Tinnitus That's Possibly Related to the Carotid Artery

Discussion in 'Support' started by Lily2014, Nov 20, 2014.

    1. Lily2014
      No Mood

      Lily2014 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Hi,

      I’m new here and figured I’d ask for some advice because I’m frankly freaking out a bit since last night.

      I have tinnitus in my right ear that sounds like pulsing (or like a pulsating wind) that appears to be related to a problem in an artery in my neck. Whenever I turn or tilt my head in a certain angle and even whenever I press my finger against one specific artery on the right side of my neck, the tinnitus suddenly disappears almost completely but comes back as soon as I release the pressure.

      I’ve been hearing the pulsing for over a month but at first it was very mild and I was hoping it was a mild infection or something that would go away and then a couple of weeks ago it suddenly got really bad. At the start of this week my general doctor examined it and at first he said he saw a bit of cotton stuck in there, probably from a cotton swab, and gave me a referral to the ear doctor to have it removed. The ear doctor removed it but then I noticed that the tinnitus still didn’t go away. I told him that and about how it seems to go away depending on how I tilt my head and he said it might be due to a problem in an artery in my neck. He gave me a referral to have my hearing checked and said that they’ll examine the possibility of it being neck-related only after eliminating the possibility that it’s hearing-related.

      The closest appointment I’ve been able to make so far for the hearing clinic is at the end of December and I don’t want to have to wait that long when it seems pretty obvious that it’s neck related. I even know exactly where [on my neck] and how to press in order to make the sound go away!

      Last night I tried doing internet searches about tinnitus caused by problems with the arteries in the neck and so far each and every one of the possibilities I’ve come across is freaking me out. From what I understand problems with the carotid artery (which seems to be located in the same place where I can press to make the tinnitus go away) can lead to various issues including having a stroke.

      The reason I’m freaking out about this isn’t really so much just because of what I’ve read but because of another phenomenon I’ve noticed… that I kept telling myself up until now that it’s “probably nothing” and “probably not related” is that sometimes, when the tinnitus gets really, really loud, I’ll start having a headache and in some cases even feel like I’m about to faint.

      Also, I don’t know if this is at all related because it’s happened in the past, when I had other health problems, but lately I’ll also sometimes have issues with shortness of breath. Yesterday when I got to work, after climbing the same two flights of stairs I climb every day, I had to just sit and hyperventilate for several minutes before I could do anything else and my heart was racing so fast and so hard that it felt like it was going to pound its way out of my chest.

      I’m going to see my general doctor today anyway but right now I think the most he can probably do is give me a referral to another specialist (or at least I’m hoping he will!).

      Does anyone here have any experience with tinnitus related to the neck arteries?
       
    2. beemovie

      beemovie Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2013
      If you are getting headaches, getting faint and have pulsatile tinnitus you should get a mri done to rule things out. Kind of shocked the doctor did not already give you a script for that already.
       
    3. Trisha

      Trisha Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2011
      I have had pulsatile tinnitus for nearly 2 years now...I went to an ENT specialist who charged me a bomb, I had an ultrasound done on the front and sides of my neck and was told i had healthy arteries (!!) but they didnt pass the scanner around the back of my neck. I find that if I cock my head to the left it really diminishes the sound but with it straight or to the right the pulsation in time with my heart is horribly loud...this to me shows it must a a neck vertebrae that is somehow squeezing an artery?! All the doc said, after charging a fortune, was that 'i must learn to live with it' - the pulsing white noise in conjunction with a new low drone and sometimes a high pitched sound, is driving me crazy, especially when i am in a quiet place!
       
    4. Kopesy
      Sad

      Kopesy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      East Midlands, England, United Kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      19/09/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I'll never know
      Yeah I've got neck problems, I got T around the time i started doing some intense sit-ups work out & think I over did it a little bit, felt a lot of strain on my neck. The only time I've felt some relief is after/during a hot bath or a massage. I've even had my T go for a few days after doing both a netti pot & my own neck massage. These last months I've also noticed that when i tilt my head to the left the right side of my neck makes very loud cracks, which is the same side where my T is... It's very interesting & I wouldn't rule out anything with the neck. My ENT told me it can't have anything to do with the neck but I have to disagree, I know there are other factors that might contribute or even cause the T but I'm certain some are neck related.
      I too suffer from neck ache, faintness & headaches, had an mri & thankfully it came back all clear, it's worth getting youself one too though, just rule it out o/
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Lily2014
      No Mood

