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Avatar universal

Pulsatile Tinnitus

I realize this is off my usual subject of my ablation but it does have an effect.  My last post got me a lot of feedback on anxiety and too much attention to one's heartbeat.  Well, I do not even have to physically take my pulse as I can hear it coursing day and night in my ears, especially my left ear so I can just count it by listening.  This was evident the minute I came awake after my ablation 2 months ago so it of course, has been going on for two months now.  Prior to ablation, I was never aware of my heartbeat unless I acutally took my pulse.    Anyway, because it would be so much better for my anxiety, it would be nice if I were not aware of this heartbeat day in and day out.  So I went on the internet to find a cure, thinking it might be an inner ear problem.  All I could find out was that it could be serious, such as an aotic anurysm (sp) or something like that.  Well, I don't want to think that is the case and it would take an MRI to diagnois that one.  I don't have earwax, so was wondering if this is a question I should pose to my EP?  Guess I'd rather look folish here then to my doctor firtst.   Question:  Could this pulsating tinnitus be from the ablation in any way, form or style?  If I could resolve this noise in my ears I think I would be much less anxious because I would not be continually aware of my heart rate.  Or do I have to go to the expense of an ear, nose, and throat doctor to solve this one?  I am so sick and tired of hearing this noise all the time.  It's hard to relax as much as I would like to.  Any input very welcome and thanks in advance.
30 Responses
Avatar universal

Thanks for the post.

The only way that I can relate your tinnitus to the ablation is if you have been newly prescribed aspirin after the ablation.  Aspirin is a relatively common cause of tinnitus.

For an aneurysm to be causing this tinnitus, it would have to extensive indeed, so extensive that you would be unlikely to have lived this long afterwards.

Rather than self-diagnosing, why don't you establish a relationship with a good internist.

When I was an internist, I often diagnosed conditions after the patients had seen the specialists.  Specialists are trained to look for diagnoses in their area of expertise only.  As an example, patients often came to see me with chest pain after they had seen some cardiologist first.  He/She would do a bunch of tests, perhaps even including an angiogram, and then tell them "well, it's not your heart."  After all this nonsense, they would finally arrive to me where it would be clear to any thorough internist that they had GI reflux.  Everyone would have been happier had the person started with the internist.

Happy Holidays.

21064 tn?1309308733
Hi "Glass"! I'm sorry to hear you remain so frustrated since your ablation. It sounds as though you are more than aware of the role anxiety plays and that you are doing your best to gain control of your own fears. You certainly have had a full plate this year, and if we can be of support to you, by all means visit as many times as you like.  If you have questions and are able to get through to post them, by all means..ask away. I know that there are people who have not been able to get through to post, and for that I am very sorry. I had the same problem earlier this year, but persistence finally paid off. I was faced with some significant medical concerns and eventually posted twice in one week.  Don't know the rhyme or reason behind who gets through, but then again, I don't understand a lot of things. Perhaps that's for another discussion board : )

Best of luck to you Glassheart! It may actually help when the holiday buzz is behind you...Keep working on your anxiety and you will prevail my friend : ) There are good things in store for you!
Avatar universal
I agree, but bet you will catch flak from some here.  

Life is just to short to constantly involve/revolve your mind constantly with symptomatology.
Avatar universal
First off, I do not sit here constantly trying to post.  I have just been lucky!  You two are pretty judgemental.  You do not know what life I lead and how I really feel.  I certainly thought I had a question worth asking.  I absolutley will NOT try to post a question again.  Just because you two have figured out a way to deal with your heart problems does not mean that others are not still struggling with finding their way.  The only reason I am on this board is to find support and offer it when I can.  The last post I made was for another person on this board as well as myself.  I just cannot beleive the jealousy that the two of you are displaying.  I would never, never in a lifetime think about complaining about someone on this board asking too many questions.  If the same person gets a post in each day, SO WHAT!!  It may very well be a question someone else wanted to ask anyway.  Who the heck cares who asks it, it gets an answer. For goodness sakes you guys, lighten [email protected]!  And by the way, the two questions available daily go by the wayside if no ones gets in the window time frame and that has happened.  Who do you complain about on those days.
Avatar universal
I just wanted to say I have been having ongoing problems
since my ablation 2 months ago and glassheart asked the exact
question I wanted addressed. I am having the same problem and
am heading to the EP again in a few days. Thanks for asking
the question I would have.
Avatar universal
for a comprehensive overview of Tinnitus see "Tinnitus - Questions and answers" by Jack A. Vernon (2001) (Allen and Bacon) likely easily found at amazon;

