Pulsatile Tinnitus That Cycles Every Few Seconds?

Discussion in 'Support' started by hans799, Sep 12, 2020.

    1. hans799
      Mellow

      hans799 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Hungary
      Tinnitus Since:
      Born with it
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Worsened Dec 2016 by headphones
      Hey,

      In May 2019 I heard my pulse whooshing in my right ear for a few weeks. Back then I didn't really care and it mostly went away. However, since a few days it's been back and due to the ongoing lockdown I really freaked out about it.

      It is a rhythmic thump/whoosh, exactly in sync with my pulse. It has a cycle time, it is absent for 30 seconds or so, then appears, gets louder, reaches a peak, fades out (all in roughly 30 seconds), then it's quiet again.

      During the day it's mostly inaudible, but it's disturbing at night and interferes with my sleep.

      I've visited an ENT. He immediately performed a blood pressure measurement on me, it's 160/85 with a pulse of 91. One measurement is not enough for a diagnosis but it sure seems like I have hypertension. The ENT says that's the cause of the trouble.
      I've also scheduled an appointment with a neuroradiologist and will ask him to perform an MRA on me, just to clear any suspicion of blood vessel abnormalities.

      Questions:
      * Do you think hypertension is a good explanation here?
      * Does anybody have thoughts on why the thumping would have this on-off cycle? I can't think of any bodily process that cycles every 30 seconds.
      * I'm a bit panicked. Does anybody have reassuring words? I'm an old hand when it comes to regular tinnitus but pulsatile is a whole new arena for me.

      Thanks!
       
    2. tiniturtle

      tiniturtle Member

      Location:
      Rochester, NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      3/19/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Paromomycin
      You're doing the right thing.

      1. Hypertension can be a factor, but that solely usually isn't the issue.

      2. The intermittent nature is normal for pulsatile tinnitus. This is how it almost always presents.

      3. Don't panic. You're dong the right thing by having it investigated. The times it becomes dangerous is when people ignore their symptoms and don't get it checked out, and leave it for a long time to develop into something worse. Also, after having it investigated, even if there is an issue, the surgery to correct it is relatively low risk and minimally invasive, with a quick recovery.

      Have you read my thread on this topic?
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      hans799
      Mellow

      hans799 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Hungary
      Tinnitus Since:
      Born with it
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Worsened Dec 2016 by headphones
      Do you think it can go away by treating the hypertension? It did go away for more than a year previously.

      Yes, I read your thread - that is how I chose the specialist to see. My guy is a neuroradiologist + neurointerventionalist combo. Thank you for your thread and your support in the Pulsatile Tinnitus subforum!
       
    4. tiniturtle

      tiniturtle Member

      Location:
      Rochester, NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      3/19/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Paromomycin
      It really depends on the underlying cause. If it's something like DAVF, it won't get better. Having lower blood pressure is always better though.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      hans799
      Mellow

      hans799 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Hungary
      Tinnitus Since:
      Born with it
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Worsened Dec 2016 by headphones
      Wanted to ask - what do you mean by "intermittent"? The fact that mine pulses 30 seconds on/30 seconds off, or that it went away for more than a year then came back? Frustratingly, I couldn't find many patient reports which contained this detail.
       
    6. UKBloke

      UKBloke Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music / family history
      Hey @hans799, I have experienced EXACTLY the same scenario this year but in my left ear. It went away for a few weeks then came back again, and then went away. I'm not concerned at all about it.

      I was a bit bunged up and it was going on in the middle of lockdown too. Personally I think this year has been so extraordinary in terms of what has been going on with Covid etc that many of us are actually a heck of a lot more stressed out than we realise. And as we know, stress levels are a major factor in these conditions we live with.

      I think you're doing the right thing seeing the doctor though, and putting your mind at rest. BTW - glad to hear that your tinnitus has gone back to pre-Lenire baseline. Good news!
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      hans799
      Mellow

      hans799 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Hungary
      Tinnitus Since:
      Born with it
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Worsened Dec 2016 by headphones
      You're so right, man. I looked back in my journal and last year when this came on for the first time all I did was make a note saying "I seem to have pulsatile tinnitus", and then another note a few weeks later saying "that thing went away". Zero reaction.

