like a fish swallowing oxygen sort of sound like if you opened your mouth and make a sound with air.... and then I feel this weird pressure.

      At times I am sensitive to noise, I told my ENT and she doesnt make a big deal out of it... she prescribed me ginkgo and magensium and they didnt help (I took them for two months)

      what I fear is deafness or some sort of pain that turns into mystery!
       
    6. 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
      It's good that you've had all those tests, and they came out fine. It doesn't seem like you need to worry about deafness any time soon.

      I think the best thing to do right now is to concentrate on improving your vestibular neuritis. You'll start to feel a lot better when your vertigo is more under control. I had vertigo for quite awhile, too, and it is really scary to deal with!

      I've never had hyperacusis myself, but I've heard from others that the hyperacusis will begin to fade as time goes on. Are you sensitive to only certain sounds, or is it a more general type of sound sensitivity?

      The pressure, or feeling of fullness in the ears, is a common tinnitus symptom. Mine eventually cleared up, but it took me several years for that to happen. Hopefully, that will improve for you, too.

      I don't know why our ears sometimes hurt from tinnitus, but that seems to be a fairly common symptom, as well.

      Please don't despair; work on improving the vertigo; and I believe things will begin to look better for you soon.

      If the tinnitus continues to be difficult to deal with, you could consider going to an audiologist to try some masking devices to see if they would work for you.

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    7. Monica Ellison

      Monica Ellison Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/1009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I have no idea
      Help me please! I'm new to the forum and wish I'd discovered it years ago. I first noticed this swooshing noise in my right ear in 2009. Right away I realized it was in sync with my heartbeat. Then, it was a high pitched siren like sound. If I was lying down and lifed my knee towards my chest, the pitch became higher and as I lowered my leg the pitch became lower. Under the right circumstances the noise can be heard by someone else by putting their right ear on my right ear. Crazy, right!! My daughter was the first person to try and listen and when she said she heard the noise.....I cried!!

      I'd been to several doctors and finally was diagnoses in 2011. Pulsatile Tinnitus. It seems to come and go. Lasting 2-3 months and then dormant for the same. Well, this time it's been since 9/2014 to present. Every day. Depending on the position of my head determines how loud the noise is if at all. Some of the positions can be very uncomfortable and look silly especially wile watching tv and reading even now while on my iPad. Sometimes when I put lite pressure on e artery on the right side of my neck, I can stop the noise. That's not always possible.

      I'm asking for help because I'm now getting scared. Since diagnosed back in 2011 I've moved from Hawaii to Florida and just recently had to stop working to care for my parents full time. So, no medical insurance. The PT is interfering with virtually everything I do. It's very difficult to fall asleep if I can't find the right position.

      Is there a cure or medication or something I can do to STOP THE NOISE??
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    8. yaom

      yaom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      dont know
      Karen, thank you so much for your response, it is so encouraging

      my tinnitus bothers me at night when I am in silence but I don't notice it 60 to 70% of the time... I think I have adapted to it and I don't fear it as long as it doesn't get very loud

      the noise that bothers me is mostly certain sounds at certain frequencies, not all sounds... for example I was watching a video with flutes playing and the flutes at the end go on sort of in low frencuencies and I had to mute it because it annoyed me a bit.

      I notice my right ear hurts when I move my neck a certain way (probably muscular issue), if I bite down the tinnitus increases (probably because the muscle around the ears tense when you bite down.

      the Vestibular diagnosis was found after doing a caloric test that measures ear imbalances... apparently a virus got into my inner ear and messed it up but thank God is not a life long condition (my ENT says that is the reason I have vertigo) but is going away slowly (knock on wood it continues like this)

      the tinnitus seems to be constant though, what I fear is deafness but my ENt like u claim chances are it won't happen!!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    9. yaom

      yaom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      dont know
      I think Karen might be able to help you better than I do

      your tinnitus sounds like its related to the neck, do you have neck issues? DO NOT go to a chiropractor if you have some neck issues, they will make it worse!!

      I hope u feel better but I think u can speak to karen, she seems very knowledgeable

      also go to this website

      www.healthtap.com
      you can ask doctors questions for free and they answer them within the first few hours

      however know this is not deadly!!! is a nuisance but nothing more, so don't panic!
       
    10. 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, @yaom

      I'm wondering if, since you had a virus affecting your inner ear, the tinnitus might slowly subside as your balance slowly gets better. It's possible that the virus did some damage to the tiny hairs inside your inner ears, which could be temporary or permanent, depending on how badly damaged they are. But at least, it sounds like there is a chance it might improve over time.

