Pulsatile Tinnitus - What Is It And What Causes It

Pulsatile tinnitus is a not so common type of tinnitus. We’re describing the causes and symptoms of this type of tinitus and most important the treatment options.

There are many diseases discovered that are directly concerned with hearing and cause big problems for rest of the body if not addressed seriously. Pulsatile tinnitus is a disorder in which the person can hear some sort of noise which resembles to the rhythmic pulsing of heartbeat. Majority cases that come in notice are found to be caused due to some disturbance in the flow of blood. Hence, it is also known as vascular tinnitus. Pulsatile tinnitus is not a very common type of tinnitus i.e. only 3% patients of tinnitus experience this particular type of tinnitus.

The origin of pulsatile tinnitus is the blood vessel located in the neck or head region. Pulsatile tinnitus takes place when there is some disturbance in the flow of blood in this vessel. When the blood flow in the vessel of neck or head region increases or the vessel becomes narrow, it causes a turbulent blood flow which the patient can actually hear. Pulsatile tinnitus is different from continuous tinnitus in a way that it does not affect or damage any hearing nerve of the ear. But there is also some possibility of having both pulsatile and continuous tinnitus at the same time and people suffering from both types are in opinion that pulsatile tinnitus bothers them more. Patients of tinnitus should investigate all the instances of pulsatile tinnitus properly as it can lead to many severe problems if not taken seriously.

Pulsatile tinitus can also lead to stroke, but the cases leading to stroke are very rare. For the diagnosis of pulsatile tinnitus, a series of tests is carried out which involve deep examination of the regions connected with neck and head. In some cases, initial imaging techniques do not show the abnormalities in the region clearly, but the patient still faces problems. In such cases, the patient must go for further examinations in order to know the actual abnormality which is causing problem for him. But with the advancement in technology and medical science, many modern ways and devices have been introduced that help to examine the tissues and bones in one go.

The new examination techniques include Magnetic Resonance Angiography and Carotid Artery Ultrasonography. The chances of getting rid of pulsatile tinnitus are very high, if only the problem has been completely identified by the physician. Once the disorder is deeply investigated, it becomes much easier to treat pulsatile tinnitus successfully. Some other causes of pulsatile tinnitus include:

Glomus Tumor
Benign Intracranial Hypertension
Atherosclerotic Carotid Artery Disease
Intracranial Vascular Lesions
Middle ear effusion
Twisted Arteries
Hypertension

All the above mentioned causes lead to pulsatile tinitus if the symptoms are not investigated properly. People suffering from this disorder should evaluate their condition on daily basis so that the risk of stroke can be reduced, also, if there is some other problem originating, it can be examined as soon as possible. Remember that timely diagnosis and treatment of a disease can prevent a person from serious consequences in future.

image source: Coty Schwabe

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