      Then last week I was already in the dumps with a major breakup, a painful change in my social circle, and Hungary's second COVID-19 wave hitting like 3 days of each other. Aaaand then this shit again! Probably explains why I'm freaking out so badly. I'm doing my best to be a strong, resilient man, but could the universe please give all of us a break, for God's sake?!
      Yeah, I'm really happy about that. You know what? I'll take a mild bout of pulsatile tinnitus any day over a serious "classic tinnitus" spike. At least pulsatile is supposed to be diagnosable and treatable.

      Thanks for replying to this thread and letting me vent, whew this felt great.
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      hans799
      Mellow

      hans799 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Hungary
      Tinnitus Since:
      Born with it
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Worsened Dec 2016 by headphones
      The ENT who measured the 160/85 blood pressure referred me back to a GP for further evaluation. I went yesterday. I've been measuring my blood pressure at home using an Omron M2 device, and the GP also measured it 3 times in her office, and all of the systolic readings were around 135-140. So the GP says I don't have hypertension. My blood pressure definitely is elevated, but it doesn't require medication. I'll be doing a lot of cardio, though (which I've completely neglected for years).

      The pulsatile tinnitus is still there, still doing its on-off thing. Its volume does change, sometimes it's a lot softer. Maybe that has to do with blood pressure? Anyway, I'm glad that it's not worsening.

      My sleep is still affected. I'm using 600mg valerian root to help me drift off, and I get 5-6 hours a night with several wakeups. It's not very great, but not that terrible either.

      Psychologically I'm doing better, that horrible initial panic has subsided. Even if everything stays like this, I'll still have a life very much worth living. Although I do expect some worse days ahead.

      My only real fear is that it gets significantly worse, or that it has a malicious cause. One of my grandmothers died of cerebral hemorrhage. I hope that the neuro-interventional radiologist I'll see next week can clear these fears up. If the MRA and angiography and other tests come back clean, I can expect the thing to be benign and stay stable, right?
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      hans799
      Mellow

      hans799 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Hungary
      Tinnitus Since:
      Born with it
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Worsened Dec 2016 by headphones
      I just had my appointment with the neurointerventional radiologist. He sent me for an MRI and an MRA, with the appointment in roughly 2 weeks. He's also very experienced with cerebral angiograms, but first the MR.

      The last couple of nights were fairly good, I could sleep without valerian. I do drink a fair amount of wine, though. Alcohol takes my mind off pulsatile tinnitus, normal tinnitus, coronavirus, economic crisis. Alcohol is a good friend of mine.
       
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    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      hans799
      Mellow

      hans799 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Hungary
      Tinnitus Since:
      Born with it
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Worsened Dec 2016 by headphones
      Damn thing is 95% gone. I've now had 7 nights in a row when it was either very easy to ignore or completely absent. The bad part lasted roughly 2 weeks, exactly like back in May 2019.

      On one hand I'm happy, of course. On the other hand I'm worried that I never got to the bottom of this.

      Before both episodes, I've slept on incredibly uncomfortable beds which caused bad neck pain lasting at least 2 days. My best bet is that this compressed some muscle or blood vessel or whatever, and that was causing the sound. Exacerbated by the high blood pressure I have.

      I'm somewhat grateful because investigating this issue revealed that I have high blood pressure. Also, I bought really comfy new mattresses. Hope that good sleeping posture and plenty of cardio will be enough to keep my blood vessels in good condition, and this god damned pulsatile tinnitus will stay away. My permanent neuro-tinnitus is perfectly enough to live with, thank you.
       
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    11. Angelicnorth

      Angelicnorth Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Don't know
      I have this but have nausea and head pain, left ear, cycles every 30 seconds really awful, awaiting MRI.
       
    12. Michael01
      Frustrated

      Michael01 Member

      Location:
      Grafton,NSW,Australia.
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      For pulsatile tinnitus is it common to get "stuck" on one sound?

      What I think is pulsatile tinnitus, was beeping today at me what felt like every 4 seconds for a bit, but it got stuck on beeping several times and just played that one high-pitched sound. I am still in the process of getting it checked out, but hopefully my psychiatrist I saw today should be able to help, as she did say she was going to strongly recommend to my GP to give me the referral I want...
       

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