Why Can I Make My Pulsatile Tinnitus Go Away by Sticking a Finger in My Ear?

Discussion in 'Support' started by billhill4000, Aug 15, 2021.

    1. billhill4000

      billhill4000 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/06/06
      Hi all. I wanted to get a better understanding of pulsatile tinnitus.

      I should advise that I have and still do suffer from subjective tinnitus in the left ear. It was probably caused by some hearing damage according to the Audiologist. This subjective tinnitus is not an issue and not my concern for this post :)

      Anyway, for the last 12 months, I have noticed pulsatile tinnitus in the same left ear. You see in a quiet room, I can definitely hear the heart pulsing in the left side.

      Q1) Why is it if I stick my finger into the left ear, I no longer hear the pulsatile tinnitus? It seems odd because I thought tinnitus was hearing things from "inside" your head/mind... Yet it disappears when I place my finger into my left ear.

      Q2) Is what I am describing pulsatile tinnitus and if so, how come blocking my ear with my finger makes it go away?

      Q3) Can those with confirmed pulsatile tinnitus do a quick check to see if insertion of finger into the ear makes the pulsatile tinnitus disappear?

      Thanks for helping.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    2. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      Three possibilities that I know of and none are about arteries / pulsatile tinnitus.

      1. Middle Ear Myoclonus (MEM). The thump or heartbeat is sound reverberating.

      2. Mastoid bone acts like an air cushion and provides ventilation to the ear. Need to have a middle ear infection slowing ventilation to hear a heartbeat. This is more common with children.

      3. This is most likely what's going on.

      Tonic tensor tympani syndrome in tinnitus and hyperacusis patients: a multi-clinic prevalence study
       
      • Like Like x 1
    3. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello and welcome to the forum.

      There is a Pulsatile Tinnitus subsection here. I would recommend to check out this thread, it is really informative:

      If You Have Pulsatile Tinnitus, Here's the First Thing You Need to Do to Get Answers and a Diagnosis

      I also have tinnitus which can be stopped by plugging my ear with my finger, but it is not in sync with my heartbeat, and it's more like low freq humming, buzzing, but it sometimes presents as very low, intermittent bass sounds kinda reminding me of a heartbeat or party bass sound in the distance. There are threads about "stoppable" low frequency tinnitus as well, maybe worth to check out them as well.
       
    4. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @billhill4000

      Just read your other postings. See #3 in my post above and view the link. I don't think that you have pulsatile tinnitus because blocking your ear won't make it go away. So don't worry about that. The sound that you are hearing should go away.
       
    5. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      I also have low buzzing tinnitus that goes away when I put a finger in my ear.

      Explanation as to why that happens is pretty simple (in my case at least).

      My buzzing tinnitus, while loud (I hear it all day, even outside in quiet environments), can be stopped if I feed my ears with the correct "counter-sound". It needs to be at the right frequency.

      I can stop my buzzing by playing a youtube video at very low volume with some buzzing noise... or... putting my finger in my ear, which also causes sounds to be produced (your finger rubbing against your earcanal etc).

      So, in my case, it's just because the finger in ear is producing the correct noises to stop (not mask, I mean stop) the buzzing.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    6. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      Hi @Ben Winders.

      He said "I can definitely hear the heart pulsing in the left ear," So I assumed it's more than the subjective tinnitus buzzing that he has.

      Often when someone hears the heart pulsing in ear(s) it's pulsatile tinnitus as pulsatile is heart pulsing,

      If one sometime sticks their finger in their ear and the pulsing sound stops, then it's not pulsatile tinnitus.

      Blood flow can always be heard by the person with pulsatile tinnitus when sticking a finger in ear(s).

      His audiologist thinks that his subjective tinnitus is from hearing damage.

      Hyperacusis, ASD and TTTS is explained in link that I given him.
      A mild case of ASD that can be heard in a quiet room usually resolves in weeks or a few months.
      His ENT would had considered Mastoids and MEM.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      billhill4000

      billhill4000 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/06/06
      Thank you to all. Especially Greg for clearing it up for me.

      If I could re-ask, is it normal to have syncing heartbeats with either TTTS or MEM?

      Others seem to suggest that those conditions have a flutter or humm (not a heartbeat pulsating in sync).
       
    8. Sandra Menzie

      Sandra Menzie Member

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss left ear. 60%
      I also started with pulsatile tinnitus about 2 weeks ago. My doctor says it's normal? Now just to add, I also have ringing. Double jeopardy. Anyway, today my pulsatile tinnitus is just a soft whooshing sound. What's up for tomorrow, you never know.

      I also purchased a sound pillow from Walmart. Conair makes it, it's called Dream Sound Pillow. Cost around $37.00 dollars. Plays 10 sounds, has a volume control and timer. Very comfortable. Helps me anyway.

      Photo.

      IMG_20210904_063211.jpg
       
Loading...

Share This Page