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Pulsatile Tinnitus – The 6 Clinically Proven Causes of Pulsatile Tinnitus and How to Overcome Them
To begin with, what is pulsatile tinnitus? This is a form of tinnitus where the sufferer hears a pulsating sound in time with the pulse. This type of tinnitus is also known as vascular tinnitus. In simple terms, people hear something in their ears like their heartbeat.
People suffering from pulsatile tinnitus may experience one or more rhythmic heartbeats that are usually heard either as a low hum or a high pitched sound, or as a high clicking sound.
Although pulsatile tinnitus is not a common form of tinnitus, it has some well-known causes, including high blood pressure, a heart murmur, a globe-shaped tumor, or a vein or artery disorder. In most cases, pulsatile tinnitus can be treated effectively and permanently.
The main known cause of pulsatile tinnitus is irregular blood flow in the nerves and large arteries of the neck, base of the skull, or small blood vessels inside the ears.
There are many factors that affect blood flow. Start with a systematic increase in blood supply that can occur during strenuous exercise or from a chronic lack of adequate blood supply.
Another cause of pulsatile tinnitus is decreased blood supply to the nerves that supply blood to the ears. This forces the sister’s blood vessels to supply extra blood and thus overload them. This added blood load on the blood vessels causes a ringing sound in the head called vascular tinnitus.
The increased blood load causes the blood vessels to stiffen causing the blood flow to become coarser causing pulsations.
If pulsatile tinnitus is suspected, a thorough examination of the circulatory system, especially the vascular system, should be performed, including intracranial pressure testing.
Some of the tests needed to confirm pulsatile tinnitus include:
2. CT scan
3. Magnetic Resonance Scanning (MRI)
4. Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) or angiography
Now let’s discuss the most common causes of pulsatile tinnitus.
1. Carotid Artery-Cavernous Sinus Fistula – This is an abnormal connection between a large artery and a venous bridge in the cranial cavity, usually due to severe head trauma.
2. Arteriovenous malformation (AVMS) – This is an abnormal group of arteries and veins that occur in the cranial cavity near the auditory nerve.
3. Chronic infection and or inflammation of the middle ear. Chronic inflammation increases blood flow to the affected tissues, increasing pressure on the tissues.
Due to the increased blood flow in the ear, the increased pressure causes the sufferers to hear sounds like their heart beating and this is called vascular tinnitus.
4. Fluid accumulation in the middle ear is the next cause of vascular tinnitus that we will consider.
The middle ear is usually filled with air and under normal conditions there should be no fluid.
Eustachian tube dysfunction can lead to fluid retention. These dysfunctions are caused by untreated ear infections or uncontrolled inflammation.
These conditions often cause vascular tinnitus.
5. Another well-known cause of pulsatile tinnitus is a vascular tumor in the middle ear.
These tumors are commonly referred to as glomus because of their globular shape. In some circles these tumors are also known as paragangliomas. In cases where these tumors are confirmed, surgical intervention is the preferred option.
6. Atheroma is the sixth cause of vascular tinnitus.
Atheroma is a fatty deposit in the inner lining of an artery. These fatty deposits cause narrowing or partial blockage of blood vessels, thereby obstructing blood flow to the ear.
Atheroma is caused by increased levels of low-density lipoprotein in small LDL.
Because of the variety of pulsating tinnitus causes, treatment depends on the specific cause of each individual case. In cases where high blood pressure is the cause of pulsatile tinnitus, lowering the pressure to an optimal level will take care of your tinnitus.
As we discussed earlier, any growth in your ear may require surgery.
Atheroma will be taken care of by lowering LDL which will reduce the blockage of blood flow in the arteries.
By now you know six major causes of pulsatile tinnitus and like any other tinnitus sufferer you are eager to get rid of it permanently. But you don’t know anything yet.
What you don’t know yet- I know that what I am about to reveal to you is almost impossible to believe.
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