      Your hearing sensitivity sounds like mine; I don't think we have hyperacusis, but we do have what some people call "reactive tinnitus". It's like when you hear a sound at a certain pitch, your tinnitus gets much more intense. Is that what yours is like? Mine is like that, particularly when I try to watch TV. I don't know what it is about that level of sound, but it really sets off my tinnitus. Then, when I get away from the sound for awhile, my tinnitus settles down again.

      Maybe you would benefit from a masking device that you could get from an audiologist. It might at least protect your ears from the irritating sounds. As for me, I tried one out on a free-trial basis, but it seemed to aggravate my tinnitus, so I didn't purchase it.

      You could have another hearing test in maybe six months if you're truly worried about going deaf, just to be sure there isn't any deterioration in your hearing.

      Good luck, and keep us posted on how you're doing!
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    11. 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, @Monica Ellison, and welcome!

      I can truly sympathize with you on your PT symptoms. I have pulsatile tinnitus in my right ear only, too.
      It can be really upsetting and annoying, and scary, too, especially when it remains constant like yours is now.

      A question: What kinds of tests did your doctor order for you when you were diagnosed? Did you have a CT scan, or an MRI? Was an MRA (arteries) done at the same time? I was thinking that, if you had copies of your scans, you could send them to another doctor for a second opinion-type of evaluation. I've heard that those scans are only as good as the eyes looking at them, so it might be worthwhile to consider. The fact that you can stop your PT by pressing on your neck is usually an indication that it's arterial, from what I've heard from other people.

      Since you don't have insurance now, have you tried any natural supplements to help your tinnitus? (Do you have both regular tinnitus and pulsatile tinnitus?) I've just started taking a supplement called NAC (N-Acetylcistene) over the last couple days, and it seems to be helping the intensity of my tinnitus. My regular tinnitus is a high-pitched hissing sound, and my PT is constant. Another supplement that helps me a bit (and it is calming) is magnesium. I take magnesium chloride tablets before bedtime, and they help me relax so I can get to sleep.

      Do you have any blood pressure issues? Sometimes pulsatile tinnitus can be related to your blood pressure. If you can find ways to get that under control, your PT may improve. Dietary changes --- basically, eating a healthy diet, low in sodium, caffeine, alcohol, etc. --- can also be very helpful.

      We're glad you've joined us here at Tinnitus Talk. Someone is always available here to provide suggestions and support!
       
      • Informative Informative x 2
    12. yaom

      yaom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      dont know
      No idea, its been five months and I am still dizzy, though to a lesser degree... the anxiety that it causes is the worst symptom but I am getting out the hole, controlling anxiety over the vertigo is the best way to deal with it.

      the tinnitus still here, and I can tell when I am gonna have vertigo because tinnitus gets not sharper but whinny, sort of like a screeching sound, then my eyes get weird as if I was high or something.

      I also don't think I have hyperacusis, at times of anxiety I get sound sensitive to certain kind of noises like flutes playing or high pitch sounds, but overall sound doesn't bother me much, especially when I am busy living!

      I am doing vestibular therapy and it has helped, I felt almost normal this weekend but with tinnitus and now I am back to dizzy, though yesterday I had an argument with a spouse, I am unemployed and struggling with personal issues at 37, maybe that also has influence on my physical health!
       
    13. 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
      Well, it sounds like the vestibular therapy is working for you, although it is working gradually. Hopefully, things will begin to improve for you in the future.

      Tension and anxiety can make your tinnitus seem a lot worse, so if there is any way you can get that more under control, you'll begin to feel better.

      How is your pulsating these days -- better, worse, or about the same?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    14. yaom

      yaom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      dont know
      I feel it pulsating when I exercise, or I lay down a certain way

      after having a neurologist and a GP reassured me I am not in any danger (I had a brain MRI) and tinnitus is nothing to worry about in terms of health I have pretty much accepted my tinnitus to the point I feel it mostly in quiet, which is often because I am home a lot... the pulsatile I haven't heard it but I think I am no paying attention that much.

      I want to get rid of this vertigo though but I am also willing to accept it (I guess such is life)
      we overcome what we embrace!
       
    15. 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
      Yaom,

      I used to have vertigo, too, and mine went away. Of course, it took awhile (about 4 years) for it to totally go away. It may have something to do with vestibular imbalance, caused by the ringing and pulsating ear on only one side of your head. That's what I think about mine, anyway. Keep going for those vestibular treatments; I believe things will get better for you!!
       
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