MRI, MRV, MRA, Doppler, CT — All Came Back Negative

Discussion in 'Support' started by RGS, May 23, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. RGS

      RGS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1978
      Hi! I've had a constant, high-pitched hiss in both ears for many years, and it bothered me enough!
      But 5 years ago, the same sound became pulsing, and it bothers me even more. I've had most
      tests- MRI, MRV(vein), MRA(artery), doppler of my carotids, and a CT angiogram- all came back
      negative. The only test that I have not had is the cerebral angiogram, and I have not had it because
      it can cause a stroke in some people. I've tried Neuromonics but it did not help much except to distract
      a little from the p.t. The shower and other sounds does mask it. The pulsing sound is in sync with
      my heartbeat/pulse.
      Does anyone else have pulsatile tinnitus? If so, have you found out the cause and a good treatment?
      Thanks, everyone!!
       
    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, RGS, and welcome!

      I'm a three-year pulsatile tinnitus sufferer.

      Like you, I've had tinnitus for many years, in the right ear only. Three years ago, I took a blood pressure drug that caused my tinnitus to increase in severity, and the pulsating tinnitus began as a result. I've had the same tests you've had, all of which came back negative. I'm still searching for a cause for my pulsating, and have an appointment with another neurotologist soon.

      Currently, I'm going to a chiropractic neurologist who is working with me to improve my condition. He has already improved my balance (I had some vertigo and balance issues, and those are gone now!), and is now using cranial therapy techniques to try to calm the pulsating. I don't know if this will work, but at this point, I'm willing to give it a try.

      I have a high-pitched, hissing type of tinnitus, and a constant pulsating tone which never waivers. My ringing and pulsating are calmest early in the morning, build up during the day, and seem worst in the late afternoon/early evening.

      Do you have a time of day when yours is at its worst? Are you continuing to have sleep problems, or have you found ways to cope and to get some sleep? I'd like to hear more about your condition, and what you think may have caused your pulsating to begin.
       
    3. RGS

      RGS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1978
      Hi Karen,

      I notice my pulsating tinnitus throughout the day if I'm not interested in something else and am not distracted.
      I live alone and am retired so I don't have anyone to talk to in person. About an hour and a half before I go
      to bed, I eat some unsalted top crackers and the carbs make me sleepier. I also sip 4 oz of vodka with water
      on the side, and 1 slice of reduced salt ham. In addition, I take 1 .5mg of ativan before going to bed. The
      combination makes me sleepy and I usually fall asleep quickly. I am a man, 6'2" tall and 187, so my body size
      can handle that combination. I tend to get between 5-7 hours of sleep at night- I try not to nap.
      During the day, if I'm involved in some project that interests me, I don't even notice the pulsatile tinnitus.
      If I drink some vodka and water, the vodka will increase the feeling of silence and I don't notice the puls. tin.
      very much until the vodka wears off. And the vodka calms me down about the tinnitus, even if I notice it.

      My internist feels that my pulsatile tinnitus is a variation of the constant hiss tinnitus that I've had for decades.
      Two or three neurotologists feel that my problem is a vein or capillary near my ears. I'm planning on going
      to have a CT of my jaws to see if a dental problem is involved - tmj transmandibular joint disorder. That usually
      means pain in the jaws, but I don't have that. If the test comes back negative for tmj, I'm also thinking of a
      chiropractor if I can find a good one in the Chicago area where I live.

      When I'm at restaurants or out with friends, I don't notice the puls. tin. because it is being masked by talking
      or other sounds, and I am distracted. But when I first wake up in the morning, or when I don't have much to do,
      I hear: hiss-hiss-hiss, and if I take my pulse, it's at the same beat, so I think that means pulsatile tinnitus.

      I've wondered, too, if intense stress can cause this, and then continues it.
       
    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
      Hi, RGS,

      Thanks for responding. Yes, I do think stress could have something to do with our condition, and it could have exacerbated an already-sensitive ear (or ears) to cause the pulsating. At least, that's my theory. Mine started suddenly, after being on a blood pressure drug for a few days, and I don't believe I have any vein or capillary problems.

      I'm also an older adult (almost 67), and still working. My job is sometimes stressful, but I believe that, in my case, it was the stress and fear resulting from the blood pressure meds' side effects that caused my pulsating to begin.

      Could yours have been stress-induced? Did anything happen around 5 years ago that might have caused yours to begin?

      Will be interested to hear if you find out that you have a TMJ condition. Often that can be a cause of PT.

