Possible Pulsatile Tinnitus — Very Worried

Discussion in 'Support' started by Danielle85, Apr 23, 2015.

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    1. Danielle85
      Worried

      Danielle85 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Hi Everyone - Brand new here, and am hoping to find some good information and possibly comfort with what I am going through. About 3 or 4 weeks ago I had a couple days where my ears felt plugged and then started having a pulsing feeling/sound in my ears and head that is constant but does go up and down with my heart rate/pulse. I also noticed my hearing was slightly sensitive to high pitched noises but feel no loss of hearing. I do not have any ringing, just a constant pulse/heartbeat feeling/sound. It actually seems like I can feel it.

      I recently went to the doctors thinking it had something to do with my ears and perhaps I had Estuchian Tube Dysfunction. When I was there and I explained the heartbeat sound my doctor listened to my neck and mentioned that my blood was 'rushing'. He requested that I come back in a few days so he could listen again, so I am going back later today.

      Since that doctors appointment I really tried to focus on the sound/feeling and see if it was coming from my ears or not. I have noticed now that it actually seems to be only my left ear and that when I put pressure on the veins in the left side of my neck it stops.

      I am a little worried that the doctor asked me to come back, obviously he heard something. Could this indicate that there is something underlying causing this pulsing feeling/sound.

      I am so worried about this and just feel like breaking down most days :(
       
    2. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Difficult to say, but that may actually be good news, relatively speaking. It may mean something can be actually done about your symptoms. Pulsatile tinnitus is different from regular tinnitus. See chart below (left-hand side).

      upload_2015-4-23_21-10-19.png
       
      • Informative Informative x 2
    3. 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, @Danielle85,

      I have pulsatile tinnitus, too, in one ear only (right ear). It's certainly not much fun to live with, and you can actually feel it. When mine started, I could feel it throughout my entire body when I would lie down. Five years later, it is much better, and I can function again.

      Yours sounds like it might be venous, due to the fact that you can actually stop it when you press on a vein in your neck. Nothing I do seems to stop mine from pulsating.

      It would be good for you to go back to your doctor for further evaluation, especially if it is bothersome to you, or if it seems to be getting worse. The doctor might suggest testing, and perhaps the first test might be an MRI. I had an MRI, plus an MRA (arteries). You can also have one of the veins (MRV). It might be worthwhile to do this, just to rule out anything specific that might be causing it. Many of us never do find a cause, so you're fortunate that the doctor seemed to hear something.

      Good luck, and please keep us posted on how you're doing.

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
    4. Danielle85
      Worried

      Danielle85 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      @Karen thank you for your kind words. I did go back to the doctors yesterday and he again said that my blood is rushing quite fast through my veins, so he is sending me for some testing and to a cardiologist. He mentioned he could hear a very light heart murmur, but wants to get it checked out just to be safe.

      Right away he said it was pulsatile tinnitus, but that in majority of cases where there is no cause found it is only an issue because patients have noticed it and then become anxious about it. He mentioned once you become aware of it people allow it to be something they think about all the time, therefore it is strongly attached to anxiety. So basically I felt like he was trying to say everyone could hear this but only certain people tune into it. That just doesn't make sense to me, I have never noticed this pulsing any other time in my life.

      I am having bloodwork done, and also an ultrasound done of the veins and arteries in my neck to start with so I am crossing my fingers something is found!

      Thanks again for listening and any helpful advice, it is much appreciated! :)

      Danielle
       
    5. undecided
      Fine

      undecided Member

      Location:
      Greece
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown.
      That is so weird...

      You're actually hoping that something is found... In any other case we'd be hoping that nothing is found.
       
    6. Danielle85
      Worried

      Danielle85 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      @undecided should I not be hoping they find something? Maybe just my mistake, I was thinking if something was found it may lead to a solution.
       
    7. undecided
      Fine

      undecided Member

      Location:
      Greece
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown.
      Well I hope they don't find anything and your T is resolved which is the best scenario!
       
