Pulsatile Tinnitus That's Not in Sync with Heartbeat and Has Two Different Phases. Causes?

Discussion in 'Support' started by PhantomNoise, Jan 29, 2018.

    1. PhantomNoise

      PhantomNoise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I am trying to help my relative who developed tinnitus couple months ago. The problem is severe, she can't eat sleep or work and has severe anxiety with constant panic attacks. Help is much appreciated...

      The tinnitus:
      - Alternates between loud and soft every day or so.
      - The sound is reminiscent of high pitched noise or waves getting more distant and coming near again. A bit like a "ssshh" sound that modulates.
      - The sound does not appear to pulsate with heart beat, it's a bit slower.
      - There are two different phases that alternate daily. On the loud phase she has difficult time characterizing the tone, but it's very obnoxious. She uses phrases like "it's inside the head" "right by the ear" and such.
      - The tinnitus does not modulate with facial movements.

      Her hearing is fine, and there is no known cause, the tinnitus appeared randomly.

      What could be the cause? I would expect it's not vascular since the sound is not in sync with the heartbeat, and is more high pitched than I would expect. An ENT told us that tumor would cause hearing issues, which she does not have. We are planning to get an MRI/CT scans done as I think that's the next logical step, but in the meantime if you have any knowledge of possible causes or have suffered from similar symptoms, I would appreciate your opinions very much. The doctors we have visited so far don't know much about pulsatile tinnitus.
       
    2. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, @PhantomNoise,

      I have both pulsatile tinnitus and regular tinnitus, and I can tell you what both are like. My pulsatile tinnitus is exactly in sync with my heartbeat, and is constant. My regular tinnitus is similar to hers, in that it is a high-pitched hissing sound. It sort of comes in waves, as hers does.

      Mine was mild before, but got worse after I took a blood pressure drug. I was wondering if she might recently have started a new medication? Many medications are ototoxic, and could possibly cause her tinnitus to begin, or to worsen. Another possibility: Does she have any blood pressure issues? And a third possible cause: Does she have any problems relating to her jaw?

      I'm glad she is going for the MRI and CT scans, and hope that she is able to find out a possible cause from those tests. Most ENT doctors don't know much about pulsatile tinnitus, and she may want to consult a neurologist if the problem continues and/or they are unable to find a cause from the tests.

      Perhaps others on this forum will have additional suggestions for you.

      Thanks for posting this on behalf of your relative.

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      PhantomNoise

      PhantomNoise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you Karen.

      Now the doctor has told us that scans should not be performed, bad news. It will take couple weeks or so to get a new appointment.

      In the meantime, if anyone has ideas what could cause this kind of tinnitus I am all ears! The tinnitus is still alternating between faint and so loud that it causes a panic attacks, which means that she is still unable to work. I am not sure if the tinnitus is even pulsatile as it isn't in sync with the beat.

      Feels to me like there should be a cause for such large variations in the tinnitus.

      To answer your question, she hasn't taken any medication, doesn't have blood pressure issues, isn't overweight. No jaw issues that I know of, but I can't rule that out. The only thing that I can gather that is out of the ordinary is that she has always been anxious, with the tinnitus the situation is much worse with that.
       
    4. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, again,

      I was wondering if she has ever had an ultrasound of the carotid arteries? You can have this test performed at various places, and it might help in ruling out any vascular condition.

      It's too bad the doctor ruled out having those tests performed.

      Anxiety can cause a lot of conditions, and it is possible that it could have triggered her tinnitus. Is she taking anything or doing anything to help her stay calm? I'm an anxious person, too, and I am currently taking a supplement, L-theanine, that helps me with calming. Magnesium helps, too. I take magnesium glycinate, because it is easy on my digestive system.

      Please keep us posted on how she is doing.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      PhantomNoise

      PhantomNoise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      To stay calm she is on anti-depressants and a few different anxiety medications. She still has problems relaxing and sleeping.

      The doctors unfortunately don't generally know much about tinnitus. That's why I am asking opinions here in case someone has had similar tinnitus or knows a specialist that knows about the different conditions.

      She hasn't had an ultrasound.
       

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