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Avatar universal

Possible Pulsatile Tinnitus?

I am a 20 year old female with no health problems (that I am aware of). I am not on the pill and I’m not currently taking any medications. For the last fortnight, I have been experiencing a number of irritating and concerning symptoms.

Firstly, my eyesight is fine and I do not need glasses. About 13 days ago I noticed my vision becoming blurry on random occasions for about 7-10 seconds at a time. It would happen anywhere, Walking to the car or even just in the house. My eyes felt as though they were out of focus and I would feel a little dizzy and unsteady of my feet. After blinking a good few times and taking a deep breath, my vision would return to normal.

About 10 days ago, when I woke up I found it difficult to see out of my right eye for about 6 minutes. It felt as though my eye was open but my vision was totally obscured. It was almost as though somebody had put a black film over my eye. Eventually I managed to open my eye and noticed there was no pus and I was not wearing any eye makeup either.

About 9 days ago I began to notice a “whooshing” sound in my right ear. It seems to be in time with my heartbeat. It never goes away and is much more noticeable at night and in quieter environments. It can be heard loudly and clearly over any background noise. My ear feels full and my hearing is muffled in that ear. Nothing alleviates the whooshing except pressing on the right hand side of my neck, which temporarily quietens the sound. When my pulse is raised, the noise seems to be louder, or I am more aware of it.

My sinuses are fine and I don’t have a cold, a cough or any mucus. It is severely impacting my sleep and my concentration. It is near impossible to fall asleep and even harder to stay asleep as I am awakened by the sound. I am irritable and can’t focus on anything except the noise.

About 5 days ago I visited my GP and explained my symptoms and my concern over my lack of sleep. He took a look in my left and right ears and said that my right ear looked fine. In his exact words “It looks fine, It’s probably just a blocked Eustachian tube so I’ll prescribe you a nasal spray”. He told me that the noise was something I was just going to have to “deal with”. I was prescribed mometasone fuorate (NASONEX) and sent on my way.

When I was very little I suffered a few burst ear drums and have suffered my fair share of blocked Eustachian tubes and sinus infections. Every time I did, I suffered a pain in my ear or a tenderness and any tinnitus was a ringing sound which was quiet enough to ignore or mask. I have no pain in my ears this time.

I have followed the prescription for the last 5 days and have noticed that there has been absoloutley no change and in fact, the noise is as loud as ever. I am apprehensive about returning to my GP as I did not appreciate his condescending tone.

Has anybody suffered similar symptoms or can give me an answer as to what this might be? At the very least point me in the right direction. Thanks for any help or advice you can give me.
5 Responses
Avatar universal
Hello and hope you are doing well.

The ringing sound you hear is called Tinnitus. It occurs with disorders affecting the external, the middle or the inner ear. In the outer ears cerumen impaction or external otitis,  in the middle ear fluid collection or  disease of the tympanic membrane and in the inner ear damage to the nerve endings can cause tinnitus. As a result of these disorders the external sounds are masked leading to awareness of normal body sounds.  You will need to consult your primary care physician for further evaluation, who may then refer you to an ENT specialist. An ENT examination, auditory brain stem response (ABR), a computerized test of the hearing nerves and brain pathways and CT/MRI brain may be needed to diagnose the cause for tinnitus. Treatment lies in treating the underlying cause.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
152264 tn?1280354657
Given the pulsatile tinnitus and the strange vision problem, I would ask your GP for a referral to an ENT and and perhaps an ophthalmologist. Those things needs to be investigated. Your GP sounds like mine when I had my sudden hearing loss. She had me squirting Afrin up my nose when I should have been sent immediately to an ENT and gotten steroids for this otological emergency.

If your GP balks, I would bypass them if you can and just go see the specialists yourself. And I would find a new GP who does not act condescending but actually listens.

You might need an MRA (magnetic resonance imaging) to see what the cause for the tinnitus might be (a blood-vessel problem can cause it), but an ear specialist will know what to recommend in the way of testing. Good luck.
535822 tn?1443976780
I am also getting tinnitus low sounding a lot and I have some ear ache . I noticed this problem after they installed new electric meters into our houses her in CA  Has anyone had similar ..think it could be electric related ?
Avatar universal
I have a diagnosis!

I returned to my GP after the nasal spray he prescribed did nothing except give me a nosebleed and exacerbate my symptoms. He tols me there was nothing he could do so I went over his head as he was not taking me serioiously.

have been to see the optician, who referred me to A&E after noticing swollen optic nerves. They did a CT which came back normal and then referred me to an opthamologist who did some tests, dialated my pupils and diagnosed me with Benign Intracranial Hypertension.

I am awaiting a Lumbar Puncture to confirm the diagnosis and then will be prescribed Diamox if necessary.

Thanks for all the help and advice! I'm not thrilled, but I am relived to have been taken seriously and hopefully have a definite diagnosis by the end of the month.
152264 tn?1280354657
Good for you for going over the incompetent/inattentive GP's head and getting yourself diagnosed! I am very glad you got an answer to your problem. Good luck with resolving it.
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