there is a chapter on pulsatile tinninitus; this is the single best resource I have seen on this topic; I've (previously pretty good health, dx of mild CAD Jan 2002) had some tinnitus for about 2 years now (not pulsatile) and have never been able to definitively pin it down but it started 4-6 weeks after I had started a fenofibrate (Tricor) for elevated triglycerides...I also had some peripheral neuropathy type symptoms (numbing of both big toes, pins and needles in both calf muscles) start at about that same time...between the two I couldn't sleep or relax for months...I stopper Tricor and both symptoms especially the neuropathy have pretty much abated but very slowly over a period of many months...I have since seen some reports of peripheral neurpopathy coupled with Tricor although it is _supposedly_ rare...ear, nose and throat doc said he saw no obvious source/cause and I'd have to " learn to live with it "....and I guess I have...it comes and goes but I've discovered no obvious triggers (although I wonder sometimes if the 81 mg aspirin for CAD re-triggers it...I'll have to begin checking but I wonder if that will reinitiate my anxiety and become self-fulfilling)...note some meds cause it and it won't reverse, others like aspirin will reverse when med is discontinued...curioulsy I mostly now notice it when it ('suddently' ?) ramps up but I often can't exactly remember if it was gone in the period before...at one time it was Always on....I have also been doing meditation some...;

the book is well written in a comfortable question and answer format...quite accessible to mere mortals...and well-annotated...;


21064 tn?1309308733
Sorry, but while I understand some of your frustration, I have to agree with Glassheart on this one. You may be fortunate to have a good grasp of your medical concerns, but we each need different forms of support. Glassheart has had a very rough year, and I know that she is just looking for answers to a very frustrating problem. She happens to be an extraordinarily busy woman who does not sit around "waiting to post".

Sometimes people who are too shy or embarrased to ask for themselves, so if someone is kind enough and lucky enough to get through, why not ask?

I liked the doctor's suggestion for patients to seek out a good internist. Invaluable advice from a former internist, now a practicing cardiologist. Oh, by the way, if you are trying to post a question, try around 8:40 EST. Good luck.
Avatar universal
I know the sound you are talking about. I used to have it too. Its simlar to the same sound as when you close your eyes tightly only its in time with your pulse. It is very anoying and extremely distracting. I don't know what it was, had it for many years. Is gone since last ablation. You're the first I ever heard with similar symptom. THAT is the beauty of this site. I've only been coming here for less than a year but have been dealing with heart probs for all of my adult years ALONE. I've learned so much from other peoples posts and comments at this forum, some I can relate to some I'm so glad I can't. Main thing is we're all here together. My mother passed away of an arythmia 39 years ago when she was 32. I wish a site like this had been ther for her.
I have yet to see a post that didn't have merit.
21064 tn?1309308733
Thanks for your posts...I do not want to argue either. See, if we were in a book club we could all talk over lunch!! That would be great! Unfortunately, we only gets bits and pieces of each others' stories.  Heartwise, given your medical history and signifcant concerns, I have a better understanding of your frustration. I think Glassheart may be (emotionally) where you were a couple of years ago. For me, I was "there" earlier this year. No doubt, you have your share of life's ailments also.

I'm glad to hear so much energy and life in your "voice". Your mom would be so proud :)

I hope we can all continue to be supportive to one another. Sorry if I offended anyone out there. I'll have to work on being more patient and understanding of all posters.

Glassheart, as I reread Heartwises' posts, I believe I may have jumped in too quickly. Although I still feel each person is entitled to post whenever they can, I believe that Heartwise was looking out for the masses when she suggested another mechanisn for you to find support. This board is one of the best out there, and we all need to stick together...

21064 tn?1309308733
Couldn't agree more. Too bad we couldn't all meet on a Caribbean cruise someday.....lol
Avatar universal
hi heartwise,
  Sorry about the loss of ur mom at such a young age. if u don't mind my asking, did she die from something cardiac related?

  I sometimes feel like my heart is beating in my throat.  do u ever experience a symptom like that?

