New to the Forum, But Not to Pulsatile Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by innervoices, Jan 21, 2015.

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    1. innervoices

      innervoices Member

      I’ve lived with PT for at least 4-5 years now and 'regular' tinnitus for almost a decade. Early on, I happened to mention it to my father who said he’s heard his heartbeat in his head for almost 40 years – so my fears were somewhat relaxed. I figured it was possibly genetic and just ‘one of those things’ that I’d have to live with, too.

      I was recently referred to an ENT for asymmetric hearing loss and asked the Dr. about my PT symptoms. Right now, the PT is generally fairly mild at rest…easily heard when I move about or exercise, and strangely enough sometimes the loudest when I wake in the middle of the night, like the sound of cicadas. It’s mostly in my left ear (my 'bad' ear), although now and then the swooshing will be more centered in my head.

      The ENT didn’t seem too concerned and said he’d be more worried if I had constant 24/7 pounding in my ear. I continued to ask questions and he abruptly said he’d order an MRI just to see what’s going on. Now I’ve got a decision – to spend a generous amount of money on an MRI (I’ve got a high deductible insurance plan) or roll the dice that I’ve just got idiopathic PT. I’m dealing with quite a bit of anxiety as a result.

      Anyhow, that’s my story – and it’s great to have found a community of people who understand.
       
    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, Innervoices,

      That's a tough call to make. However, if you are at all anxious about your PT and want some assurance that it is not anything dangerous, an MRI is a good way to find out, without any radiation.

      I have PT, too, and I did go ahead and have an MRI/MRA with and without contrast. (I've also had a CT scan, which does emit radiation). They didn't find anything, so that was a relief. I'm still living with PT, but at least I can take comfort in knowing there is no tumor, or fistula, or anything sinister.

      We're glad you've joined our community. You've come to the right place for information and support!!!

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
      • Like Like x 1
    3. Elangee

      Elangee Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      8/20/2012
      I have had pulsatile tinnitus and slight hearing loss for 3 years but never heard crickets like a previous poster I only hear my heart beating. If I am anxious and my heart is beating faster that makes me more anxious because I can hear it. Anyway due to a blockage in a carotid artery I have to have a stent and while reading up on it I saw cases on pulsatile tinnitus being cured by this surgery. I asked the surgeon and he said the surgery does not cure it. Who do I believe? I may never know as he is putting the stent in the opposite ear! Has anyone heard of this cure?
       
    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, Elangee,

      Yes, I have heard of some people's pulsatile tinnitus being cured by a stent in the carotid artery. Here is a link to an article about it:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9559697

      The article was dated 1998, and I'm sure there have been other successful cases since then. However, I don't know about treating the carotid artery next to the opposite ear.

      There are others who have had this treatment; you might want to check the Whooshers.com website and/or the Whooshers Facebook group for more information, from people who have had this surgery.

      I hope it is successful in treating your pulsatile tinnitus. I'd like to hear if it has worked for you, and hope you'll report back after the treatment.

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    5. Garyc

      Garyc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      I have suffered from Pulsatile Tinnitus in my left ear since 2006, four years ago an ENT specialist arranged a CT scan and a ultra sound on my carotid arteries as he thought the problem was vascular, the resulting tests showed a 70% blockage in my left carotid artery. The ENT specialist seemed confident that this was the problem and referred me to a vascular specialist who said that the blockage needed clearing but said that it would not cure the PT, a carotid endarterectomy was performed but there is no change in the PT.

      Gary.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    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, @Garyc ,

      Thanks for responding about the carotid artery procedure. I'm sorry that it didn't make any difference in your PT, but it is good that you found out about the blockage so it could be taken care of.

      Are you going to have any additional tests to try to find out if there is some other cause for your PT, or are you currently living with it as is? If so, do you have any suggestions or recommendations for how you're handling it?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    7. Garyc

      Garyc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Hi. Karen,
      For some time I have been thinking that my problem could be TMJ related, it did not occur to me at the time that a serious side impact car accident had occurred just before the PT started, I have seen a specialist about this but got nowhere. I find that by applying pressure to my jaw in different places I can decrease or increase the sound of the PT, I have tried the 'off the shelf' mandibular devices with no success, I have now discovered an individually made device called the Somnowell which is designed to bring the bottom jaw forward, it is marketed as a device to cure snoring and sleep apnoea, which I also suffer from, so even if it does not work for the PT I may get relief from the apnoea!
      I have ordered a Somnowell device which should be ready in the next couple of weeks and I will let you know the results. I live in England so don't know if it is available in other countries.
       
    8. 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
      Garyc,

      That is very encouraging, and I truly hope it works for you! Yes, it's quite possible that yours is jaw-related, due to that accident, especially since you can change the sound of your PT by applying pressure. I can't do that; mine doesn't change, no matter what I do.

      When I was at the dentist yesterday, I asked the hygienist about TMJ, and she checked me for jaw misalignment. She couldn't see any problem in my case, but did tell me about a device that they can make for you to correct jaw problems or teeth grinding. It sounded very similar to the one you are describing.

      I think you're on the right track, and I'll be interested to hear how the Somnowell device works for you.

      Please write an update after you've tried it out!!
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. Garyc

      Garyc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Hi Karen,

      Will certainly report back after I have received the Somnowell device and tried it for a couple of weeks.

      Regards.

      Gary.
       

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