British Tinnitus Association
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Pulsatile Tinnitus, getting worse

Pulsatile Tinnitus, getting worse

Hi, I am new here, I am 57 old female. I have had lots f health problems + long-term quite severe stress, related to both personal and vocational life...

I have had pulsating heart beat sound in my right ear for long, always worse when the stress level increases. I hear this always at night, I do sleep, but wake up with this sound regularly. I am beginning to worry, which only adds to the stress....

As I have had low iron, my GP sent me for investigation (endoscopy and colonoscopy- both results are normal)- I had a colonoscopy around one month ago and since then I have had ongoing hissing sound, I feel it somewhere inside my head. It has been progressively worse (maybe because I concentrate on this?). I am usually "hissing- free" in the morning and it gets worse towards the evening. When I go to sleep I have hissing, then I get pulsating sound.

Tried white noise machine, but it seems that my "internal sound" increases...

My iron and ferritin are still low- I have had no treatment (I cannot take iron tablets) since August when I had my blood tests done.

I am beginning to feel stressed out with both pulsation and hissing...

What helps is distraction, sometimes music...

I think, I am beginning to be caught up in the viscous cycle, as my brain "has been interested" in the sounds, but I am beginning to feel anxious, which adds to sound, which confirms my worries, etc. etc.

I have a GP appointment scheduled. I read that one side, pulsatile tinnitus require further investigation. I also know that if I cannot take iron orally they should refer me to haematology department (this was suggested by a consultant after colonoscopy).

I feel so powerless...worried that my performance at work is getting worse...worried that my GP will just leave me as it is, stating that I need to "get used" to this sound...

I was better until started having "hissing" I said I have had rhythmic pulsation for long, tried to "minimise" it...butt the pulsation got worse...

Don't know what to do anymore...

17 Replies

Hello. I have very similar experience except only the consintent and increasingly intrusive hiss. I am sure others will be able to offer examples of things that can help , I am sending my thoughts and best wishes ☺


Thank you :)


Not sure how to provide support except to say that if only you could get your mind engrossed n something else the tinnitus sounds will recede. The limbic system is very closely connected to the auditory system so if one is upset, one's toleration of unnecessary sounds is less easy.

Try focussing 'outside your head' - let others divert you - breathe deeply - enjoy Nature. You will get stronger.

I get great comfort by reading the experiences of others on this forum - and I hope you will too.

Best wishes.


Hi, thanks. I am more less able to distract during the day (this helps with a hissing sound) but at night I get rhythmic pulsation and start to worry. I think this may require a further investigation.

I hope that if I eventually get proper treatment for anemia, this will help. I am very low on iron and ferritin...


Actually I've also just remembered a specialist saying that the carotid artery is very near the ear-drum so that's possibly why it sounds so loud. Keep eating the spinach!

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I was told the same thing - that the carotid artery runs very close to the hearing nerve and because I have hearing loss I am picking up the internal sounds of my heart and circulation. I too have a hissing noise which I am sure is also due to hearing loss. Hearing aids have helped me. Love Lynne xx


Hi, I have only had T since last July its roaring all the time never lets up i get my hearing aids in 4 weeks, every 1 told me they would help so maybe ask yr gp to send you ENT they will do a hearing test etc etc. Good luck with the iron i fight with it every day i dont eat meat or veggies the lowest mine has been is 4 took 2 years to get it up to 36, You have to keep nagging at every 1 then you might get something done. x


Yeah, I am "nagging"...I have had all the investigations (colonoscopy and endoscopy); as I cannot take iron orally, I need a referral to haematology...

I read somewhere that tinnitus may be connected to low iron...


There saying mine is due to me having TMJD waiting for my jaw to be washed out only problem is i could be in more pain my T never goes away the best way i can describe it is its like a fridge freezer all the time its so loud, now i have a thud thud thud when i lay down so am sleeping sat up. Havent they done a MRI scan or a ct scan they had me at ent with in 2 weeks for these tests doing xx hope you feel better soon


Hi again. Sorry if my post wasn't very positive - I am not great first thing in the morning , and was starting a new contract 20 miles away . I can say that I have just about managed to carry on with my stressful life , which is partially positive I guess.But if I could say one thing to others , indeed myself , is that looking after our bodies and minds is the most important thing to help either lessen the intensity or volume of tinnitus ( some people can do this) or help to ' ride the ferocious waves ' of tinnitus ( where I am increasingly at ) . Alas I do not do this , but my belief that it will make a difference if , no when , I do start looking after myself as much as I look after others , is what keeps me going ( If anyone has any ' thoughts into action ' pills I'd be very grateful )


No worries. I am not in my best mood as well.

New contract takes lots of energy...

As I mentioned when I am busy I don't hear it...

Nights are difficult though, as the pulsation gets loud and I have started to worry about having something with my arteries, etc. etc.

Also, I have noticed that any extra stress makes it louder; my neighbours had a party last night, the noise from their house (that I was unable to "switch off") added new dimension...I ended up unable to sleep...ouch...

1 like

Hello and welcome to the forum!

You might find our information leaflet on pulsatile tinnitus helpful - you can read it here:

Our tinnitus e-learning programme, which is structured self help is proving very popular - and it's completely free of charge - you can find it at

Nic (Communications Manager, British Tinnitus Association)


Thanks, I read this. I think they, doctors, need to rule out other reasons...It maybe be "just anxiety"?

I read the e-programme as well

I need to get over my worry thoughts, that t may be something dangerous, that I may have a stroke, etc


There are many reasons for tinnitus, and most are quite straightforward - stress and anxiety is a common one, a build up of ear wax another, and hearing loss is the main one. Try not to worry, but do ask your doctor to refer you for tests.

If there is a physical cause behind your tinnitus, once that is addressed, your tinnitus will improve.


GP said we need to address iron deficiency first. She did not refer me for T investigation, until I get some treatment from haematology...

I am OK with this...


T does change...........overtime you will hear more noises and different noises........and then you will hear less noises etc..........the hissing sound is just another form of T


Thanks, yes it has been changing, hissing is additional...I need to learn the pattern and live my life despite of T...

I am generally over-sensitive to noises and it seems that since T- hissing, I am even more sensitive


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