Best wishes and happy new year to all:)
Avatar universal
hey hank, how have u been?  good i hope.
i wasnt sure about it, so i figured id ask.  Why does that happen?  ive heard of it before I think (Hank Gathers??)
thats kind of scary.  thats what i worry about all the time  my heart beating so fast its just going to stop:(
take care and happy new year:)
Avatar universal
I have also been told by an ENT that this heartbeat awarenes is called pulsatile tinnitis. Ever since I awoke from triple CABG, AVR (St.Jude 23mm) and a 5.5cm aortic aneurysm repair all unbelievably done by the same doc at the same time over 3 yrs ago I also can tell my pulse rate and hear every single heart beat. For the first few months I almost went crazy. Atenolol at first helped lower the beat then it initiated an even worse condition - irregular or skipped beats which I still have to this day. I have also had 2 middle ear operations for hearing loss and both were unsuccessful so remained with hearing aids. Afer rechecking with several heart institutions I was assured that nothing was wrong with the original surgery but the fact of having bypass, a mechanical AV with a dacron patch immediately above it together with middle ear hearing loss was highly responsible for the HBA. This helped ease the anxiety attacks but I still need distractive ear phones and occasionally mild sedative to fall asleep. Several monitor checks revealed mostly PACs and a few PVCs but was advised against taking further medications or ablation. During the day I almost never notice the HBA which is always most noticable and uncomfortable at night. I am even more relieved that I am not alone with this problem. Any further advice or comments from anyone else will be most appreciated.
Thanks and a jolly new year to everyone.
Chris R.
Avatar universal
I was not going to post anymore but had to say that I am releived that someone besides myself got benefit from my question.  I too, have to wear headphones to distract myself.  Besides this problem I have tachcardia almost everyday, sometimes twice a day.  This started to get this frequent just a short week ago.  I am trying very hard to deal with all of this as it is fairly new to me to have tachy so regularly.  It still scares me.  I have started counseling recently and am working on biofeedback.  Didn't mean to take question time from anyone.  My time of the day to sit at the computer is between 7:30 to 9 am Central Time.  If that helps anyone that is the time frame that I have always gotten in.  Someone on this board said I had posted 8 or 9 times.  I thought it was 5 including this last one.  Good luck to all and hope we all have a better year.
Avatar universal
I was wondering if u knew what "normal sinus rhythm with sinus arrythmia" means on an ekg??  i got n ekg friday and this is what it said and im worried about the sinus arrythmia thing?  do u know what that is??
Avatar universal
Dear Glassheart
Don't take any notice of what heartwise is saying, if he can deal with his palpitations - fine - lots of us can't, and I think the people that can deal with them aren't getting them like the people that can't.  A couple of years ago my palpitations were that bad I was afraid to go out alone, thanks to the commencement of HRT the palpitations have greatly reduced and life is once again worth living.
You ask the doctor as often as you like Glassheart, I am always interested in your questions, don't be crushed by heartwise's comments, I'm interested in ablation, I've had my heart pounding in my ear - I was very interested in the cardios answer.  Don't stop asking.
And heartwise - if you're so together perhaps you don't need to come on this site.  It's so easy to say people are over anxious with this problem and should think of other things, etc. etc., I get so SICK of hearing this glib reasoning.  I've had various health problems, I've been through hell childbirths, however, nothing, but NOTHING I have ever experienced can compare with the dreadful, stressful, life crippling palpitations that I endured for a good 5 years and I fear will return with time.
So have a kind heart, heartwise, and Glassheart - keep posting.  It's just luck you're getting through and I for one don't mind one bit.
Best Wishes, Linda
Avatar universal
thanks so much hank.  i was scared there for awhile.  have a happy and healthy new year:)
Avatar universal
I missed the posts that revealed Heartwise's mum had died young, a tragedy indeed, and apologise for that bad oversight, I think our postings must have crossed.
I come on this site because it helps me, I like to follow the progress of some of the people.  I'm afraid it just touches a nerve with me when (so many) people have this "pull yourself together" attitude, ... if only it was that easy.
Best Wishes to all, sorry for any offence, Linda 123
Avatar universal
My palpitations haven't gone - I still get them daily - they are just not as violent or constant as before I started HRT. Before HRT I felt weird in my chest the whole time.  
An EP study I had in May revealed a damaged area in my right atrium which is causing some of my palpitations.  I am thinking hard about having that area ablated however I think it will only stop the fast rhythm which I can actually tolerate rather well as it doesn't generally go on for too long - it's the irregular stuff I find by far the worst and I think that is coming from a different area of the heart - probably a few different areas.
I suffer from NSVT, PVCs, AFIB, Low Blood pressure, and a very fast heartrate too (230 beats per minute).  
I lost my father when I was 17 and a brother when I was 12.

