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Pulsatile Tinnitus

About Pulsatile Tinnitus

Pulsatile tinnitus is when you hear a noise that beats in time with your heart, signaling possible issues with arteries and veins near your ears. It’s a sign that healthcare experts need to check the blood vessels in your head or neck for any irregularities. This condition can be a clue to various health problems, including blood vessel disorders or head and neck tumors, leading to specific sounds in the ear that need proper evaluation for effective treatment.

Pulsatile tinnitus is a type of tinnitus where you hear a rhythmic sound that usually beats in time with your heart. It’s different from regular tinnitus, which is a constant ringing or buzzing noise.

Pulsatile tinnitus often suggests a problem with blood flow in and around your ears, possibly due to narrowed or damaged blood vessels, high blood pressure, or other vascular issues. Symptoms include hearing a pulsing sound, which could be whooshing or thumping.

It’s essential to diagnose the underlying cause accurately, as treatments vary based on the condition’s root. Treatments might include managing blood pressure, surgery, or addressing any vascular abnormalities directly.

Symptoms of Pulsatile Tinnitus

If you’re experiencing pulsatile tinnitus, you might notice a distinct whooshing sound or thumping sound, often a sign of increased pressure in the blood vessels of your head or neck, resulting in pulsatile tinnitus. This condition may also be accompanied by symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, or changes in hearing, all of which suggest the need for a thorough hearing test.

It’s crucial to address these symptoms promptly, as they can indicate underlying issues that, if untreated, could lead to further health complications. Early intervention is key to effectively managing the condition and preventing its progression.

In short, some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Hearing a rhythmic sound that matches your heartbeat
  • Whooshing, thumping, or buzzing noises in one or both ears
  • Symptoms may worsen with changes in body position or blood pressure
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Headaches
  • Changes in hearing sensitivity
  • Symptoms may be more noticeable during quiet moments or at night

Diagnosing Pulsatile Tinnitus

Diagnosing pulsatile tinnitus involves a meticulous process to determine the underlying causes of the condition. Initially, healthcare providers often utilize MRI or CT scans to examine the blood flow within the vessels in the head and neck, aiming to identify any abnormalities that might be contributing to the tinnitus. These imaging techniques are vital in detecting conditions such as idiopathic intracranial hypertension, which could be causing the perceived sounds.

Furthermore, additional diagnostic methods, like Doppler ultrasound, are employed to assess the blood flow dynamics, offering a more detailed view of the vascular health and detecting any irregularities. In some cases, angiography is used to visualize the blood vessels more clearly, providing insights into potential issues affecting blood flow that could be linked to pulsatile tinnitus.

Healthcare providers also consider symptoms like a whooshing or thumping sound, which typically aligns with the patient’s heartbeat, alongside other symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, or changes in hearing. These symptoms underscore the necessity for a comprehensive evaluation.

The diagnostic process is not only about identifying the cause but also about ruling out other conditions that might mimic pulsatile tinnitus. This thorough approach ensures that the treatment plan is accurately tailored to the patient’s specific condition, enhancing the chances of effective management and symptom relief.

Pulsatile Tinnitus Treatment Options

To tackle pulsatile tinnitus, doctors look at what’s causing it and choose treatments accordingly. If it’s in one ear (unilateral) or both ears (bilateral), the approach might vary.

Medication can help manage symptoms like the annoying noises you hear. Surgery might be an option if there’s a bigger issue at play.

Tinnitus retraining therapy helps you deal with the noise, and wearable sound generators play nice sounds to distract you. These treatments help improve blood flow, reduce symptoms, and make living with pulsatile tinnitus easier and more manageable.

Why Choose Neurosurgeons of New Jersey

When you choose Neurosurgeons of New Jersey for pulsatile tinnitus, you’re picking a team that’s really good at what they do. They’re experts in understanding and treating problems related to the brain’s blood vessels, which is crucial for handling pulsatile tinnitus. They use the latest tech and methods to figure out why you’re experiencing these symptoms and come up with a plan that’s just right for you.

Their facilities have the newest technology, making sure you get the most modern care, whether that’s a special kind of surgery or medication. The team there listens to you and makes sure you’re part of the decision-making process, tailoring their care to fit your specific needs.

Plus, they really care about how you feel, not just about the medical stuff but also about your overall well-being. They make sure you understand everything that’s going on and work with you to not only treat your condition but also help you feel supported throughout the process.

Our Doctors Who Treat Pulsatile Tinnitus

Dr. Bree Chancellor


Dr. Dorothea Altschul


Dr. Ahsan Sattar