      Lily2014 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Thanks a lot for all the replies :). In the end my general doctor gave me a referral to get a duplex scan and I already made an appointment for that at the start of next week (apparently somebody canceled their appointment because the next one would have been in December o_O). He suggest I ask that they check not only for clots/blockage but also for kinks and distortions in the way the veins are “wired”, this was after I showed him two of the relatively less scary google results:

      · Turbulent blood flow. Narrowing or kinking in a neck artery (carotid artery) or vein in your neck (jugular vein) can cause turbulent, irregular blood flow, leading to tinnitus.

      · Malformation of capillaries. A condition called arteriovenous malformation (AVM), abnormal connections between arteries and veins, can result in tinnitus. This type of tinnitus generally occurs in only one ear.

      I’m glad I did some googling before talking to him because when I told him that the ear doctor had cleaned out my ears but the tinnitus continued his first reaction was “well in that case I’m afraid the problem is with a bone in your ear and you might just have to learn to live with it”.
       
    6. Alexl

      Alexl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Lily2014, I have exactly the same symptoms as you described. Started about a month ago. ENT doctor found nothing wrong in my ear, no infection, no fluid, no hearing loss. Waiting now for the duplex scan results... You original post was back in 2014. I am wondering what happened since then? Did you find the cause of your tinnitus? Do you still suffer from it or is it gone long ago? Thx!
       
    7. Brittiny

      Brittiny Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown possible problems with artery right ear
      Same thing as mine everything thats mentioned above. I broke down crying when my dr told me to learn to live with it after 6 mo ths of mri's and various tests. So far thats what ive had to do i stopped going to the dr. Ive had this for 3 years now. In the begining i thought i was going to lose my mind but ive just had to deal with it no matter how hard some days are. I just press on the artery most of the time so it will not be as loud. Hopefully one day they will find a cure and until then i think drs who cant give us patients with this hell on earth problem a better response than learn to deal with it and treat us like were mental....need to do some serious soul searching. I hope everyone has a good night. Melatonin is wonderful to help you sleep.
       
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    8. buzzythedude

      buzzythedude Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      hearing damage kinks
      I had had some back and neck problems...got a crick in my neck a few days ago (my neck never quite being in the right palce lately anyway) got a high pitched tinnitus in my ear after..so sorry for those of you that have had no sympathy...dealing with it is bad enough without people calling you mental!
       
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    9. BMV20

      BMV20 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2 months
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Tmj
      Hello everyone, any update on your tinnitus, please post a response
       
    10. stev3po

      stev3po Member

      Location:
      Seattle
      Tinnitus Since:
      Dec 19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Viral ear infection or neti pot?
      I too have neck issues (maybe from previous car accidents?) but my T started a month after I got involved in a serious snowboarding accident. I saw a few chiropractors after seeing 2 ENTs and getting an MRI, they found nothing (other than a vague sense of otosclerosis).

      Wondering if my neck issues contribute to my T as well? They aren't too bad, but the chiros both informed me my neck xrays showed that I've lost the curve in my neck.
       
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    11. Clucky

      Clucky Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I too have had pulsatile tinnitus after a serious accident (a riding accident which resulted in me landing on my neck...). I find that tilting my head to the side, or forwards, results in loud pulsing in the ear closest to my neck. Lying flat on the bed makes it worse in both ears at the same time which makes it so difficult to sleep!

      I also have stiff/achey neck muscles and trigger points on my back and shoulders all the time the tinnitus rears its ugly head.

      Does anyone else get brain fog/dizzyness/neck pain around the time the tinnitus gets worse?

      I tend to have worse tinnitus (and dizzyness, brain fog, neck pain) after exercise too which means my love of running has had to stop :(

      After reading this forum I tried pushing on my neck, just under my ear by my pulse, which helped to stop it completely! I'm hoping that this new information can be passed onto my consultant to help narrow down the possible causes!

      I have recently had a brain mri and heart scan - which showed nothing abnormal (phew!). I, like Ste3po, have also been diagnosed with a ruler straight cervical spine which may, or may not, be related to the tinnitus-it does seem odd that we both have abnormally straight cervical spines and similar tinnitus experiences.

      Hopefully these types of coincidences can help the professionals narrow down the issue!
       
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