Unilateral Pulsatile Tinnitus Grew Out of Stuffy Sensation in the Ears

Discussion in 'Support' started by RegalPlatypus, Sep 8, 2013.

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    1. RegalPlatypus

      RegalPlatypus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Unknown
      Hello!

      I'm a 30-year-old, non-smoking, slender male.

      Around '06/'07 I remember experiencing, after heavy exercise, a stuffy sensation in both of my ears. This has remaind a frequent occurrence following physical exertion.

      Somewhere along the line, unilateral (right ear) pulsatile tinnitus grew out of that. It would only occur during heavy activity, especially if my body was overheating. Symptoms would always subside after an hour or two, so I never worried too much about it. Recently, however, it's been occurring more frequently. I don't have to exercise as much and sometimes I can hear it when I'm just sitting at my desk.

      I've also noticed that I hear a wooshing when I tilt my head toward that ear (the wooshing only happens when my head is in motion; when I stop moving my head, the sound stops) as well as when I do a valsalva maneuver (bearing down).

      I went to a doctor, concerned that I'm hearing a bruit which would indicate a vascular issue, but I was only seen by a nurse. Although she listened around my neck, she didn't listen around my jaw/ear. Ultimately she referred me to an ENT.

      Any suggestions on where to go from here? Should I try the ENT or should I go elsewhere?

      NOTE: The nurse did find a lot of impacted wax (yuck!) in my ears. I washed them that night with hydrogen peroxide and horror stories could be written about the things I saw. A day after that I'm having no change in the tinnitus.
       
    2. Hopeful
      Wishful

      Hopeful Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/13
      You should definitely see an ENT.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    3. RegalPlatypus

      RegalPlatypus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Unknown
      After more investigation I'm wondering if it might be a patulous eustachian tube. One the one hand, I don't hear any amplification of my voice or breathing, but on the other, the tinnitus disappear if I lay down or bend over with my head at my knees (while sitting). It also seems to subside during a sharp / long inhalation through the nose.
       
    4. 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, RegalPlatypus,
      Welcome to Tinnitus Talk! I am a pulsatile tinnitus sufferer, too; I've had it for over 3 years now, and had various tests. No answers so far, but I'm still working on it!

      You do seem to have some of the symptoms of patulous Eustachian tube, but it would be best to go to a doctor for confirmation. I'd suggest starting with the ENT. Then, if he/she doesn't have any answers for you, you could try an audiologist. Have you had your hearing tested recently? I've also read that an audiologist can determine if you have a patulous Eustachian tube. If you don't get any answers from these doctors, my suggestion would be to try a neurotologist or neurologist. People with PT who have been correctly diagnosed have had success with this type of specialist.

      I too have unilateral (right ear) pulsatile tinnitus, but mine is constant. I can hear it all the time if I listen for it, but it is at its worst at night, when I'm trying to sleep. It has gotten calmer recently, and I don't know why. I believe mine is related to blood pressure, because my PT started after I took blood pressure medicine for the first time. Before that, I did have mild tinnitus (not pulsatile), but it was not bothersome.

      I wish you success in finding some answers! Don't give up!

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
    5. RegalPlatypus

      RegalPlatypus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Unknown
      I went to the ENT and on physical inspection there's nothing obviously wrong, so she's ordered an MRI. *nervous*
       
    6. 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, RegalPlatypus,

      Don't be nervous; you'll be fine. And it will be wonderful if you can find out what is causing the pulsating. Please update us after you've had the MRI!
       
    7. Lous22

      Lous22 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2015
      Did you ever find a cause? I know this post is a few years old but I have the same thing....pulsatile tinnitus when my head is moving. When I'm still I don't hear it. I've had all kinds of tests and nothing can be found, but I worry everyday about this. Any info you have would be great!!!
       
    8. 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, @Lous22,

      I don't know if that person is still active on Tinnitus Talk. He was last heard from in 2013. Here is a link to information about patulous Eustachian tube dysfunction:

      http://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/patulous-eustachian-tube/

      I have unilateral pulsatile tinnitus, too, but I can hear it all the time, not just when my head is moving. It's possible that you also have regular pulsatile tinnitus, but it may be so faint that you can only hear it when your head moves.

      Do you remember what, if anything, might have happened around the time yours started? Any changes in health, weight gain or weight loss, hormonal changes, etc?
       

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