Recent Pulsatile Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Malph, Apr 12, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Malph
      Worried

      Malph Member

      My PT started about 2 weeks ago, give or take. It started one day, a little while after taking a shower. In the shower, I had been cleaning my ears out with my finger (like an idiot) so I figured the sound was maybe some wet earwax that I accidentally shoved into my eardrum. I'm still unsure if that could be it, but I thought it would have resolved by now.

      The sound I hear is a thumping, not a whooshing. I can't tell if it's in-sync with my heart. Sometimes it seems to be, but other times it's not. Sometimes there will be an extra beat or 2 between my actual pulse. It's not constant, and throughout the day it's usually not there. It pops up if I yawn, most of the time. I'll yawn, it'll pulsate 4 or 5 times, then go away. If I yawn multiple times, the pulsing may go on and off for a few minutes.

      I'm hoping it's just earwax, or just congestion or something, but all the cases of PT I've seen usually don't say anything about those as a cause. I have an appointment with my primary doctor in a week and 2 days, but I'm considering going to the hospital or something since it's so far off, and I'm worried about a stroke or something, which I've read about with PT, like artery dissections or aneurysms.

      For over a year now I've dealt with palpable lymph nodes in my neck as well, which my ENT has numerously told me were fine. I'm not sure if something like a lymph node putting pressure on a vein or artery could cause PT. I've never really read any connections about that. Figured I'd mention it though.

      I'm 24 by the way. Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks :)
       
    2. Chelles
      Balanced

      Chelles Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      @Malph I get the thumping sound after yawns, burps or hiccups in my case (not saying yours is the same) it's caused by the middle ear muscles spasming.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    3. Malph
      Worried

      Malph Member

      I was thinking it could be muscle spasms as well, especially since it's not 100% in-sync with my pulse all the time. It's not very rapid though. I've had various muscle spasms in fingers, toes, etc. Even had a bout of eyelid twitching for a few weeks at one point, which I could replicate if I closed my eyes tight. I'm hoping it's just my middle ear muscle having spasms, but since it's such a new thing for me and all the possible things it could be, I don't want to take any chances.
       
    4. Chelles
      Balanced

      Chelles Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      @Malph I get them on my face and eyes too but def don't cancel your doctors appointment just to be safe.
       
    5. Malph
      Worried

      Malph Member

      Thanks, I'll definitely keep my appointments. @Chelles, you said you get middle ear spasms when you yawn, hiccup, etc. Is it ever in both ears, or is it only a single ear? All my thumping has been coming from my left ear, right one is unaffected.
       
    6. Chelles
      Balanced

      Chelles Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      @Malph it's in both but it tends to last longer on my right ear.
       
    7. 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, Malph,

      I agree with Chelles that yours is more likely to be a middle ear spasm than true pulsatile tinnitus. I have pulsatile tinnitus in my right ear only, but mine is constant, not on-again, off-again, and is in exact sync with my heartbeat. Mine doesn't sound like a whoosh, either. It's more like a drumbeat.

      You're right to keep your doctor appointment, since you also have the lymph node problem. For most of us, the pulsating doesn't prove to be anything sinister, but it's still wise to get it checked out.

      Please do let us know what your doctor says after you see him.

      Take care, and don't worry! I'm sure things will work out fine.

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 2
    8. Malph
      Worried

      Malph Member

      Thanks @Karen I hope you're right. It does match my pulse most of the time, actually, but there's a few times when there's an extra pulse between. But it's definitely on and off, most of the time it's not there at all. It gets aggravated if I yawn, or maybe chew. I have a doctors appointment for the week after this week, would it be okay to wait that long? I've been debating going to the ER or something, since I've read there's rare times where it can be caused by an aneurysm or artery dissection, which has risk of a stroke. But it's been a few weeks already, so I'm unsure.
       
    9. 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 think it would be OK to wait a couple weeks for your doctor appointment, as things stand right now. However, if your symptoms change, or if you are very worried, you could certainly go to the ER to be checked out.