Avatar universal
We've just crossed posts again!  I do try not to obsess about my heart, to be honest when it's not misbehaving and I'm on a 'good patch' I don't think too much about it.  
When the palpitations are active I am very, very, frightened. I personally find it impossible not to be.
Sorry again about my earlier post :)
Best Wishes
Avatar universal
I would like to know if there is an anti-depressant one can take that won't affect the heart.  My cardiologist said he usually recommends paroxetine but my doctor tells me that you cannot stop this suddenly once you have been on it a while - something I would definitely want to do if it set off my palpitations as I understand this drug is known to do.  My palpitations are very easily triggered, coffee, alcohol, etc. are all no-no's for me, my cardiologist said he was quite amazed as the slightest thing triggered them during the EP study. I only take the occasional valium to help me during tricky periods and I think an anti-depressant would probably be very helpful for me if I could just find one!
That's me over and out now!
Happy New Year from me in Great Britain.
Linda 123
Avatar universal
Guess what - we've crossed again!!
My father did have heart problems - angina - he died finally of a heart attack but also had cancer.  My brother had Down's Syndrome (he was adorable).  
I can't remember my father ever complaining of palpitations.
I've had my palpitations since I was a teenager (I'm 47 now), the cardio that did my EP study said I had scar tissue in the right atrium which he thought was down to an Asian flu I had when I was around 16,  He referred me onto another cardiologist as the scar tissue was in a tricky area to ablate.  The second cardiologist I saw wasn't too sure about the scar tissue and said it might be something else which he explained to me but I can't remember what he said.  He also said he thinks it is a possibility that I may have been born with an accessory pathway in my heart that has developed into something else with the passing of time.  A recent ECG I had revealed "an enlarged left atrium" - this was news to me as it has never showed up before.
I am very sorry if you have a history of HCM in the family - I am not too familiar with this condition - is there treatment for it?
Best Wishes to you, Linda
Avatar universal
I really feel for you glassheart.  I battle with anxiety everyday of my life.  It is easy to say "stop worrying with every little thing and go on" but with people that truely battle with panic and anxiety those are just what they are.... JUST WORDS.  I have had a echocardiogram...ekg... numerous trips to the ER with my heart racing and the echo showed everything is fine.  I try to tell myself that... but when something is going on with your heart and you add a anxiety disorder on top of it ... it is pure chaos!  I have palpitations and my heart races and pounds my chest so hard I'm sure it will burst.  Hence the trips to the ER.  I take xanax for my anxiety... but I don't like taking it everyday since it is a highly addictive drug.  I was referred to a cardiologist yesterday because I have like a burning, inflammation kind of pain in my chest and arm.  I also have muscle spasms in my left arm.  It almost feels like the area over my heart is "bruised" or something.  It isn't the crushing, squeezing pain that I hear of with heart attacks.  If anyone would have any idea what might be going on with me I would really appreciate the input.  It very well could be mostly anxiety with me but the moderate pain I feel in my chest and left arm are real.  If the echo was clear... any ideas?  Or are there any conditions that might mimic heart problems?  I would like for a doctor just to give me a possible answer... something ya know... even if it is anxiety.  Oh and I find prayer helps my anxiety alot.  God bless you all.  
Avatar universal
I can relate to the anxiety of palpitations.  I suffered from anxiety/panic attacks for years and they are awful.  However, I would rather have panic attacks than palpitations.

I don't get panic attacks anymore for nothing, only when I get palps.  I get to the point where I am so depressed and easily irritated (not good when you have three kids).

The palps I worry about the most are the ones that feel like electrical shocks going up my chest to my throat and the ones that produce sharp pains.

I just can't seem to get it through my head that these things are benign.  I really can't believe it.  And, I am terrified to exercise because I get flutters.  I know I need to keep healthy by exercising, but I can't make myself do it.  

Does anyone experience the same type of palps as me?

Does anyone know of some kind of pschotherapy or whatever that works in controlling anxiety when palps happen?

Any info would be more than appreciated!
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