Pulsatile tinnitus. Anyone ? - British Tinnitus ...

British Tinnitus Association

4,584 members2,791 posts

Pulsatile tinnitus. Anyone ?


Their must be someone on this forum who has pulsatile tinnitus..in my left ear only .I have had this for around 7 weeks . would love to chat with someone who is going through this awful and quite scary PT .x

17 Replies

I have had pulsatile tinnitus in my left ear for the last 3 and a half years.

lynstone60 in reply to Sazzyrich

Hi .have they found the reason why ? This really worries me when they don't know why because it's a symptom and not a disease .I am waiting for ENT appointment have you been through all the tests ? X

Sazzyrich in reply to lynstone60

Yes, I've had various tests including a CT scan where they put coloured dye in to look at blood vessels etc and everything they checked for came back as normal. PT can sometimes have a reason whereas normal tinnitus usually doesnt which is why they carry out tests to rule things out. I have had hearing therapy, hypnotherapy, I practice mindfulness, meditation, breathing techniques, yoga, but nothing makes it go away. They do help though with the massive anxiety that this has caused me over the years as being aware of my heartbeat 24/7 has made me obsessed with my heart and how fast and regularly it is beating.

I have had this for getting on for 4 years. No end of tests, CT, MRI, MRA but nothing abnormal reported.

I now have ringing tinnitus as well.

lynstone60 in reply to RobertCLL

Hi .it's worrying when they don't know what's going on because it's a symptom not a disease...really 4 years omg and I'm complaint of 7 weeks 🤔

RobertCLL in reply to lynstone60

You do learn to live with it. TV and white noise generators at night helps. Only one more option for me. There is an expert at Cambridge Hospital, Mr Patrick Axon, I was due to go and see him but that's been cancelled due to COVID.

I too have pulsatile tinnitus - had it for six years. Mine developed after I had a virus which resulted in hearing loss - I now have moderate hearing loss. I had various tests including an MRI Scan and a Doppler Scan on my neck just to rule out other things.

In the end I was told that the reason I could hear my heart beating and my circulation working is because of my hearing loss - I am picking these sounds up because the carotid artery runs very close to the hearing nerve.

I was very depressed and distressed for a long time - eventually I found the BTA and through them found a support group, I had counselling with an NHS hearing therapist and was also prescribed hearing aids. And I was also prescribed a beta blocker (propanolol) for the anxiety I was suffering. This also had the added benefit of reducing my heart rate which meant the sound was quieter.

Six years on - most of the time I don`t even notice my tinnitus and even if I do it doesn`t make me anxious anymore.


lynstone60 in reply to Lynne-H

Hi Lynne .thank you for your reply .wow 6 years omg iv only had mine 7 weeks .it's in my left ear ....I have had MRI of the inner ear and brain stem all came back clear which I am very gratfull for ..my doctor will not refer me to the ENT as she believes I don't need to be referred .I have told her it's pulsatile and have asked for a ultrasound scan of my neck but she says I don't need it my scan was normal and she feels at this time I don't need refering ..she is mostly concerned because I have quite bad health anxiety and don't want to put me through unnessasary tests ...to which I agree because it was a huge challenge for me and my family to go through with the MRI .I had to take quite a few diazapan to get me through it ..I just hope and pray she is right about this because she obviously is not concerned because it's pulsatile so I'm putting my trust in her ...I am on propanol 3 times a day and it really helps it's almost like I don't hear anything .I also take 2 amitriptalene each night to help me sleep they are a god send ...I also have hearing loss in both ears so I suppose it could be the cause .x

Hi again Lyn,

As you have hearing loss I would imagine that is the reason for the pulsatile tinnitus - it definitely is in my case. My pulsatile noise is in my right ear and at first it was so scary because it was so loud and the reason it was so loud was that I was so stressed which meant my heart was beating faster.

I think when you first experience tinnitus you don`t really think rationally - you just want it to go away, then in my case, as time went on and the more I learnt about what was happening inside my body I started to feel better about it - it took many months though for me to get to this stage.

The BTA do a good information sheet about pulsatile tinnitus which you can get on their website.

Would you be able to go private for a hearing test - perhaps at Specsavers or Boots or would your GP maybe refer you for an NHS hearing test.

The propranolol definitely helped me too - I still take them but have now reduced the dosage.

Lynne xx

lynstone60 in reply to Lynne-H

Hi Lynne. Yes I have had a hearing test at boots 2weeks ago that's how I know I have hearing loss in both ears .at the moment I am taking 3 .40mg a day and it's really helping I can t hear the ringing at all most times so they are defo helping .my doctor don't want to refer me to ent because she dont think it nesesery as my scan came back clear .so I gues she is not worried by it being pulsatile although I think I might get a second opinion and ask to speak to another doctor ..can I ask how old you are .I am 61 x

Yes I`m 73 and I was taking 2 x 40 mg but have now halved that and am fine on that dose.

Hope you manage to get something sorted to put your mind at rest.

I had my hearing aids from Boots - I did originally have NHS aids which I was happy with but in my area (North Staffordshire) we had problems when the CCG closed all the Audiology Depts and transferred all NHS hearing aid referrals to Specsavers. That was four years ago and it all got very complicated so I decided to buy from Boots. Everything is now sorted with Specsavers but now the CCG are considering not issuing hearing aids for mild to moderate hearing loss. Not good.