      I'm glad to hear that you've found a formula for sleep that works for you. It has taken me nearly 3 years to finally be able to sleep again. I had insomnia for quite awhile, and it was really wearing me down. Sleep really makes it a lot easier to cope, that's for sure!

      I hope you are able to find a good chiropractor, if you decide to go that route. My chiro specializes in neurological conditions, and has really helped me a lot. While I do still have the pulsating, it seems to be much calmer, and I am better able to cope with it now. I wish the same for you!
       
    5. RGS

      RGS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1978
      Hi, Karen,
      I'm 66 and retired. Mine could have been stressed-related: a year before it started, my girlfriend of 32 years
      died from ALS-Lou Gehrig's disease. I took care of her in her condo the last 2 years of her life. She was 63. I lived in her condo after she died until I could sell it. When I heard the pulsating, I wondered if it were from the stress of being
      her caretaker, her death, and then living alone in her condo and not being able to sell it because of the economy.

      At our age, it could be a partial blockage in capillaries near the ears. I'm thinking of seeing a cardiologist to see
      if this might be a possibility. If it is, I wonder if there is a medication that could dissolve it. I'd have to ask
      the cardiologist. (There is a good book on tinnitus: Tinnitus Questions and Answers by Dr. Jack Vernon, who
      founded the American Tinnitus Assoc. in 1971. In the chapter on pulsatile tinnitus, he wrote that one man found
      that if he lowered his chin to his chest, the puls. tinn. was not as loud. A dr. found that he had a partial blockage
      in one of his carotid arteries. But I had a test for that and no blockage was found).

      I went to a dental specialist: a neuro-muscular dentist. He said that tmj can cause tinnitus, but he never heard of
      it causing pulsatile tinnitus.

      Where did you find a chiropractor who specializes in neurological disorders? I know that there are many chiros
      but it can be hard to find one that doesn't cause more problems.

      Besides sleeping better, I also find that when I'm hungry, the puls. tin. seems worse. Also, when I'm anxious about
      something. As I wrote, if it's quiet in the room but I'm interested in something, I don't pay much attention to it.
      It's when I'm more upset and it's quiet: then I get really bothered by it.

      My internist said that all that I'm hearing is the sound of my heart beating. But if that is the case, then why did
      I not hear this sound years ago? It's hard to believe that I would not have noticed it years before if I had this sound.
      Rick

      .
       
    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
      Hi, Rick,

      You've brought up some interesting points. I'm so sorry for the loss of your girlfriend, and that must have been a very stressful time for you. It does make sense that the stress during that period could have set off your pulsating. Perhaps there is a physical component to it, and the stress just sets it off.

      I have read that, too, about the pulsating being reduced when you lower your chin to your chest. But I've tried that, and it doesn't change mine at all. How I wish that would work for me!

      I agree with you about the "sound of your heart beating". It seems that, if that were normal, we would have noticed it a long time ago. Also --- I have pulsatile tinnitus in only ONE ear. There is absolutely no whooshing, no heartbeat sound, in my "good" ear at all. So, why would I hear my heartbeat in one ear only?

      My pulsating has calmed down quite a bit from what it was 3 years ago. But I have a very annoying, high-pitched hissing ringing along with it. That is particularly bothersome in the late afternoon, and for some reason, watching television is very hard. My sound is reactive, and the pitch of the TV just makes it a whole lot worse.

      More than one of my doctors has told me I have conductive hearing loss in my tinnitus ear, and that stapedectomy surgery would correct the hearing loss (not the pulsating). So far, I have decided not to try that, as I'm afraid it might make my ringing and pulsating even worse.

      The chiropractic neurologist I'm going to is very good, and there are not a lot of chiropractors trained in this field. I found him through a naturopath that I was going to for awhile. You might wish to look up chiropractic neurology to see if there are any with this specialty in the Chicago area. I'm in the Atlanta area, and there is a school here where Dr. Carrick (prominent in this field) trains other chiropractors in this field, which they also refer to as "functional neurology".

      I'll be interested to hear what your cardiologist says, as to whether yours could be caused by a partially blocked capillary near the ears.
       
    7. 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
      Rick,
      Here is a link to a functional neurologist in the Chicago area, if you should choose to go that route:
      http://www.linkedin.com/pub/titus-chiu-dc-ms-dacnb/7/137/2ba

      It may, or may not, work for you, but if all else fails, it's worth a try! I still have pulsating, but I also had balance issues, and my doctor has pretty much cured my vertigo/balance problems.
       
