Pulsatile Tinnitus: What Is It, What Causes It, and What the Heck Can You DO About It?
Do you want to hear something funny? Then you don’t want to hear about pulsatile tinnitus. There is absolutely nothing funny about this condition. The symptoms are brutal and the underlying health implications are alarming. Learn what you can do to get your pulsatile tinnitus under control so that you can end the pain, fear, and noises once and for all.
If you are one of the unlucky 20 percent of the population who has a condition known as tinnitus, then you may be having a pretty difficult time coping with it. If you are one of the unluckier 3 percent of that 20 who has pulsatile tinnitus, then it’s almost a guarantee that you’re not having much fun at the moment.
Knowing the Symptoms of Pulsatile Tinnitus
This particular breed of tinnitus is a little different from its more common counterpart. For starters, the symptoms associated with it can be a bit more aggressive. Rather than merely a loud ringing (not to downplay the significance of that symptom by any means), the symptoms of pulsatile tinnitus often include a rhythmic whooshing and/or thumping that you can both hear and feel in your ears and head. You may also experience a throbbing headache.
Discovering the Causes
What causes this awful condition? The answer is profoundly simple. It’s all about the blood flow you’re getting throughout your head and neck. There are typically blood vessel and circulation problems associated with pulsatile tinnitus, which is why the condition should be taken very seriously. A few of its known contributors include idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), arteriosclerotic vascular disease (ASVD), intracranial vascular lesions, middle ear infection, venous hum, twisted arteries, and tumors.
The first steps you need to take in order to start enjoying some much-needed relief from this unfortunate condition are as follows:
- Know the symptoms.
- Discover the causes.
- Get a proper diagnosis.
- Treat the sucker!
Again, the potential seriousness here cannot be overstated.
Getting a Proper Diagnosis
On a positive note, pulsatile tinnitus may be easier to diagnose than regular tinnitus. Why? Well, it often falls into the category of “objective tinnitus,” as opposed to “subjective.” What does this mean? Quite simply, this variety of the disorder can oftentimes be audibly detected by a doctor. Yes, they can actually HEAR your tinnitus, too! Due to the serious health risks you may be facing, it is of paramount importance that you visit your doctor immediately to receive a diagnosis and begin treatment.
Treating Pulsatile Tinnitus
As with any type of tinnitus (or any health ailment at all, for that matter), treatment can truly be hit and miss. What may work wonders for one individual may completely bomb for another. That said, here are some common treatment options for you to consider:
- lumbar puncture to drain cerebrospinal fluid
- reduction in dietary cholesterol intake
- reduction in dietary sodium intake
- antibiotics (if middle ear infection is to blame)
- pressure applied to affected area
- prescribed medication (see your doctor!)
- surgery (very rarely required)
While this list is by no means exhaustive, it is a good starting point. If you take just one thing away from any of this, it’s that you REALLY need to see a doctor as soon as possible. You can read all the books, watch all the videos, and try all the over-the-counter products in the world, but until you’ve received a proper diagnosis and sound, qualified medical advice, all your treatment efforts are essentially just shots in the dark.