If you have a whooshing or a thumping sound in one or both of your ears that follows a steady rhythm, you may have Pulsatile Tinnitus also called rhythmic, vascular, or pulse-synchronous tinnitus.
What Is Pulsatile Tinnitus?
Pulsatile tinnitus is a rhythmical noise that beats at the same rate as the heart and is the sound of blood circulating the body. Like regular tinnitus, you hear a constant sound that other people do not. With pulsatile tinnitus, the noise comes from inside the body. Your doctor may be able to hear it as well if they use a stethoscope to listen.
Other forms of tinnitus are thought to be caused by a disconnect between the sounds that the ears hear and the way the brain interprets them. However, pulsatile tinnitus has a physical source.
Symptoms of Pulsatile Tinnitus
You might notice symptoms of pulsatile tinnitus if you also have high pressure in the fluid around your brain (brain swelling) this is a condition called idiopathic intracranial hypertension. These symptoms include:
- Vision problems
- Hearing loss
NOTE: It is very important to check in with your healthcare professional if you suffer from any of these symptoms.
What Causes Pulsatile Tinnitus?
Irregular Blood Vessels
When blood flows through damaged, crooked, or narrowed vessels in the brain near or around the ear, it can change pressure and noise.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can lead to a change in blood flow, and something like caffeine, alcohol, even stress can make the noise more noticeable.
Anemia or an overactive thyroid gland. These conditions can make your blood flow quickly and loudly causing the noise to be more noticeable.
This is the build-up of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in and on the artery walls. As cholesterol and other fats clog your blood vessels, they grow less flexible. That makes blood flowing near your middle and inner ear move with more force, like water through a narrowed opening. You’ll usually hear it in both ears with this condition. As well as head and neck tumors. These can press on blood vessels and make noise.
This kind of tinnitus is often the first clue that you have another medical condition that needs to be addressed. Your treatment will vary depending on what’s causing your tinnitus. You may need medication or surgery to repair a blood vessel. Once the condition that caused it is treated, the sound should stop.
However if you’re still hearing the noise or your doctor can’t find a cause, you can try out these remedies:
White noise Machines
It can help make the sound less noticeable, especially when you’re trying to sleep. You can get a special machine that makes it, or see if an air conditioner or fan in your bedroom helps. Some smartphone apps make white noise as well.
Wearable Sound Generators
These masking devices look a lot like hearing aids. They create constant, low-level background noise similar to white noise machines that are personal and portable.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) is the process of learning to cope with your tinnitus on a conscious as well as a subconscious level. This technique has helped a lot of people. You wear a device that plays music in a frequency that helps you tune out the tinnitus and over time the ringing will go unnoticed like tuning out rain on your rooftop.
If these options don’t help, please tell your doctor, who can check further to see what the problem may be or seek a second opinion.
Consult with the Professionals at Hearing Aid Counselors
At Hearing Aid Counselors, we are here to help you with your hearing needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient southern Idaho hearing center locations in Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Hailey, or Burley. We have a team of experienced hearing care professionals that can answer all your questions and work with you to find the best solution for your hearing and listening needs.