    8. RGS

      RGS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1978
      Thanks, Karen. I'll check this out. I've never heard of the term functional neurologist. I'll have to figure out what
      that means. I've seen neurologists but they have been neurotologists- hearing and neurology. More than one
      told me that pulsatile tinnitus has a vascular cause of some sort.
       
    9. 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
      Rick,
      This is a chiropractic, alternative-medicine type of thing. It's a different route, if other things don't work. I've recommended it because you mentioned the possibility of seeing a chiropractor.

      Yes, I have also heard that pulsatile tinnitus has a vascular cause.

      Please do keep me posted on how you're doing, and on what you find out. I hope you're able to find a cause for the pulsating!
       
    10. RGS

      RGS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1978
      Karen,
      I went to an orthodontist who took 2 CT scans of my head. He said that there may be a little pocket of some sort
      near my ears where fluid or something may have built up. He said that he would consult with an oral surgeon
      about what he saw, and if that person did not have an idea about it, he would consult with a radiologist out east.
      I think that this might take up to 2 weeks for him to do this.
      I asked him if he thought that tmjd could cause this pulsating. He said that it
      has many definitions and not just the typical clicking when a person moves the jaw, or pain. Some tmjd does
      not cause pain.
      So, I'll see what he comes up with. Frankly, I doubt that anything dental is involved here, but it's worth a try,
      and if not involved, then I can cross that off from my list of possible causes.
      If these dental folks don't come up with any cause, then I'll probably make an appointment with a cardiologist,
      as I wrote.
      How are you doing with your pulsatile tinnitus?
      Rick
       
    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
      Rick,

      Thanks for the update! It's encouraging that the doctor did find something that could be causing it, and that he is trying to get more information by consulting with the oral surgeon. At least he didn't just dismiss you, so that's good news.

      Yes, I think seeing a cardiologist might be a good next step, in case nothing comes of the oral surgeon/dental/jaw possibility. I hope you're finally able to get some answers. Don't give up; there must be a good reason for the pulsating!

      I am doing better these days. My ringing and pulsating are both less bothersome than they were at the start. I still have both, but I'm either habituating to it, or something in my body is changing/calming down. My blood pressure is now very good all day. Three years ago, it was pretty high in the afternoons/evenings. That has made a big difference in how I feel and how I am coping with the ringing/pulsating.

      I'll be interested to hear what happens when the orthodontist gets back to you in a couple weeks.
       
    12. cogen1965

      cogen1965 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have the same hiss pulsing. Going for a doppler ultrasound tomorrow. Was wondering if you have had one. If you did, did it make your condition worse?
       
    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
      Hi, @cogen1965,

      I'm sorry to hear that you have the hissing and pulsating, too. Do you know how yours started?

      Yes, I've had a Doppler ultrasound, and it did not make my condition any worse. I hope yours will result in some answers for you. Have you had any other tests? How long have you had the hissing and pulsating?
       
    14. James
      No Mood

      James Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      Pulsing 03/2013
      Hello @RGS

      Rick, good story of searching for causes. I also have pulsing Tinnitus. You've done more tests than I have. Seems like lots of stories involve stress as we lose loved ones, etc. Maybe the stress part can get rid of the pulsing, that would help.

      What I wanted to say is, keep us informed of your search for any findings or improvement.
      Hope you’re doing ok with it all.
       
    15. cogen1965

      cogen1965 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you for responding. It makes me feel better about going for the test. I think it was from the ibuprofen the doctor gave me due to a leg injury, which at the time had no effect on me but several months later I took more and then it stated, I think a couple days later. A different doctor assured me that wasn't it but ncbi.government has it listed as a ototoxic drug, which isn't listed on the bottle! Who knows???? Again I want to thank you so much for responding. God bless. I ask for God's grace everyday.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    16. 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
      @cogen1965

      My pulsating and high-pitched hissing started after a drug, too. In my case, it was blood pressure medicine. The doctor said he didn't think it was the medicine in my case, either!

      Good luck with the carotid Doppler, and I hope you'll update us when you get the results of the test.

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
    17. cogen1965

      cogen1965 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello,wanted to update u on my doppler test. Everything came back fine.
       
    18. 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, @cogen1965,

      I'm glad everything came back fine. That is good news, and thanks for the update.

      Are you going to consider having any more tests, or going to any other doctors?
       

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