      I'm no doctor, just a fellow tinnitus sufferer! However, I noticed that you mention it changes when you yawn or chew. Have you thought about a connection to TMJ? (jaw problems)? Some PT can be caused by that. To check that out, you could try going to a knowledgeable dentist or dental surgeon.
       
    10. Malph
      Worried

      Malph Member

      I haven't thought of the possibility of it being TMJ. I'm hoping it's something simple/not serious. I can live with it how it is, only showing up randomly. It's so hard to gauge if it's in sync with my heart, since it only really happens in increments. By the time it starts, I'll raise my hand to my neck for my pulse and only get like 2 or 3 "thumps." And since the heart beats at least once per second, it's sometimes in sync. Other times the thump is slightly ahead or behind my pulse. And sometimes it's between, I think. Sometimes I've even tried forcing myself to yawn, just so I can measure my pulse next to it.
       
    11. MisterMystery

      MisterMystery Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      Just curious, but if you cover your ears, does it still sound like a drumbeat, or more like whooshing or whistling? That's how it was with me. It would sound like vibrating or throbbing, but when I'd cover my ears, it would sound like, "Woo, woo, woo."
       
    12. ruben ruiz

      ruben ruiz Member

      Location:
      Tucson, AZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I believe it was meds and stress
      If you just got T check for steroids they work well with T in its infancy. Cant wait too long.
       
    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, Mr. Mystery,

      Yes, I guess I could say that's how mine is. It sounds like a drumbeat, unless I cover my ear (it's in one ear only). Then, it does sound more like a whoosh. How is yours now? Did it resolve itself?
       
    14. Malph
      Worried

      Malph Member

      Well I called a few ENTs, and got an appointment Friday with an ENT I've never been to. I was just looking for the soonest available. I'm still waiting for my usual ENT's office to call me back and see if they can fit me in tomorrow or Wednesday. At least I got something this week. Hopefully I'll have answers soon, and hopefully it's just wax related, or muscular.
       
    15. 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
      Malph,

      I'm glad you were able to get an ENT appointment, and I hope he can shed on light on what is causing your problem.

      Keep us posted!
       
    16. Malph
      Worried

      Malph Member

      @Karen Will do. I actually managed to get an appointment with my primary doctor tomorrow at 8:45 am. Hopefully he can help. Haven't heard any thumping at all today. Not celebrating or anything though, it's actually gone away for a few days before, then popped up again.

      @MisterMystery I'd been trying to cover my ear when it happens since you posted that, but haven't been able to. I don't know if the sound stops if I cover my ear, or if I'm just not catching it in time.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    17. Malph
      Worried

      Malph Member

      So I had my appointment with my primary yesterday. He took a look in my ears and said they looked fine, he even cleaned a bit of wax out for me. He listened to my neck with a stethoscope and said it sounded normal, no turbulent blood I guess. He said it's likely normal, like from muscles. Apparently he gets about 1 or 2 patients with pulsatile tinnitus every week, and did CT scans, MRIs, and never found a thing. He said he gets it when he yawns too, and he doesn't even notice anymore. I asked if we should do any scans or tests, and he said no, and if I should see an ENT and he said I'd be better off saving the time and money. He seemed pretty sure that it was nothing, and fine. So, I cancelled my appointment for tomorrow with the new ENT, he was a bit far anyway. I decided this morning to make one with my usual ENT, and he didn't have any openings until the 14th of next month, so I guess I'm waiting until then. I feel reassured that my primary says it's nothing, but I'm just going to have my ENT check it out, even if he tells me the same thing, it'll make me feel that much better.

      Sorry for the long paragraph. Thanks for reading. I'll update with what my ENT says. :)
       
    18. 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, Malph,

      I think you're right to make an appointment with your ENT. It's always good to get a second opinion.

      As long as you don't have any bothersome symptoms, the first doctor may be correct. But if it begins to get worse, or makes you uncomfortable in any way, then you might want to check into it further.

      I'll be interested to hear what your ENT has to say. Thanks for the update!
       
    19. MisterMystery

      MisterMystery Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      If I had seen your post yesterday, I would've said my PT resolved. But it came back today after a month-long hiatus. This is the fourth time this year. I don't have a cold or infection or anything right now. The only thing I can think of is that I was must've strained my jugular vein when I was lying down funny or throwing out the garbage. I don't even know if it's possible to strain a jugular vein.

