What Do I Do About Pulsatile Tinnitus Sounds?
If you hear constant ringing in the ears or ringing that comes and goes, you most likely have tinnitus. It might not always sound just like ringing. You may have buzzing, chirping, whirring, roaring, clicking, or other sounds in your ear(s).
But if you hear a pulsing sound in your ears at the rate of your heart, you probably have pulsatile ear ringing. The key element that makes your diagnosis pulsatile is that the sounds in your ears need to be synchronous with your heart rate.
Why would you want to waste your time and money getting evaluations and treatments that do not have any effect? That is why it is incredibly important to know the difference between pulsatile tinnitus and the non-pulsatile type so you can find the best treatment for you.
Of note, the pulsatile variety is almost always related to a specific cause and can be cured as soon as that cause is addressed. Standard ringing in the ears doesn’t always go away and you may need to learn to live with it.
The reason pulsatile ringing in the ear keeps up with your heart beat is because the cause is related to blood flow. Usually, there is abnormal blood flow in the region of the ear.
The causes of pulsatile ringing in the ears may surprise you. Read below for some of the most common conditions that cause those steady pulsing sounds.
- Tumors in the vicinity of the ear – If tumors press on various blood vessels in the neck region, blood flow is impacted and pulsing sounds can be heard.
Atherosclerosis – When cholesterol deposits build up in the blood vessels of your brain, elasticity decreases in the vessels and makes blood flow more forceful. When this happens, your ear is more likely to hear these beats.
- Malformation of neck veins/arteries – Arteries or veins in your neck can narrow or kink and lead to turbulent blood flow. Again, your ear can more readily detect that blood flow.
- Hypertension – High blood pressure means the flow of blood is more intense. When this occurs, and especially when made worse through caffeine, salt, and smoking, your body can hone in on the pulsing sounds you normally would not hear.
- Pregnancy – Blood pressure is increased during pregnancy and sometimes simply discovered while someone is getting care during pregnancy.
- Anemia – Blood flow is altered when you have anemia due to the reduction of red blood cells. Any changes in blood flow can impact how the pulsing sounds are perceived by the ear.
- Head trauma – Any kind of injury to the brain can impact the structure and function of crucial blood vessels. When the blood vessels are damaged, how the blood flows and then how that blood flow is detected by your ears is affected.
- Thyroid problems – When your thyroid is hyperactive, too much thyroid hormone is produced by the body. When this occurs, fatigue, weight loss, and a racing heart may be symptoms. The blood flows faster and can then be more easily heard by the ear.
Ok, I might have one of these conditions you mention. But how do you treat pulsatile tinnitus?
In order to treat most of these potential causes of pulsatile ringing in the ears, you will need to see a doctor who can diagnose you properly. Then a treatment course will be developed for you that directly treats your condition which is causing your pulsing noises.
This can be a long process. You may bounce around from doctor to doctor. Or you may have to undergo several different assessments or various treatment methods until you find the cure.
If you are in the process of waiting around for evaluations or treatment results, check out some of these natural treatments that can decrease the severity of your symptoms.
Try these no-fuss, simple-to-implement remedies for pulsatile ringing ears.
- Since irregular blood flow is a common cause, try a new exercise program to get the blood flowing in a more regular fashion. Try walking at a rapid pace for 1 mile. Even better, go for a run or jog. Do yoga or lift some weights. A more steady state form of exercise will help with pulsatile ringing in the ears the most. This means an activity that will increase heart rate and keep it at a moderate level rather than short bursts of more intense physical activity. That is why I recommend walking, jogging, yoga, or circuit training for 30-45 minutes to start reducing pulsatile symptoms.
- High blood pressure is certainly related to the pulsing variety of ringing ears. To decrease your blood pressure, cut your intake of salt, caffeine, and reduce or stop smoking cigarettes. This means eating less artificially salty products (chips, sauces) as well as reducing the amount of seasoning you use on meats and vegetables. Drink less caffeine products such as sodas, coffees, and teas. While decreasing smoking will be a difficult process, you will experience so many health benefits, one of which is reduced pulsatile ear ringing symptoms.
- Increase your intake of iron and vitamin B12, if you think anemia may be contributing to your ear ringing. Iron can be taken as a supplement that you can purchase online or at a vitamin store. Look here for a way to boost your intake of key nutrients linked to ringing ears with a simple meal plan.
- Sound machines that produce a white noise or the sounds of nature can cover up the sounds in your ears. When these sounds play in the background, you will likely pay less attention to your internal sounds. These can be purchased online or at a department store.
- Massage, especially near the head and neck, can get improve blood flow in that critical area near your ears. When blood is flowing in a more regular fashion, then the irregular heart beat sound in the ears will dissipate. If you can afford it, try getting a professional massage targeted at the neck region. Otherwise, find a friend who can implement some massage techniques at home. Stay tuned for a post on at-home massage to treat ringing ears.