How does pulsatile tinnitus differ from tinnitus?

15 Nov 2018 About

Ever heard of pulsatile tinnitus? Unlike most types of tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus has a physical source of sound that your ears pick up. So instead of it being a result of nerves picking up on abnormal electrical signals moving from your ears to your brain, pulsatile tinnitus is caused by blood circulating in or near your ears. It basically is an amplified sound of blood circulating through your arteries. Pulsatile tinnitus is also known as rhythmic, vascular, or pulse-synchronous tinnitus.

The symptoms

The foremost symptom of this rare kind of tinnitus is quite obvious. You'll hear a sound with a steady beat that seems in sync with your pulse. Which could be just in one ear. For many people, this sound can be loud and super distracting and for some even unbearable. There could also be other symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, vision problems, and hearing loss. These occur when you have a high pressure in the fluid around your brain, a condition called idiopathic intracranial hypertension. If you want to find out more about regular tinnitus and how it differs from pulsatile tinnitus, check out this article!

The causes

Unlike with regular tinnitus, doctors can often pinpoint a specific health problem behind pulsatile tinnitus. The most common cause of pulsatile tinnitus is irregular blood vessels. When blood flows through damaged or kinked vessels in the brain or around your the ear, it can change pressure and noise. A narrow or kinked neck artery or vein can also be the issue and cause pulsatile tinnitus. There are, however, multiple other possible causes like high blood pressure, anemia, and connection problems between arteries and veins.

The treatment

This kind of tinnitus is often the first clue that you have something else going on that needs to be treated. Your treatment plan will depend on what’s causing your tinnitus. You may need medication or surgery to repair a blood vessel. Once the condition that caused it is treated, the sound should stop. But if it doesn't, there might be a cure in the near future!

Be on the lookout for pulsatile tinnitus

So, pulsatile tinnitus is a rare form of tinnitus. If you have it, there is a big chance you got some sort of health condition causing the pulsatile tinnitus. So see a doctor as soon as possible if you recognize the symptoms described before! Do you have tinnitus? Then you can check out this article that offers all kinds of ways to make living with tinnitus more bearable!

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