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Tinnitus ~ Pulsatile
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Tinnitus ~ Pulsatile

Do any of you have pulsatile tinnitus?  Is that an MS Sx?

I have pulsatile tinnitus in my left ear and "ringing" tinnitus in my left and have had them since February.   As of last night, I started experiencing pulsatile tinnitus in my right ear as well.

I've mentioned it to both my neuro and an ENT PA (have it written in my timeline as well), but the PA said that it was common and not to worry about it and my neuro didn't say anything.    I've read about MS-ers having ringing tinnitus, but haven't seen anything about pulsatile.  I have read some things that pulsatile tinnitus should be checked out??

I do have an appt with an ENT next week for sinus issues.  I guess I'll bring it up again.

Just wondering if any of you are experiencing the same thing.

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147426_tn?1317269232
Hi, Pat, I hope I can shed some light on this.  Tinnitus is, indeed, very common, and can occur with and without dizziness.  A common cause is aspirin and sometimes other non-steroidal anit-inflammatories.  Trauma to the ear, especially barotrauma (pressure, altitude, percussive) also causes it, as do infections, neurologic problems and idiopathic (means "the idiots don't know what the pathology is).

I'ved had tinnitus for the last 23 years.  Since the disabling vertigo it is much worse.  I have a constant loud tinnitus (sounds like static or white noise) mostly towards the left ear.  When I'm tired I get a global (uniform between sides) higher pitched noise on top of it.

Tinnitus is defined as a perceived sound that cannot be heard externally (by the examiner).

Yes, pulsatile tinnitus, which usually is in time with the pulse/heart beat, needs to be checked out and I'm surprised your PA and/or doc didn't.  Or it is quite possible they did, cause it's easy, and forgot to tell you things were okay.  A possible cause of pulsatile tinnitus is a narrowing, usually in the carotid arteries - one or both.  This happens in older persons with arterial atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries).  It can happen in younger people with things that can compress the artery.

The doc checks for this by listening for a pulsatile "whoosing" sound (like the ultrasound sound of the baby's heartbeat.)  They have you hold your breath and they listen with a stethoscope over each carotid artery for this sound, called a bruit (brew-ee).  That's all it takes to check.

Now, pulsatile tinnitus can occur when there is increased blood flow in the vessels of the ear, such as inflammation, trauma, "hot flashes" and I'm sure other causes.  I've had it quite frequently.  But to have it constantly and now in both ears - If you cannot remember anyone listening to your neck - someone should and so you can dismiss that as a worry.  Other than that it's a true annoyance, but not in and of itself dangerous.  

It wouldn't be a bad idea to get a hearing test and check with your doctor to make sure they ruled out an "acoustic neuroma" when they did the MRI of your brain.  Okay?

Quix
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230625_tn?1216764664
Thanks Quix!

I'm sure glad that I have the internet!  I can't imagine dealing with my Sx without the ability to find people and websites that can give me good information!!  

I wasn't too sure about the pulsatile tinnitus and its relation to MS, but I had read that it really needs to be checked.  After reading this, I made sure to write it down AND mention it to three docs I've seen (also including another PCP who said all of my Sx were MS and go back to my neuro).   All of them didn't really seemed that concerned.

No, no one ever checked my neck.

I did have a hearing and tympanometry test in June (all normal, except I got dizzy during the tymp test on my right ear).   My neuro ordered a VNG and BAER back in June due to my dizziness.   All was normal as regards to CNS causes, but I had a significant unilateral weakness during the caloric test (77% weakness in my right ear).   Could that be related in some way ~ not sure since the PT first occurred in my left ear 5 months ago and is now in my right?

My neuro knows about the VNG results, but I haven't met with the ENT yet to discuss the VNG or even the sinus CT results that found pansinusitis.  My ENT office is really hard to get an appt.   I've had to wait 1.5 months after the CT scan to get an appt and that's supposed to be expedited.  Could the PT be related to that?

As far as looking for an acoustic neuroma, would that have been visible during the brain MRI?  The radiologist was looking to evaluate for demylinating disease.  Could that have been something that was overlooked?  Do you usually have a hearing loss with an acoustic neuroma (I don't)?

Thanks again Quix!
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230948_tn?1235847929
Hi

I know Quix has answered your post but just wanted to say i have been having ringing in my ears for the last two years in both ears the right the worst i also getting a pulsating noise on occasion in time with my heart beat i didnt know it was called pulsatile tinnitus so iv learned something today. I can here it sometimes over things but generally its only when things are quiet and when im trying to go to sleep, i sleep with a fan on loud to drown the noise out. I also have a clicking noise in front of my ears/jaw not sure what that is about too.

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230948_tn?1235847929
Hi

I know Quix has answered your post but just wanted to say i have been having ringing in my ears for the last two years in both ears the right the worst i also getting a pulsating noise on occasion in time with my heart beat i didnt know it was called pulsatile tinnitus so iv learned something today. I can here it sometimes over things but generally its only when things are quiet and when im trying to go to sleep, i sleep with a fan on loud to drown the noise out. I also have a clicking noise in front of my ears/jaw not sure what that is about too.

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