Recently Started Pulsatile Tinnitus — Help!

Discussion in 'Support' started by LindsRach, Nov 26, 2015.

    1. LindsRach

      LindsRach Member

      Tinnitus Since:

      I have been experiencing a constant heart beat noise in my left ear for quite some time now. I first heard the sound for a weekend back in January of 2015.

      At that time, I went in to the walk in clinic to be examined and to see if there was something they could do to relieve the sound. She prescribed me with a nasal spray (mometasone) and she also gave me a prescription for antibiotics, if the nasal spray didn't work. The spray seemed to help and I didn't hear the sound anymore.

      A few months later, in April (a bit before Easter), the sound came back and wouldn't go away. I tried using the spray again but it wasn't helping like it did before. So I went to see my doctor, but couldn't get an appointment for a month and a half, so I saw a nurse practitioner. She looked up my nose and saw that my right nostril was very inflamed. She told me to take antihistamines for a couple of months straight and that should eliminate the noise. I tried for a couple of weeks and saw no improvement. I gave the neti pot a try and took some pain killers. I tried a bunch of different ear infection drops and things from the pharmacy. Nothing helped at all.

      I saw 3 other walk in doctors and they each prescribed me with a antibiotic, each of them not working. They told me to try it for a couple of days and if I saw no improvement, to come back. So I did. No improvements from any of these medications... so they sent me to see an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat specialist).

      I saw the ENT and she sent me for 2 MRIs. I ended up needing a third because the one set didn't turn out very well.

      Before going for the MRIs, I went home for Easter and explained my problem to family and my aunt gave me some Helichrysum essential oil. She told me to rub it around my left ear and under my toes every day. I did that and the sound magically went away. I kept up with the oil for awhile and rarely ever heard the sound. It came back here and there but would go away quickly.

      My ENT got the results from the MRIs and they showed nothing irregular. I told her that the sound was a lot better because of the oil. Perplexed, she simply told me to come back if my condition worsened.

      Everything was going better until Thanksgiving. I got a really bad cold and was very congested. I managed to fight off the bug, but it seemed to make the sound in my ear come back full force. I kept up with the essential oil but it wasn't making the sound go away like it did before.

      I decided to try and follow what the nurse practitioner had told me back in April. I took Reactin and Claritin for a month straight - almost every day (I think I forgot here and there) but the sound wouldn't go away permanently. I had good days and bad days.

      I decided to seek alternate help and saw a naturopath. She told me to try taking some vitamins and see if that would help. Nothing yet. She also does acupuncture, so I figured I would give it a go. After my first session of acupuncture, I felt a strong pressure in my right sinus, and ever since I feel this pressure there every now and again. I'm paying very close attention to my breathing and I definitely have a lot of trouble breathing out of that nostril (it's usually blocked - I can get a bit of air in and out, but barely).

      I decided to try a decongestant. I spoke with a pharmacist and she recommended I take 2 60mg pills of a no name decongestant. I tried that for a weekend and I think it helped, but I felt a lot of sinus pressure and it made me feel a bit nauseous. I've been rubbing peppermint oil on my sinuses at night before bed, and that's also seemed to help. The noise has been a bit lower in volume since I've been doing that, but it's again hard to tell if it's really that much better than before.

      I tried a second session of acupuncture, with the same results. The noise is still there but I felt a lot of pressure in my sinuses. The Naturopath suggested trying to go to a chiropractor. I gave that a shot and didn't experience any benefits there either.

      I managed to get in again to see the ENT and I told her about my sinuses. She took a long camera or something and put it up my nostril. She said that I'm very enflammed in there and also very crooked. She couldn't get the camera thing as far up my nose as she can with other patients. She prescribed me with another nasal spray and said to come back in a month or two (so I have a lot of repeats on that prescription). So far I've been using it and it's helped a bit... It's very hard to say. The noise has been a bit off and on the past couple of weeks since I've seen her, but I still haven't experienced it go away completely. The ENT doesn't seem to think the two things are connected however, which has given me very little hope of finding a solution.

      Does anyone have any other suggestions of things that I could do to relieve the inflammation in my right nostril? I personally feel like this is the key to curing my tinnitus. Has anyone else ever heard of pulsatile tinnitus being caused by nasal inflammation?

      Other facts about my tinnitus:

      -The ENT says that I have pulsatile tinnitus.
      -I can mute the sound by pressing under my left ear (pressing on the vein?) - but this causes me to feel a bit woozy.
      -I often feel sinus pain and Advil Cold and Sinus seemed to help reduce the volume of the sound.
      -The sound is a whooshing heart beat sound and is in tune with my pulse.
      -the noise is in my left ear, but the inflammation is in my right nostril.

      Please help - any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    2. Karen

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Lindsay,

      I read your story and I certainly understand what you're going through. I have pulsatile tinnitus, too, which was caused (I think) by taking a blood pressure drug. I've never heard of pulsatile tinnitus being caused by nasal inflammation; it is usually caused by something vascular. However, pulsatile tinnitus is a very unique condition, and there are so many causes, I wouldn't be surprised if this were one of them!

      Did the doctor give you a short course of prednisone for the inflammation? I'm wondering if that would help.

      It's good that your MRI didn't show anything unusual, and I truly hope that relief of your sinus problems will help clear the pulsating. But if it doesn't, you could try going to a different type of doctor, such as a neurologist or neurotologist, to be checked and see if there are any more tests that they think might help in diagnosing your condition.

      Perhaps some of the other members can offer suggestions as to what you can do to clear a nasal inflammation.

      Best wishes,
    3. Pilot

      Pilot Member Benefactor

      Baltimore, MD
      Tinnitus Since:
      December, 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I think that fluid in a person's ear could cause pulsatile tinnitus if it makes a connection between a capillary and the cochlea, or something along those lines. I also haven't heard of nasal inflammation causing it, but the nasal passages do connect to the ears.

      Having said that I think you should try to clear up the inflammation since it can't be helping anything. Did they say that you have a deviated septum? I had surgery to correct it when I was younger and haven't had a stuffy nose since.

      You could have allergies in combination with deviated septum?
    4. Mike C.

      Mike C. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
    5. Karen

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      That may work for some types of pulsatile tinnitus, but it doesn't seem to work for me. I've tried pushing on areas around my ear, neck, etc., and it doesn't make any difference in the pulsating. Maybe it works if the pulsating has a venous cause (?)

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