Pulsatile Tinnitus: Something or Nothing?

I saw my GP the other day about the whooshing I get in my left ear which seems to be in beat with my heart. The strangest thing is that if I hold my head at an angle towards my right side, or press my hand against the side of my neck, or on the bone at the back of my ear, it disappears. It's been going on every day for the last three months, and while not a big deal, is annoying.

She checked me over. No wax, no infection ( and no deafness). Checked my heart, had a listen to the artery up each side of my neck, and has decided to refer me to ENT because she thought it unusual for this to happen on one side only.

Has anyone experienced this? Any link to other auto immune problems? Or just one of those things?

3 Replies

  • Have you had a carotid ultrasound scan done? It is possible it is what is called a carotid bruit - although there are different views as to whether a patient can hear their own carotid bruit. some doctors say it is possible. And not all GPs recognise it when they try to listen for one.

    "A bruit is caused by turbulent blood flow in an artery which supplies blood to the brain." - it's like water flowing down a river with nothing sticking out into it the flow runs smoothly but if there is an obstruction or split in the river it becomes more turbulent and forms waves. There is a junction in the artery in the neck and that is where plaques may be deposited and cause turbulence. If they get too big they interfere with blood flow and cause the noise (the French word is bruit).

  • Thanks Pro. I haven't had one, but may need one. Wait and see

  • I had that recently , i was in hospital it was in my left ear sounded just like you said , i found it stopped when i stood up , only lasted 2 days gone now thankfully but it worried me because i have had an acoustic neuroma in my right ear and my biggest fear is getting one in my left ear aswell , i had an MRI scan when i was in hospital and so i know at the moment i haven't got another thank god .

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