what causes ears to ring

Pulsatile Tinnitus Causes and Difference from Regular Tinnitus

Pusaltile tinnitus is a condition that involves noise in the ears that is perceived as a rhythmic pulsing, which is often in time with the person’s heart rate.

It can be experienced as a whooshing or thumping sound. Only three percent of people with tinnitus will suffer from this particular type.

How this condition is treated will solely be based on what is causing this condition.

Often, with medication and therapy, this type of hearing problem does not have to be permanent.

Pulsatile Tinnitus Causes

Pulsatile tinnitus causes will typically originate within blood vessels inside the neck or head, when disturbed blood flow occurs.

This will result from either a narrowing of the opening of the blood vessels or increased blood flow, both of which can result in turbulent blood flow that can be heard in the ears.

Because of this it’s considered totally different from continuous tinnitus.

Continuous tinnitus is a result of damage caused to the hearing or cochlea nerve.

It’s also possible to suffer from both continuous and pulsatile tinnitus at the same time.

People who have both types of conditions generally have felt that out of the two, pulsatile tinnitus is the most bothersome.

pulsatile tinnitus

A number of tests will be performed, in addition to an exam of the neck and head by a specialist, in order to accurately diagnose this condition.

Medical Conditions that Cause this Form of Tinnitus

Common pulsatile tinnitus causes include BIH, glomus tumors, carotid artery disease, intracranial vascular lesions, middle ear infections, venous hum, hypertension and twisted arteries.

Benign intracranial hypertension is a condition where there is an increase in pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid that coats the brain. Most patients are typically overweight young females.

Other symptoms can include ear fullness, hearing loss, visual disturbances, headaches and dizziness.

Management for this condition includes use of diuretics, and weight loss. Most patients will improve dramatically with weight loss alone.

A glomus tumor is a benign tumor that’s generally located just below the ear.

It consists of a massive amount of intertwined blood vessels. Loss of hearing is a common symptom.

Younger patients will be treated surgically, while an older patient may not need any treatment since these tumors are usually slow growing.

Carotid artery disease involves the narrowing of the arteries due to the buildup of cholesterol on the artery wall.

This will reduce the opening and result in turbulent blood flow that can produce pulsatile tinnitus.


This will typically occur in older individuals who have a history of elevated cholesterol, hypertension, smoking, angina or diabetes. Medication is usually effective in controlling this condition.

The middle ear is an air filled space.

If fluid accumulates in the middle ear because of infection, Eustachian tube dysfunction or inflammation can result in tinnitus.

It’s sometimes accompanied by decreased hearing or a feeling of fullness and can also include pain.

This is usually treated with antibiotics, nasal sprays, decongestants and possibly surgery.

pulsatile tinnitus causes

There have been reports of patients with high blood pressure whose pulsatile tinnitus started soon after they began taking medication for hypertension.

This type of tinnitus is classified as temporary and usually subsides after three to six weeks.

Arteries that have become twisted in the neck and head will cause a disruption in normal blood flow which can result in tinnitus.

This condition generally doesn’t require any type of treatment.

Other causes of pulsatile tinnitus can include a condition known as Arnold Chiari malformation.

This involves an elongated cerebellum being pushed down through an opening at the base of the skull, which in turn ends up blocking the flow of spinal fluid.

How a Diagnosis of Tinnitus can save Your Life

Unlike most types of tinnitus, it’s easier to find the root cause when diagnosed with pulsatile tinnitus.

Over fifty percent of people with this condition will have an identifiable cause.

This condition may be the only obvious symptom of a potentially dangerous medical condition.

A person with this form of tinnitus may not need to learn how to live with it and instead can undergo effective treatment to resolve it.

This condition will warrant a thorough medical assessment in order for the physician to identify and treat the causes and to also exclude the possibility of more serious problems.

For this reason it’s very important for a physician to know how to identify patients who are experiencing this specific type of tinnitus, and to accurately distinguish and assess the patient’s symptoms, while also addressing the symptoms that can have an effect on the patient’s quality of life.

Unlike the common symptom of ringing in the ears that’s associated with the basic type of tinnitus, symptoms for this form are described as clicking, screeching, swooshing or creaking.

What distinguishes this form with that of regular tinnitus is that it’s a pulsing sound that remains in sync with the patient’s heart rate.

What percentage of people with tinnitus are diagnosed with pulsatile tinnitus?

Pulsatile tinnitus is characterized by the noise keeping in time with

What percentage of people with this type of tinnitus have an identifiable cause

Common causes of pulsatile tinnitus include

How this condition is treated will solely be based on what is causing this condition


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