Lynne xx

I have pulsatile and non-pulsatile tinnitus. The pulsatile tinnitus started just before lockdown so investigations have been delayed. The MRI and hearing test were both normal but am still waiting for the MRA. The noise doesn't bother me - have had high pitched ringing for 3 years and the pulsatile noise has calmed down. But there is pain as well. Only mild pain, but am concerned as do not know cause.

I suffer terribly with pulsating tinnitus in my left ear, I have had arteries scanned in my neck and brain scan. Only thing found was very slight furing on an artery on left side of my neck. I have suffered for about 4yrs with this. Since 2 mini strokes 5wks ago, my tinnitus is louder. I use a sound generator, but doesn't help much. Sleeping is a nightmare. I just don't know which way to turn, any help most welcome. Thank you Anne.

Pulsatile tinnitus requires a full work up to establish the cause, which can often be vascular. ENTs are notorious for not understanding that PT is not tinnitus and the try to treat it as the latter. My ENT had an MRA scan report that clearly stated I had a Dural Arteriovenous Fistula (Davf) but still tried to treat it as tinnitus. It was only when I joined this site and the Whooshers facebook page that I found out about Mr Axon at Addenbrookes. One appointment with him and I was referred for CTv and cerebral angiogram which confirmed the diagnosis. Embolisation and stenting followed, which 'cured' the PT.

Like others, my hearing appeared to be compromised but I clearly remember that I could not hear the sounds through the headphones because of the PT. Since it has disappeared I would say my hearing is virtually back to where it was. I also have some mild tinnitus but nothing like the PT so it doesn't particularly bother me. I don't believe that PT is a hearing problem, your hearing is picking up abnormal turbulent blood flow and that is what needs investigating.

Feel free to search for my previous posts.

beachcroft in reply to JEHSPORT

I agree ,I had no tinnitus until the doc checked my blood pressure ,which was high and put me on ramapril an amlodipine ,a few weeks later the pulsotile and ringing started, had several more doc talks ,and now referred to ent ,have read meds can increase blood flow and if its turbulent can run close to ears and cause noise am sure now maybe had BP for years and arteries damaged by it ,BP is not something most people check everyday ,have read that beta blockers can help but doc says there not a treatment fo BP these days maybe just waiting for my stroke now ,my hearing is not affected ,can hear a pin drop

I've had pulsatile tinnitus for a very long time, as well as regular tinnitus. I was never really bothered by the PT, I could hear my heartbeat in my right ear and just thought it was normal, also, if I lie in a particular way it would turn into more of a whir, still in time with my heart but then I'd just move a bit and it would stop. It wasn't until someone mentioned to me that PT could be a sign of something more sinister that I ever worried about it. Saw the Dr. did tests and MRI etc. and everything is fine and I've stopped worrying about it again. However, during the process of getting it checked I had my ears syringed and the drops caused and ear infection which led to my regular T getting worse and it's never gone back to how it was. I wish I'd just left well alone now.

Yes, I have the exact same thing. Left ear only and pulsatile T, goes exactly with my heartbeat. I had it 7 years ago and then it DID go away on its own in a few months. It came back in May 2020 and I have struggled with it until 2 weeks ago when it finally went away on its own. My symptoms were not that bad, I mostly heard it at night when things were quiet and usually during the day it was covered up with light noise as I did my normal things. Sometimes it was worse but usually pretty mild. I found that massaging my ear and temple are would stop it for a little while. It can definitely flare up and I was never really able to figure out what caused that. I think I had a few days when it did not happen at all and other days when it was there all day long. I had to sleep with the TV on for noise.

That being said I was very worried about it and had a CT scan as well as an angiogram ( which is a very involved procedure but the best for ruling out anything regarding the arteries in your head and neck). I of course also had ear exams from 2 different DRs and all tests were 100% normal. No abnormalities whatsoever. I had the best care you can get here in the U.S. and they couldn't find anything at all. That was both good and bad news as I was hoping for a small problem to be found just to have a solution. BTW I am 49 and normal weight with no other health issues, totally healthy and active. In my pursuit of a solution I decided to have my 4 wisdom teeth out, which were partially impacted but that did not help.

One odd thing I did was I loaded up my ears with vaseline because my ears are also very dry and itchy, so one thought I had was to soften everything inside my ear canal to reduce vibrations. I did this the week it went away.

I did 2 other things which "might" have helped. I lowered my cholesterol from about 230 to 195 over the past 6 months with Lipitor. I also had stopped playing ice hockey twice per week due to the virus in Feb 2020 and that lack of exercise may have contribute to the T. I started playing again in September and that is when it started to go away. I also noticed that during and after vigorous exercise it would go away. My thought is that increasing my blood pressure with really vigorous exercise possibly helped open up my arteries or veins and corrected the poor blood flow. Maybe something moved or straightened out on its own due to exercise. I hope it doesn't come back, its only been 2 weeks so far....Good luck to you hopefully it goes away on its own, regardless of what you read it does indeed go away on its own sometimes, assuming you dont have an actual abnormality or underlying issue.

You may also like...