    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
      Hi, @Danielle85 .

      I agree with you about hoping something is found. For those of us with pulsatile tinnitus, there is a possibility that if something is found, it can be surgically corrected and the PT will go away. That makes us very motivated to keep going to doctors and having tests run!

      I'm not sure I agree with your doctor about this being something that everyone can hear. I had never been aware of hearing the pulsating before, either. And mine is only in one ear. There is absolutely no pulsating sound in my other ear, believe me! I've certainly listened for it often enough.

      Good luck with the blood work and the ultrasound. That is a good place to start. Then, if your doctor agrees that more testing is needed, you could consider having an MRI.

      Best of luck, and please keep us posted on how you're doing!

      Hugs,
      Karen
       
    9. Danielle85
      Worried

      Danielle85 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      @Karen thank you for the kind words of encouragement!

      I have also requested to be referred to an ENT, I would like to have my ears and hearing checked just as a precaution. But I agree that the bloodwork and ultrasound are a good place to start.

      I did a bit of research today for Tinnitus specialists/clinics in my area and turns out there is a Tinnitus clinic at a nearby hospital that offers TRT and both individual/group info sessions, counseling and support groups. So I think that might be a great idea for me to get involved with eventually as well. In order to attend the clinic you must have documentation from an ENT which is why I have requested to go see one as well.

      I am trying to stay positive! I find the emotional aspect of this the hardest as I have always been an anxious person.

      Thanks again for the support!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    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
      I understand what you mean, Danielle! I'm sort of an anxious person myself, and having tinnitus and pulsatile tinnitus makes us fear the worst, even though there may be no basis for it.

      I'm so glad to hear that there is a tinnitus clinic near you. There, you might be able to get some assistance and emotional support, and they might be able to tell you of other options for treatment.

      Good luck, and don't give up the fight!
       
    11. Pilot
      Mellow

      Pilot Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Baltimore, MD
      Tinnitus Since:
      December, 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I also agree about wanting something to be found. It sounds like yours is probably a more classical whooshing PT, mine is a pulsating hiss.

      When you get the ultrasound I would mention to the technician that the noise stops when you push on the veins, and which ear so they can spend extra time in that area.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    12. Danielle85
      Worried

      Danielle85 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      @Karen do you know if it is normal to feel a bit of lightheadedness or a little dizzy from the PT? I also feel like the pulsing goes up the side of my head and gives me a bit of pain/headache up the side which feels weird. Any insight you can lend is great, thank you!
       
    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, Danielle,

      It isn't unusual to feel a little dizzy or lightheaded from the PT, especially if it is in only one ear. I've had a mild headache on occasion, too. I had a lot of dizziness, and some episodes of vertigo, especially the first year I had it. However, I've had PT for almost 5 years now, and the dizziness/vertigo is virtually gone.

      I think the reason for the dizziness has to do with an imbalance in the Eustachian tubes. It may take your body some time to adjust to this new sound and feeling in your head, and when it adjusts, the dizziness will hopefully settle down for you, too.

      Hope this helps!!

      Karen
       
    14. Danielle85
      Worried

      Danielle85 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Hi @Karen

      Thanks again for your insight, it is so reassuring! I have done some bloodwork and am back to my doctor to review on Wednesday evening. I will continue to post about any findings and progress.

      Thanks for all the support!
      Danielle
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    15. Danielle85
      Worried

      Danielle85 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Hi @Karen, one more question for you if you have a moment.

      Is it normal for the pulsating to increase with heartrate and exercise? For instance after walking or running up a flight of stairs the pulsing is so strong and fast it is a pounding I can feel it in my entire head. Is that normal, or do you have that as well?
       
    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
      Hi, @Danielle85

      Yes, I had that, especially in the beginning. Now that I've had it for nearly five years, that hasn't been as much of an issue.

      My whole head used to pound when I exerted myself in any way. It doesn't do that so much any more. It is a quieter sound now.
       

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