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Experiencing whooshing sound in ear. What am I suffering from?

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ENT Specialist
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Hi my name is XXXXXXX, I have had whooshing in my right ear in tone with my heart beat since may 2012. It's LOUD and I hear it all day everyday!!! I first experienced this when straining BADLY in the bathroom. I heard the whooshing for seconds but it went away as soon as I stopped straining. Happened about 4 times that I heard this while straining. 2 weeks after my last straining episode in the bathroom I started hearing it all the time. PLEASE HELP ME. I can't live with this noise for the rest of my life!!!
Posted Thu, 21 Feb 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 50 minutes later
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. The swooshing sound that you hear in your right ear is known as Tinnitus.

2. This is probably a case of vascular tinnitus. Straining causes dilatation of blood vessels, increasing the blood flow and hence tinnitus. This type of tinnitus is due to turbulent blood flow.

3. Since it occurs or changes when you strain, it may also be related to change in blood pressure and the calcification / plaques in the blood vessels of the neck and brain. Atherosclerosis causing turbulent blood flow in the carotid arteries is only one of many causes of tinnitus. Cervical spondylosis usually affects the basilar arteries which travel through the cervical spine. If the sounds wake you in the morning, get cervical spine x-rays done and use a different pillow height and type to see whether the tinnitus changes / subsides.

4. Other cause such as cervical spondylosis may be considered if there is accompanying dizziness. Tinnitus may also be drug induced.

5. There are many other causes which may be ruled out on further investigation such as ear examination, hearing tests, CT/ MRI scans and so on. You may discuss this with your physician. Decreased hearing also makes one more aware of tinnitus. Get a PTA (Pure Tone Audiogram) done. If you have a hearing loss, amplification may help mask the tinnitus. You may also get middle ear pressure checked (Impedance Audiometry). Low blood sugar is a cause of Tinnitus worsening. This is something that I have noticed in patients. Tinnitus that increase on clenching the teeth need dental treatment. This is one of the tests for differentiating Cochlear Synaptic Tinnitus, which may respond to Caroverine (Tinnex).

6. Treatment will depend on whether a cause is identified or not. You can upload your test results here under the “Upload your reports” section to discuss further treatment options. Tinnitus treatment is not easy. I must emphasize, again, that there is no cure for tinnitus. However in certain cases, it can be controlled.

7. Ask your physician for a prescription of a stool softener and fiber supplement to reduce the need for straining. Get the hemorrhoids treated.

I hope I have answered your query. Please reply back with the answers and I will be able to help you further.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Experiencing whooshing sound in ear. What am I suffering from? 18 minutes later
I went to an ent and he was no help. He did a hearing test on me and said I was borderline deaf? I think but I haven't noticed any changes I my hearing since this happened. He just checked my ear with a scope and said my eardrum looked normal and that he couldn't think of what could be causing it. Went to a doctor had an ultrasound of the caratoid artery and thyroid and it seemed to be normal size and no plaque buildup except they found two nodules in my thyroid that I couldn't biopsy because they are sitting on a blood vessel. I have no health insurance and can't afford many expensive tests, please tell me what I can do. Do I need surgery for this? Or can it be treated with pills? HELP
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 9 minutes later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. Since this Tinnitus has worsened with straining, the initial treatment should be directed towards treating the constipation and hemorrhoids. This can be done medically.

2. It is good that you have no blockages in your neck vessels.

3. The findings of the thyroid nodules are incidental.

4. If you have a borderline deafness, it should be confirmed. This may be the cause for your Tinnitus.

5. Common tinnitus therapy includes ginkgo biloba, multivitamins and antioxidants.

6. I mast emphasize that Tinnitus is not related to any serious disease in 99% of cases.

I hope I have answered your query. Please reply back with the answers and I will be able to help you further.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Experiencing whooshing sound in ear. What am I suffering from? 15 minutes later
I never had tinnitus before straining, it happened by straining in the bathroom. It's worse when I go up the stairs and lean down fast, turn my head to the side. Should I go to a regular doctor or an ent? I don't know what to do all I know is that I can't live with this noise. I also had a tooth extracted on the right side a month before this all started, can it be a combination of straining a d a tooth extraction?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 8 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. The basis of Pulsatile or Vascular Tinnitus is an abnormal blood vessel course or extension by comparing CT and MRI images with the normal side.

