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What is the cause and treatment for Tinnitus?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
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I have had a constant whooshing noise in my ear for some months sometimes in time with my pulse. I have tried antibiotics, steroid drops, inhalations etched but nothing helps. It also affects the quality of sleep at night.
Posted Wed, 5 Feb 2014 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 44 minutes later
Brief Answer: Pulsatile (Vascular) Tinnitus Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for your query. 1. The whooshing noise is known as 'Tinnitus'. 'Pulsatile' or 'Vascular' Tinnitus is due to increased (turbulent) blood flow in the vicinity of the inner ear. It is synchronous with the heartbeat. 2. Get the ears examined to rule out earwax. Then get a Pure Tone Audiogram (PTA) done to check for any hearing loss or fluid build up behind the ear drum which is detected by a Tympanogram (Impedance Audiogram). 3. Get a Neck Vessel Color Doppler study done. Blood pressure variations and Blood tests for anemia (Low hemoglobin), Blood Sugar Levels (BSL), thyroid hormones (TFTs), cholesterol (Lipid Profile). 4. Get Cervical spine X-rays to rule out cervical spondylosis and temporal bone scans to look for any aberrant blood vessel (rare). 5. Other rare conditions such as a Patulous Eustachian tube, Benign Intracranial Hypertension (get an eye examination done), Myoclonus of the ear muscles. 6. Get a dental examination to check the jaw for bite problems (TemporoMandibular Joint Disorders). 7. If the above investigations are normal, the cause may not be found (idiopathic). 8. Kindly let me know the results of your tests. This will help in suggesting further treatment. Most medications for tinnitus are given to improve blood flow to the inner ear. This may worsen your pulsatile tinnitus. Tinnitus cannot be cured, though it may disappear on its's own or be controlled by treatment. 9. Kindly let me know the results of your investigations. This will help in suggesting further treatment. I must emphasize that in a vast majority of patients of tinnitus, the cause is never found. However there are further treatment options depending on the type of tinnitus. There is no cure for tinnitus however in certain cases, it can be controlled. I hope that I have answered your query. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them. Regards.
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