Pulsatile Tinnitus, Its Causes And Treatments
Tinnitus is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, and pulsatile tinnitus is responsible for only a small percentage of cases. Tinnitus is a condition wherein the sufferer hears noise, often a ringing or hum, that has no obvious external cause.
With tinnitus itself, it’s important to remember that it is only a symptom, as opposed to being a disease, so curing cases of tinnitus is usually only done by getting a full check-up and diagnosing the offending condition.
This type of tinnitus (also known as vascular tinnitus) is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the head or neck, and is usually experienced as a thumping sound which is heard in rhythm with the beating of the heart. It is usually only present in one ear, as the changes to the blood vessels that cause it are rarely systemic.
The reason it happens is that the blood pressure in and around the ear becomes so high that as it is pumped through, it confers sound to the eardrum. This is caused either by increase of systemic blood pressure, or a narrowing of the specific blood vessels that carry blood around the ear.
Pulsatile Tinnitus Symptoms
Pulsatile tinnitus is a symptom of many serious conditions, and experiencing it is a sign that the sufferer must immediately attend a physician for diagnosis. Conditions that can cause pulsatile tinnitus include atherosclerosis (deposits of hardened cholesterol on the walls of the arteries), hypertension (high blood pressure) and even cancer.
It can also be a sign that the sufferer is becoming more susceptible to suffering a stroke. Additionally, ear infections can be a cause, so developing it is not always a sign that the sufferer is seriously ill; however the variety of conditions that can cause development of tinnitus require that any sufferer is immediately examined by a doctor.
Treatment is obviously heavily dependent on the root cause. For atherosclerosis, changing diet and possibly taking medications to reduce cholesterol would be the treatment of choice. For hypertension, again lifestyle changes and medication would be the standard treatment.
Pulsatile Tinnitus Ear Infection
If an ear infection is the cause, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat it, though actually relieving the pulsatile tinnitus itself could be done as simply as clearing the inner ear by blowing hard with a covered mouth and nose. Tumors, of course, would be harder to treat and would require much more management, however the earlier they are diagnosed the better, so being on the lookout for the symptoms is always advisable.
The prognosis for sufferers of tinnitus is often good. Since it can alert sufferers to the presence of serious diseases, when they might otherwise be unaware, it can be a crucial factor in receiving early treatment.
Simply being aware of the condition and using that knowledge to understand when to attend a physician can increase the chances of the sufferer’s survival. Elimination of symptoms is almost always achieved with treatment of the underlying condition, so sufferers of pulsatile tinnitus can take comfort in the fact that visiting a doctor will likely be the first step towards complete recovery.
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Filed under: Pulsatile Tinnitus
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