|Pulsatile Tinnitus - What Is It?|
Pulsatile Tinnitus is experienced by only a small cross-section of tinnitus sufferers (3%) to be precise. What is pulsatile tinnitusall Listen to your heartbeat and now to your tinnitus if both are in the same rhythm then you have this type of tinnitus, it sounds like a whooshing or pounding noise in your ear. There is also a type of tinnitus known as vascular which in simple terms is as a result of the blood flow being interrupted.
The head and neck contain blood vessels and these are areas where you would expect natural blood flow to occur, so when the flow is interrupted then pulsatile tinnitus will be experienced. Narrow blood vessel openings or faster blood flow is often an end result, irregular blood flow is the reason why you hear the noises in your ears. As you can see there are differing types of tinnitus and this example contrasts from continuous tinnitus which is as a result of nerve/cochlea damage.
It's not un heard of for a sufferer to have both pulsatile tinnitus and continuous simultaneously. Results show that pulsatile tinnitus caused more problems to its patients than continuous tinnitus. Any type of tinnitus should be checked out by a doctor and if you do have the symptoms of pulsatile tinnitus then I strongly recommend seeing your specialist because there maybe an underlying serious medical problem. Intense cases could lead to a stroke.
The specialist in pulsatile tinnitus will examine your head and neck. These are usually completed by using special imaging techniques. Sometimes these checks are negative or in conclusive if this is the case then ask for a more stringent examination because these tests can often say there is nothing wrong. Your ears contain a labyrinth of bones and soft tissue so the stringent imaging tests can miss the problem, always ask for further tests.
Magnetic Resonance Angiography and Carotid Artery Ultrasonography are recent advances in technology to help the specialists. These techniques pinpoint the problem areas of the head, ear or neck for pulsatile tinnitus sufferers, figures show that people report a significant improvement once the problem has been identified.
Here are common causes of Pulsatile tinnitus:
1 - Benign Intracranial Hypertension. When the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain is increased. Many of its patients are young overweight females. Improvements are see when the weight problem is looked at.
2 - Glomus Tumor. This is a benign vascular tumor commonly found in the ear or just underneath the ear at the base of the skull. Loss of hearing is a common problem. Younger patients are usually operated on and the tumor is removed, if you are an older patient you may not require treatment due to the tumours slow growth.
3 - Atherosclerotic Carotid Artery Disease. Atherosclerosis is when the artery narrows due to gathering of cholesterol on the artery wall. The opening is narrowed and erratic blood flow is a usual outcome which results in pulsatile tinnitus. Found in older patients who suffer with medical conditions, eg.hypertension, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, angina and smoking. Can be rectified using specific medication.
4 - Middle Ear Effusion. An air-filled space is common to the middle ear, if fluid builds up because of an ear infection, inflammation or eustachian tube dysfunction, pulsatile tinnitus is an end result. You may experience ear pain and usually controlled with antibiotics or a nasal spray.
5 - Twisted Arteries. Twisted arteries in the neck or head may result in erratic blood flow and causes pulsatile tinnitus.
If pulsatile tinnitus is caused by erratic blood flow in the arteries, then applying slight pressure to the area of the upper neck or head on the problem side can help or reduce it. Forcing air into eustachian tube in the middle ear. pinch the nose, close your mouth and can help (blowing your ears) is by no means an approved technique. Always see a specialist.