Pulsatile Tinnitus question - British Tinnitus ...

British Tinnitus Association

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Pulsatile Tinnitus question

Shellipops profile image

Happy New Year folks, hope were all managing ok x

Quick question if I may. I have a hissing head T which I've grown familiar to, in the main I'm ok with it.

Last night just before bed I noticed a constant hum mostly in my right ear...I swear it was like a constant didgeridoo note coming from the neighbours house. (It wasn't by the way!). It really freaked me out and my anxiety sky rocketed...my sound oasis crickets couldn't touch it. Freaky thing was when I went to bed and spoke to hubby it stopped when I talked...I hummed and it stopped again. My T correlates with my neck stiffness, but I'm hearing my blood flow whooshing more when I bend my head over.

Anyway my question is, is pulsatile T mostly connected to blood pressure issues?. The hum has gone this morning but I'm a bit thrown by it. ENT said recently nothing jumped out at him as a result of my examination and audiogram.

Cheers folks,


19 Replies

Hi S, I occasionally get a loud hum or a whistle over the top of my T. It normally lasts a few seconds then goes. Can't relate it to any cause.

Wish I could help more, hope you soon ok.

C xx

Shellipops profile image
Shellipops in reply to Curlew

Aww, thanks Mrs...that's comforting to know. Think I'm just being a bit anxious, been off work for a couple of days and despite my best efforts not to, Ive been ruminating around the house...idle hands and all that.

Im sure it's nothing, but its a pain how the slightest change can catapult you back to the beginning, they do say its two steps forward, one back but onwards we must go x.

How are you fairing after all the festivities?...hopefully having a well earned rest and some peace, hoping you have settled somewhat x. Not long till spring to keep us occupied x


Curlew profile image
Curlew in reply to Shellipops

My T is just horrendous. I was just thinking how weird it is to think that a person can just sit watching tv with such a loud horrendous noise going on in their heads and just behave as if it's normal.

Yes, bring on spring and the longer days. I'm not a gardener really, but I'm giving myself a project to in the garden. Anything to keep my mind active.

Had a very hectic xmas, all the family here for 10 days, kids making noise etc. Weird thing is although my T is always there and noisy, I was very unaware of it most of the time.

Now it's back to just hubby and I on an evening I hear it like an exploding pressure cooker non stop! 😂😂

Curlew profile image
Curlew in reply to Curlew

Whooops, 3 days 😂😂

Shellipops profile image
Shellipops in reply to Curlew

Hee hee, gardening is very therapeutic with loads of health benefits, you never know your project might give you the "bug" and you will forget you even have a telly 😉

Take care and here's to happier days x

mercevo2 profile image
mercevo2 in reply to Curlew

try Betahistine dihydrochloride, max dose, from your GP and buy from somewhere like amazon Bioflavinoids by Nature Life 1000mg, together they help me , not 100%, but enough...

cheers and stay happy Alan

Hi Shellipops,

Happy New Year to you too.

I believe pulsatile tinnitus can have many causes - have you read the BTA information sheet.

One of my noises is pulsatile and I was told by an ENT consultant that mine is caused by hearing loss which results in my picking up the sound of my carotid artery which runs very close to the hearing nerve. I too hear a humming noise sometimes, and a sort of generator noise.


Shellipops profile image
Shellipops in reply to Lynne-H

Thanks Lynne,

It happened again last night but was gone this morning. I know not to panic but my brain gets the better sometimes, Ill need to start exercising again so that might help....with any luck Ill have forgotten all about it by next week x


Lynne-H profile image
Lynne-H in reply to Shellipops

Yes maybe as ENT didn`t notice anything it may be something that will eventually disappear. I think those of us who have tinnitus always worry when a different noise appears . Take care xx

Shellipops profile image
Shellipops in reply to Lynne-H

Very much so, thanks again. Its nice to have a voice of reason when my own refuses to listen 😡

Take care S

Cheers, been very sluggish recently and needing to kickstart.......well everything really 🙄.....will try and incorporate but I love my carbs.

I too have the hum on top of an intermittent hissing noise and pulsatile tinnitus which is more noticeable when i move around than at rest. Weirdly i tend to get the hum when i get out of the car especially if the radio has been on loud ish and i also get it for half an hour or so after using my i pod...so i stopped using my ipad. Sometimes the vibrating hum comes when i lie in bed. I feel very anxious. I have seen an ENT a neurologist and had a Ct scan as i cant tolerate MRI the radiologist picked up i had intracranial hypertension still diagnosed in 2004 but i never had PT with it before but it is a chronic condition that can flare up so maybe... Every night i google and frighten myself to death. It is on my mind the while time that i have something sinister but the drs dont seem concerned. Why would i age 54 suddenly get PT. my bp is normal 128/75 iam on statins. Iam over weight. I dont smoke. I saw the chiropractor in October for my neck. She did gentle manipulation (no neck cracking) and i felt sore the next day. Then the following day the tinnitus started. Coukd it be related? I also have crackling intermittently in my right ear resembling a crisp bag being scrunched uo. My Ent says it's a neurological thing my Neuro says its ENT. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Yes its 2am and and iam awake with the hissing whooshing hell 😡

