Pulsatile Tinnitus

Hearing ear image

Pulsatile tinnitus is a condition that displays itself as a rhythmical noise. This is usually experienced as the same rate as the heart, differing from the general form of tinnitus, which tends to be a steady noise with no frequent or regular changes in its loudness. Pulsatile tinnitus can occur due to a change in blood flow in the vessels near the ear, or to a change in awareness of that blood flow. This can be checked by feeling the pulse at the same time as listening to the tinnitus.

It is estimated that tinnitus affects about 13% of the general population.

Pulsatile Tinnitus Treatment

Anyone with pulsatile tinnitus should seek advice with an ENT specialist. At Harley Street Hearing we can suggest ENT’s that specialise in pulsatile tinnitus treatment. The ENT Specialist will begin by taking a detailed history of the pulsatile tinnitus and will ask about all other medical conditions you may have. You will then be examined, with particular attention given to the ear drums and the blood vessels of the neck.

If a specific cause is found, this may point to a specific solution for pulsatile tinnitus treatment. For example, anaemia can be treated with medication or blood transfusion, glue ear can be treated with grommets or medication, perforations can be closed with grafts and narrowed segments of an artery can be repaired.

Pulsatile Tinnitus Causes

The chances of finding a specific cause of pulsatile tinnitus are greater than other forms of tinnitus. 

Pulsatile tinnitus causes include a change in blood flow in the vessels near the ear or to a change in awareness of that blood flow. The involved vessels include the large arteries and veins in the neck and base of the skull and smaller ones in the ear itself. The blood flow can be altered by a variety of factors:

  • Generalised increased blood flow
  • Localised increased flow
  • Turbulent blood flow
  • Altered awareness

When the blood flow is increased, this can result in an increase in the internal noise generated and therefore making the pulsatile tinnitus louder. Conditions that cause blockage to the external part of the ear (eg. ear wax) can increase one’s awareness the tinnitus as it may make it seem even louder. This might also happen if you have another ear condition that blocks outside noise, making you more aware of internal sounds.

Some pulsatile tinnitus causes do not fall into any of the above categories. There is a condition called benign or idiopathic intracranial hypertension, which is characterised by headaches and visual disturbance, combined with pulsatile tinnitus.

Pulsatile tinnitus can present itself as many possible sounds. These can include ringing, whistling, buzzing, or clicking. It is possible that you may experience pulsatile tinnitus in one ear only, and it may be experienced constantly, or as intermittent pulsatile tinnitus.

Contact Us Today About Pulsatile Tinnitus

We can suggest ENT’s that specialise in pulsatile tinnitus treatment please call us today or complete the form.

Pulsatile Tinnitus

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