      This is really frightening. I had my MRI and MRA after my PT went away the last time. The scans were negative for tumors and blood vessel malformations (which I assume includes fistulas), but now that the PT has come back, I wonder if the results would be different today. Also, I don't know how reliable the scans were, as I was so fidgety that I couldn't lie still.

      I really don't know what to do. I can't afford another MRI, and I don't think I could tolerate the noise of another one.
       
    20. Chelles
      Balanced

      Chelles Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      @Malph do you have your wisdom teeth?
       
    21. Malph
      Worried

      Malph Member

      @Chelles I have my upper left wisdom tooth, it was the only one that ever came in.
       
    22. 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
      @Malph,

      Have you checked into whether your wisdom teeth are impacted, or perhaps infected? That could have something to do with it.

      @MisterMystery ,

      Since your PT seems to come and go, it's hard to believe that it could be from a fistula. I would think that would be more constant, if you had something like that. Have you checked into the symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri?
       
    23. Malph
      Worried

      Malph Member

      @Karen I hadn't thought about that, but my wisdom tooth has never had any pain or issues. So I'm not sure.
       
    24. MisterMystery

      MisterMystery Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      I don't think I have any of the symptoms. I do feel an increase in intracranial pressure, but I think it's psychosomatic. None of the three ENTs I've seen have mentioned pseudotumor cerebri or BIH. I'm 5'9" and 155 pounds.
       
    25. 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
      @MisterMystery ,
      I agree. That doesn't sound like it describes your case.

      Another testing option that is common for people with PT symptoms is a CT scan with contrast dye. The CT scan is noiseless, and it doesn't take very long. The only problem is that there is radiation involved. But it's worth considering, if you're really concerned.
       
    26. Malph
      Worried

      Malph Member

      A little update on this. I went to my doctor today for an unrelated reason. I've been noticing one of my pupils being bigger than the other, more noticeable in dimmer light. So, my doctor set me up for an MRI, which is scheduled this Friday. He doesn't think it's anything, but it never hurts to check.

      Well, after I got home from the doctor, I got a bit freaked out, looking in the mirror at my eyes, so I went over to the ER. (If it's not obvious already, I'm a hypochondriac/have health anxiety) So when a nurse called me back, she looked at my eyes, turned the lights off, shone a light into my eyes, said they looked normal and reaction was good. Set me up for a CT scan though, so I did that, doctor finally gave me the results. Said the CT didn't show anything at all. He looked at my eyes as well and thought they looked fine, but he didn't turn the lights out. In dimmer light, there's a slight difference, but not like, too huge of a difference.

      So I got discharged from the ER, with nothing showing on the CT they did. The reason I'm posting this here is I'm not sure if the PT and eyes are related. In any case, CT showed nothing wrong. Still going to do the MRI this Friday though, just in case. If the MRI shows nothing, I might ask if my doctor thinks an MRA would be a good idea.
       
    27. 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, @Malph,

      I'm glad the CT scan didn't show anything unusual. That is good news!

      I have pulsatile tinnitus, too, and lately I've been noticing that my right eye (the one on the same side as my PT) won't stop twitching. The twitching is actually in the under-eye area, but there is no real rhyme or reason for it. I suspect that it does have something to do with the PT.

      Also, in some cases of PT (caused by benign intracranial hypertension), I have heard that an eye doctor can tell the person has that condition by looking in their eyes.

      You are most probably fine, but I am glad you have the MRI scheduled, if only so you'll have peace of mind that all is well.

      Good luck, and please update us after you have the MRI.

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
    28. Max_fcktr
      Crappy

      Max_fcktr Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      Hi to all! Your pulsate T is constantly pulsate or changed and take for example non pulsate character smtimes?
       
    29. Joe Gado

      Joe Gado Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2015
      My PT started the exact same way about a week ago. Same symptoms and all. I am eating clean and waiting it out. It seems to really show up at night. It goes away if i hold my head in different directions.
       

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