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Pulsatile Tinnitus/ visual symptoms
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Pulsatile Tinnitus/ visual symptoms

Hello-
I've been experiencing what I have learned to be called Pulsatile tinnitus in my right ear. I hear it intermittently- mostly at night, while in bed and while in certain positions like when I lean forward. Contrary to a lot of other people who experience this problem I am not very bothered by it but after at least five months of hearing it I went to an ENT to see if maybe it could be investigated once I read it could have to do with a blood vessel problem.

The only other health symptom I have had has been visual disturbances since the age of 16. My eyes have been checked by opthomologists and nothing was ever found. My symptoms are similar to retinal or ocular migraines where I see spots of colors, sometimes a black shape that is identical in both eyes and goes away after 30 seconds or so. I also see kind of metallic looking zig zag lines and dots. These incidents are usually instigated by looking at really bright objects and they go away but I usually have them every day. None of these are preceeded by a migrane (migraine) or anything. I also have constant halos around traffic lights and other brightly lit objects. Apparently I was told this could be due to retinal migraines but I have had these non-stop for at least 7 years.

I've had several MRI's in the past to which nothing was found but the ENT recommended getting a CT scan with angiogram to get a look at the blood vessels. I was hoping that maybe the pulsatile tinnitus could be related to why I have had the visual disturbances all these years.

Has anyone had pulsatile tinnitus with the visual issues I described? If so, was anything ever found and what tests did you have done?

Thanks.


3 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Pulsatile tinnitus is a rhythmic pulsing sound that sometimes occurs in time with the heartbeat. It is usually associated with atherosclerosis. If the same vessel changes occur in the eye, it can cause visual symptoms, but this is usually constant.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_n_tn
can a CT angiogram help diagnose antherosclerosis?

What other tests are used to diagnose antherosclerosis?

I had my cholesterol levels and blood work done a year ago and everything was normal. I eat really healthy and am more on the small/thin side so I don't know if this means anything. I always attributed antherosclerosis to people who were more on the overweight side and ate a lot of junk food.

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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Atherosclerosis is a disease where the 'fatty' material in the blood gets deposited in the walls of the blood vessels. It could be independent of the body habitus. Certain conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and sedentary lifestyle promote this.

To diagnose atherosclerosis, the wall thickness of an artery is measured. Besides CT angiography, ultrasonography and doppler studies may help to diagnose this condition.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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