Pulsatile Tinnitus


Eliminate Your TinnitusPulsatile Tinnitus sounds rhythmic similar to a heartbeat.  In contrast, other types of tinnitus are characterized by a persistent ringing sound in the ears that is purely internal and not directly related to external stimuli. Most types of tinnitus sound like high-pitched white noise, rushing, or ringing.

It is easier to find the root cause with Pulsatile Tinnitus

Unlike most types of tinnitus, which often have ambiguous underlying causes, it is easier to find the root cause when diagnosing PT. The prevalence of tinnitus increases with age, as does the prevalence of most of the underlying conditions that lead to PT, and it is more common in men than women.

Other types of tinnitus can be related to trauma to the ears or age-related damage. Circulation changes in the inner ear region or the arteries and veins in the neck and head are the most common causes of PT. It can also be caused by changes in the blood vessels at the skull, or general problems with circulation and blood vessels.

PT can occur in one or both ears, depending on the root cause. Other types of tinnitus have rhythmic sounds, but unlike PT, the rhythm does not match up with the individual’s heart rate.

Doctors use numerous tests when investigating PT, including ultrasound, computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, computerized tomographic angiography, as well as other types of angiography. They also perform blood tests, and a whole host of other procedures to determine the causes of and appropriate treatment for PT.

Increased blood flow can contribute to PT, partly because blood makes more noise when it circulates quickly. Hyperthyroidism, a condition characterized by an overactive thyroid, and severe anemia can increase blood flow throughout the body and contribute to PT. Blood flow can also be accelerated in a specific part of the body.

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Tumors in the head and neck area can change the rate of blood flow in the right location to cause PT. These tumors are usually benign.  Tumors can be surgically removed, and hyperthyroidism is manageable through surgery and anti-thyroid drugs depending on the nature and severity of the condition.

Hardening of the arteries can have multiple widespread effects on the body, including altering the rhythm of blood flow and giving it the characteristic noise associated with PT.

Hypertension or high blood pressure can lead to PT if it is severe enough, as can something as simple as a problem with the inner ears.

Anaemia is often easily fixable through blood transfusions and iron supplements.

Pulsatile Tinnitus is treatable depending on the underlying cause or severity of the condition.  People with atypical blood vessels may have untreatable tinnitus.

Often times, treatments for PT will be no different from other types of tinnitus treatments: PT sufferers can get just as much benefit from relaxation techniques, therapeutic background noise, and different types of coping strategies as other tinnitus sufferers.

Most alternative therapies have not shown to have a statistically significant effect on tinnitus, including pulsatile tinnitus, but some people find psychological relief in consulting alternative medicines.

Pulsatile tinnitus is a manageable condition, whether it can be fully eliminated or not.

Additional sources:

BTA Pulsatile Tinnitus:  http://www.tinnitus.org.uk/pulsatile-tinnitus

NAPT: http://www.stritch.luc.edu/depts/otolaryn/research/neuroradiologic_assessment_pulsatile_tinnitus.pdf

Stroke and Pulsatile Tinnitus:  http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/18/1/252

6 Responses to “Pulsatile Tinnitus”

  1. Lexie says:

    I have pulsating tinnitus and a low thyroid count. Do you think they could be connected?


    • Anne says:

      Hi Lexie,
      Your doctor would be the best person to answer this question. By getting your thyroid under control, it is possible that the pulsatile tinnitus may disappear completely. Best of luck with both.

  2. Max says:

    Hi, I have been helping a friend move house and I think I now have pulsatile tinnitus. Do you know if lifting heavy objects could have caused it?


    • Anne says:

      Hi Max,
      Your doctor would be the best person to advise you on this, especially if there is an underlying medical condition. For example, if you have a partially blocked blood vessel, then this will affect the blood flow when you lift something heavy and possibly cause pulsatile tinnitus.

  3. Wendy says:

    I am trying out a hearing aid that also produces white noise to ease my pulsatile tinnitus in left ear only. Do you know of a similar ear device that can just produce the white noise and not act as a hearing device as well? Thanks

    • Anne says:

      Hi Wendy,
      There are several electronic devices available that resemble hearing aids and are worn in the ear. In most cases control over the volume and pitch etc can be executed by the wearer. It may be worth visiting a hearing clinic for professional advice.

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