Pulsatile Tinnitus

I developed this yesterday. It’s driving me nutso already. I’m wondering if anyone else at TUD has or had this and what tests you had done and how you managed it? Mine is only in my right ear. I went to a clinic last night- the doc said my ears look ok but my sinuses are very swollen so I wonder if that could be causing it. I also had a migraine prior to this. I know this can be serious so I’m worried- did you have mra/ct scan/angiography? I think that is necessary to rule out serious vascular causes. She did an ekg which was normal and said she doesn’t think it’s a stroke.

I started having vertigo last January and had an mri then- that was normal. I had another more severe dizzy spell that passed quickly last week before the tinnitus started yesterday. If I’m talking, someone is talking to me or there is enough noise I don’t seem to hear it very much but as soon as it’s quiet I realize it is still there and pretty much constant.

I’m going to my ent office which did the testing last year tomorrow. They said they’re going to do more hearing testing as well again.

1 Like

Hi meee. I have no answers for you, but I’m wishing you the best of luck.

One thing the ENT will likely ask about sounds a bit nutty, but it is real and it is crystals. (told you it sounded a little wacky)

These crystals are contained in the inner ear and they account for balance. My crystals get out of position often (stop laughing) and it requires that they be re-positioned. I say this because you mentioned vertigo and when it happens it can be sickening.

I hope the very best for you.


PS: now darn it stop laughing

I had new onset tinnitus in the time frame of my diagnoses. Thought it was a side effect of the metformin I was put on with initial T2 call. It did not go away with switch to T1 medications at first. But over time found it was more related to BG levels. I still have it but find that if I’m running above normal range that it is more noticeable. I am currently using it as an indication that I’m above 140, as it will now disappear if I’m lower. Took awhile to get there, so I have just considered it a result of nerve damage from running too high for my bodies preferences.

My mother had (has?) the problem. She was at Mayo and asked about it - they had some sort of therapy that involved turning her head in a number of directions that got it to stop - the results lasted quite a long time. I think she had it done twice, and I haven’t heard her complain about it since…

(No, I don’t have tinnitus, so I COULD have heard her, is she complained :laughing: )

@Trudy1@2hobbit1 @Thas @Rphil2 Thanks everyone :slight_smile:

@2hobbit1 Last year I thought the dizziness was nerve damage from bg fluctuations. The ent I saw that time thought it may be a vestibular migraine which is what this doc thinks. He is doing mra of the neck w contrast, an ultrasound of the carotid artery, and a brain wave scan. I’m wondering if I should have an mra of the brain too? I’m worried if it is something vascular an mra of the neck won’t show everything. I will have to be sedated probably due to claustraphobia so I would rather get them done at the same time. My brain mri was normal last year but that won’t show for sure if something vascular is going on and it was done a year ago, when I had no tinnitus except for some ringing when my bg went up or down which went away pretty quickly. Sometimes ringing is a warning I’m going to drop low.

My hearing test was normal and he couldn’t hear the sound- sometimes another person can hear it with a stethoscope which means usually it is serious. Oddly enough, last night it went away and I thought, thank goodness it is gone, then it came back a minute later and kept doing that all night. When I woke up it was gone again and I only heard it a couple of times when i bent my head/neck in a funny position. I’m just hearing it again now for the first time while writing on my laptop, looking down.

@Thas Can you describe those manoevres? Maybe I can get someone to do that after the tests are done and hopefully show nothing serious is going on. @Rphil2 not laughing, except at you telling me not to laugh. :laughing: I had testing for crystals last year too and it didn’t make me dizzy so they said it wasn’t a crystal problem. The video nystagmography showed some irregular eye movements so they thought maybe it was a vestibular nerve issue most likely and rxed the mri.

I wish I could, but I only know that it was some sort of therapy that seemed odd at the time, but worked.

1 Like

Maybe @Thas is referring to Epley maneuver? Something about repositioning crystals in the inner ear…

1 Like

I have tinnitus, for most people it’s not caused by a ear problem, it’s happing in the brain. There are many causes even the low dose 81mg aspren people take every day can cause it. I have suffered from tinnitus for 40 years and I think it is always there, it just gets lowder when everything around me is quiet.
My ENT says there is nothing wrong with my ears so there is nothing he can do…sorry

1 Like

Reading this thread made me dizzy… :slight_smile: I have tinnitus in one ear, but that’s because of damage to that eardrum from an accident in my youth. When it gets bad I have become slightly dizzy, but it’s usually not bad enough to bother me. As far as T1 problems making this worse, I can only assume it could. Many things can cause the ear to become “irritated” for lack of a better term, which can cause vertigo and other issues.

1 Like

Sorry to make you dizzy :smile: thanks for all this info everyone:-)… remember though I have pulsatile tinnitus… not ear ringing… which is different… almost always caused by vascular causes which can be related or not related to your ear… I still haven’t had the tests but eventually… meanwhile it has stopped being constant and is coming and going now. I hope that means it is going to stop.

I’ll be interested to learn what you find out. I’ve had the pulsatile tinnitus a few times, but it went away, so I never have seen a doctor about it. A few times I’ve woken up with it in the morning. I took my blood pressure and found it to be higher than normal for that time of day. My BP always drops after I eat, and on those occasions the tinnitus disappeared after breakfast, too. But I’ve had it happen a few times when my BP wasn’t particularly high, too, so I’ll want to ask about that if I ever get around to seeing an audio specialist.

I also have other tinnitus all the time and have had for years. Mostly I don’t notice it except when I’m in bed at night, as sounds like the computer, furnace or refrigerator running are enough to mask it. Some people might call it ringing, but it sounds more to me like a zillion birds chirping at dawn. Most of the time I just pretend that’s what I’m hearing, so it doesn’t annoy me.

1 Like

Hi Uff_Da,

I can’t hear mine either most of the time when it’s constant if I’m talking or there’s a background noise.

Here are some links for possible causes of pt:



This link says high bp is one of the causes of pulsatile tinnitus so it could be caused by your high bp. I would get it assessed to make sure it’s not serious. My bp hasn’t been high so I don’t think it’s the cause of mine. Intracranial hypertension can cause it too.

I have only had one test so far, still have to schedule the mra which was eventually changed to add the brain and to the right ear since my rx said the left ear. I had an ABR test done this week at the ent. During that test when the first sound was played in my right ear I had another episode of nystagmus, which also happened on my brain mri. So I know something is going on but who knows what and if it will ever be figured out. Fortunately my pulsatile tinnitus is completely gone for the most part and I’m hoping it will stay that way. I had a bad cold and was home for a week so I’m wondering if it was brought on by an ear infection after all? The lady doing the ABR suggested that could have been the stimulus for it all and it may not have been evident when they looked in my ear for some reason. I’m glad you have figured out a way to deal with it… I think it would be too much for me to hear my heartbeat all the time.