Shellipops profile image
Shellipops in reply to Owley

Hi Owley and welcome,

I'm sure you will find the knowledge and support on here very helpful. Gosh, you have had a lot of investigations done. It is not reassuring that nothing has shown up so to speak. Initially I was as intent as you are now on finding a reason for it all...but I've given up now. I've been through audiology and ENT but have never been offered anything other than a physical exam, no bloods or scans etc. This used to really rattle me but, Its dawned on me now there's no point. My big issue is I'm a worry witch which is only compounded when we have T and all the other associated symptoms, most Docs are useless, I find more help on here !!.

My goal now is to try and tackle the anxiety that really is entwined in it all. When I'm engrossed in something none of my symptoms matter a jot, in fact they go away as I'm paying them no heed....the minute my attention wanes I'm off fretting again. The only other thing that helps me not give a jot is a couple of glasses of wine, 2 at most....whatever it does it stops me being distressed by it all. I can't and dont want to drink everyday so I'm going try cbd oil for anxiety. A few folks have tried it and said it helps.

I'm 11 months in and its been an emotional rollercoaster ride but in the main it does get easier. Most on here have found their own ways of coping with it. I'm lucky in that I can sleep okay but only with my sound oasis machine.

Hopefully you will find some normality soon

Take care


Owley profile image
Owley in reply to Shellipops

Thank you Shellipops.

The hum you mention i get too.

I first got that in 2007 when laying in bed i thought it was lorries thundering by then realises it was in my own head. I had no other tinnitus symptoms with it until recently. I also (weirdly) get the him for a few minutes after i have been travelling in a car or when i take my ipod ear plugs out as well as random other times. In fact since my tinnitus got bad 3 months ago i havent used my ipod. I have decided today to ask Dr for a CT angiogram as i need to know i have no blood vessel issues etc going on. The basic CT ruled out tumours etc but even the radiologist said its a limited test. If its ok i can get rid if my anxiety even if i cant get rid if the tinnitus!!

I hope you get a good sleep tonight.


NicBTA profile image

Hi Shellipops

Here's a link to the info sheet Lynne mentioned - have a look and then if you've any questions, I can try and answer, or give the helpline a call.


Best wishes


HI Shellipops, you can get a lot of info about Pulsatile Tinnitus from a FB group called "Whooshers". You may want to check it out as it is a mine of information. Their motto is "Pulsatile Tinnitus is not tinnitus", meaning that PT is a symptom of something else and that 'something' always warrants further investigation. All the best, Tracy

Shellipops profile image
Shellipops in reply to tracyd59

Tracy Nic,

Thanks for info,

Its subsided somewhat but ill keep an eye on it


Hi all.

Whenever i google pulsatile tinnitus it says there is ALWAYS an underlying cause and tells of scarey examples, however my ENT surgeon and Neurologist (that i have paid to see privately out of my late Mother's inheritance as i am so desperate) dont seem that concerned.. In fact my ENT says in his 20yrs as a consultant he says seen many cases of Pulsatile T and only one had a sinister cause.

I had 2 CT scans, one of head and neck as i cant tolerant MRI due to fear of enclosed spaces. The CT was not done with contrast due to my total debilitating health anxiety and fear of a reaction. The radiologist said the results woukd be limited but he could rule out some things. Its now3 months after CT and iam wondering if i should stop being a scaredy cat and pay for a CT angiogram to be sure as the anxiety to what is causing it is not helping me. Some days i get a loud hiss that i hear above everything even noise in a busy restaurant etc. Other days i get pulsing which is worse when stressed, when i exercise or laying in bed trying to sleep. Sometimes especially after being in car having radio on i cant get a vibrating hum on top of hissing and pulsing... Which is like a real full on orchestra 😔.

My Ct scan did show an empty sella and tortuous ootic nerve sheaths which the radiologist picked up and queried that i may have intracranial hypertension.. Now unbeknownst to him i was diagnosed with it in 2004 and after initial treatment it went away but it can be a chronic condition. My neurologist doesn't think i still have it as i my cranial nerves are all intact and i dont have swollen optic nerves but it seems pulsatile tinnitus is commonly caused by intracranial hypertension.. A condition not very well understood and mainly affecting overweight women (iam)

So if anyone knows much about pulsatile tinnitus being nothing serious or knows about intracranial hypertension causing it i would love to know. My bp is ok and my gp listened to my carotid arteries with his stethoscope and behind my ear and said all sounded normal

Owley 🦉

It's probably nothing but when my husband went to doctor with whooshing in his ear the doctor listened to his heart.and said it was irregular. He was diagnosed with mild aeortic regurgitation .it's not too serious and no medication needs just watch weight and diet the noise can be the blood going round the heart

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