2. These investigations are expensive and you will have to go to an institution or tertiary referral center.

3. The co-relation with dental extraction is anecdotal and no causal relationship has been established yet. Was it an upper or lower jaw tooth?

4. If an abnormal vessel is found, surgical treatment is usually effective. As explained above other causes may also be found. Sometimes it is not possible to find the exact cause even with the best of imaging (including contrast injection).

5. You should see an ENT Specialist who specializes in the treatment of Tinnitus, a Neurologist or Neurotologist.

6. With no health insurance, this may be an issue. In such cases, travelling to another country such as India may be much more reasonable. Investigations, including CT and MRI of the same caliber is among the lowest rates in the World.

I hope I have answered your query. Please reply back with the answers and I will be able to help you further.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Experiencing whooshing sound in ear. What am I suffering from? 2 hours later
It was a lower jaw extraction on the right side. Am I in any danger if I don't see a specialist immediately? Also would this problem be found in my ear? A clogged vessel in my ear maybe? I truly believe the BAD straining caused this problem. And I cannot tell you how bad I wish I could go back in time, I never imagined I could be damaging something otherwise I would have just stopped and taken laxatives or something. I am really nervous and scared, I need guidance I feel lost in what to do. Could this ever just go away on its own? Or would I really need surgical intervention?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 1 hour later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. It is highly unlikely that a lower jaw tooth extraction itself may have caused Tinnitus to appear. It is possible that you strained to hold open the jaw during the procedure.

2. The problem may be found in the vicinity of the inner ear.

3. Whatever or however it started, now the best way forward is to try to locate the cause and treat it.

4. There is no cure for Tinnitus. However it may be controlled. Pulsatile Tinnitus has a high probability of a vascular abnormality being responsible for it's origin. If such an abnormality is found, then surgery may cure it completely.

5. Tinnitus is unpredictable. It can appear and disappear in an instant. You should try medication if you are not yet in a position to investigate further. Hearing aids can mask it and Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) may help in learning to ignore it.

I hope I have answered your query. Please reply back with the answers and I will be able to help you further.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Experiencing whooshing sound in ear. What am I suffering from? 56 minutes later
So the straining caused tinnitus? Am I in any danger if not treated immediately? At risk of a stroke???? Am I in danger of loosing my
Hearing gradually? What would the hearing aid accomplish?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 18 minutes later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. It is possible that excessive straining opened up colateral circulation or caused a diverticulum to form in a blood vessel.

2. There is no immediate danger in not treating the Tinnitus unless you have other symptoms such as increasing tinnitus, hearing loss, dizziness, headache and so on.

3. At your age, the risk of stroke or paralysis only on account of Tinnitus is negligible.

4. Progressive hearing loss, if any, will have to be documented by frequent testing. I have suggested the hearing aids as a Tinnitus masking device only because your ENT Specialist told you that you have some amount of hearing loss.

I hope I have answered your query. Please reply back with the answers and I will be able to help you further.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Experiencing whooshing sound in ear. What am I suffering from? 2 hours later
What would you do doctor if you were me? Would you try to get health insurance first? Or go see another ent and see if he can help? Any temporary help would be great. Or should I work on treating the hemorrhoid s first? I have had them since age 15 and it's pretty bad, pretty closed up. I'm sorry doc I'm just in such distress over this and am all alone in this. I'm petrified really. I feel like my anxiety only makes it worse. Is my other ear at risk of developing this? Because if so I would probably go crazy!! Are you an ent? Where are u located? Perhaps you can HELP ME out.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 11 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. I recommend that you get the hemorrhoids treated to prevent further straining.

2. Health insurance will make investigation feasible.

3. Visit the University of California (UCL) Medical center and see an ENT Specialst who specializes in Tinnitus treatment.

4. Anxiety worsens Tinnitus. Remember that Tinnitus is not related to any major health issue in 99% patients. Tinnitus is common. Almost everyone experiences Tinnitus sometime in their lifetime.

5. Whether the other side will develop Tinnitus is not predictable.

6. I practice in Pune City (Near Mumbai), Maharashtra , India.

7. Rest assured that there is no cause for worry.

I hope I have answered your query. Please reply back with the answers and I will be able to help you further.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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