Okay, Am I Doomed or What?

Discussion in 'Support' started by gmcmanus66, Oct 15, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. gmcmanus66

      gmcmanus66 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Sorry, flair for the dramatic. Short story long, back at the end of August I either started hearing or just started noticing a very high-itched (hissing?? ringing??) that was perfectly timed to my pulse in mainly my left ear. Being a psychologist-treated health anxious person, I immediately panicked before deciding to do what my counselor trained me to do...wait a few months to see if my symptoms changed before I ran off to the doctor. This is advice strictly for something that doesn't appear life-threatening, of course. And STAY OFF THE INTERNET, of course! Well, my paranoia got the best of me and I started looking up what was going on and found the term "pulsatile tinnitus." I started with "tinnitus" but quickly found this sub-diagnosis.

      My PT tends to be screaming when I wake up in the morning, sort of comes and goes during the day (but if I try hard I can always seem to go find it if it has gone to the background). It tends to slack at night. I can go to sleep just fine.

      So in my internet searches, I have discovered that I'm either totally screwed by things such as fistulas, carotid stenosis, various types of tumors...OR, PT is "most often harmless," "usually nothing serious". I think I read that some cases of PT can resolve on their own if given time as well, so maybe 2 months (1.5 months really) isn't enough time for any improvement.

      After getting panicked, I did make an appt. with my family's ENT for Monday. I'm to go for a hearing test then directly to see him. I'm dreading starting all these tests. I've had 7 MRIs already due to a spinal tumor 6 years ago and the 5-year annual follow-ups. But, I guess I'll just do what I need to.

      A bit of background...I'm 50, in good shape, work out pretty vigorously 6-7 days/week. I am hypothyroid controlled by medicine, and I take an anti-anxiety med daily due to the health anxiety. I've always had a cricky neck, seems like, with some shoulder pain over the last several years.

      So which is it...am I screwed or are the really bad causes really that rare? I'm pretty sure I can adjust to it if I just know I don't have some tumor or something growing in my head.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. Kazue

      Kazue Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/19/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Calm down firstly. Since you have spinal and neck problems, I wouldn't panic. That could be the reason and can be addressed. I would recommend you got a spine doctor to get a diagnosis. They can probably fix it. Pulse like Tinnitus is usually fixable as well. It's probably bleed rushing through your ears. But of course, it is great you're going to the ENT for it. No offense to anyone but they can sometimes useless on the topic of T because they haven't experienced it.
       
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    3. gmcmanus66

      gmcmanus66 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Kazue,

      Okay, calming down!! ;)

      I have sort of gotten the notion that a lot of ENTs don't understand the different between T and PT. My spinal tumor was way down my back, so I have no idea what impact it has had...plus it was 6 years ago. Just sort of weird the PT popped up suddenly one day (unless it was there for awhile and I didn't notice it). One of the characteristics of health anxiety is an enhanced sense of body awareness.
       
    4. Kazue

      Kazue Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/19/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Dunno, I feel like due to your medical history, this isn't caused by the actual ears. But please tell me your results at your ENT appointment. I'm curious to know what caused this.
       
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      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      Keep your appointments with doctors and specialists and most of all, try not to stress over this. Added stress sure won't help. Be careful what you read and try. Research everything well if your going to use the net for answers.

      Hoping you can get to the bottom of this and get it under control. In the meantime, I suggest you take this comic strip to heart........ enjoy!

      http://johnhartstudios.com/ckennelstrips/2016/october/ckn100616dc.jpg
       
      • Like Like x 2
    6. gmcmanus66

      gmcmanus66 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks Mike! Would you say that in most cases, PT is usually due to something not dangerous and not life threatening? I keep the "good" info like that bookmarked but somehow I can't stop from finding the other stuff.

      I'm just dreading this long road of tests and waiting for results. I've been down this road before. I mean, if I've exercised pretty vigorously everyday since my PT started (actually helps to quiet mine for awhile), surely an aneurysm or whatever would have gone kerblam! by now, right?
       
    7. gmcmanus66

      gmcmanus66 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I'm working out right now on the elliptical and noticed ttthat my pulsing adopts the rhythm of my legs pumping and not my heart. Does anybody else with PT that exercises notice anything like that?
       
    8. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      Strange..............
       
    9. DirM
      Pensive

      DirM Member Benefactor

      Location:
      San Diego
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 11, 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      TMJ/TMD
      Yes. My T is in rhythm with my heartbeat, except when I walk/run, which then goes with my pace. My T is caused by TMJ, so I am assuming even the slight movement of my TMJ creates a pressure spike that overcomes the heartbeat. Also, as I posted elsewhere, the beating (whether my heart or legs) is much lower as my T has come down.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. gmcmanus66

      gmcmanus66 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      DirM, ahhhh, so maybe I'm not crazy after all! I tested it this morning as I worked out by slowing down while my heartrate was up in the 140 range and it did indeed slow with my pace on the elliptical. So are you taking treatment for the TMJ and that has helped your T to come down? My jaws sometime "click" when I exercise too as I bounce up and down.
       
    11. gmcmanus66

      gmcmanus66 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I saw the audiologist for a hearing test yesterday morning and I do have hearing loss in the high frequency range (probably due to either age or some previous exposure to loud sounds, plus I'm from a very poor, rural area and I had a ton of untreated ear infections as a kid). So then I saw the ENT and he examined me, listened to my neck and around my ears, checked for bruits and objective vs. subjective. Said he couldn't hear any problems anywhere. We went through my medical records and did a thorough history.

      After hearing my description about how my PT can switch between PT and regular T (albeit infrequently), go from left ear to both (albeit infrequently), and go away altogether for a portion of the day, he didn't feel the need for any imaging tests. In his opinion, if it was one of those rare cases of something curable or even more rare cases of something dangerous, it would be less intermittent and also louder.

      He said my lower range hearing was still excellent but with my higher frequency hearing loss, my brain was reproducing that sound for me because it missed hearing it so much (haha, I'm paraphrasing there). I've always been able to sense and feel/hear by heart rate throughout my body, particularly in my left ear for some reason. I have a very hard heart beat due to the amount of exercise I do (ejection fraction close to 70% from left ventricle). So as he put all my medical records together as one, basically what he came up with is that my brain is producing the high pitch (which comes and goes) and that's sort of "mixing" with my hard heart beat through either my jugular or carotid next to my ears (but especially with my left). Since I'm still have excellent hearing in that lower frequency range, that's why I'm having a mixture of PT, T and nothing. Venous hum he thought.

      I think that's good enough for me to come to peace with it and start to habituate. If it gets louder or constant, he said come back and we'll start over. I went in thinking he wasn't even going to know what PT was but he was fairly knowledgeable. I'll keep track of it and watch (or listen I guess) for any changes. He did say I'm fairly early in this event it could improve.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    12. volsung37

      volsung37 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      I had PT for 8 months from Oct 2014. Freaked me out at first. Then after about 6 months it started to disappear of itself.
      Think mine was due to infection in the middle ear. PT is often more prone to disappear than 'ordinary' T but you're as well getting an MRI just in case its a neuroma (a vanishingly small possibility fortunately).
       
    13. gmcmanus66

      gmcmanus66 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Only about 10 tumors are newly diagnosed each year per million persons in the United States, corresponding to between 2,000 and 3,000 new cases each year.

      I'm counting on the odds!:cautious:
       

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