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Pulsatile tinnitus, in the middle of tests and have a question

I've had a pulsing sensation in my right ear for 2 or 3 years now. For some reason I never thought it to be a huge concern. About a month in a half ago I started having a constant high pitch ringing in the same ear so I decided it was time to see an ENT. When I told him about the pulsing sensation he was much more concerned about that (rightfully so I see now). He told me it could be a tumor, atherosclerosis, aneurysm, and all kinds of anxiety inducing possibilities. I asked him if there were any possible less serious causes and he said could be hearing loss.

So he set me up with a hearing test, an MRA of the neck and MRI of the brain. So far I've had just the hearing test, the MRA/MRI is not until Tuesday but I have the results of the hearing test. Just as a precursor, I have a history of multiple environmental and food allergies, had tubes in my ears at age 6 and have for years had issues with dizziness, anxiety and ear problems.

The doctor who did my hearing test explained to me that my left ear is perfect, pressure test normal, audio test normal. When she did the right ear the pressure test came back abnormal, showing what she said to be some kind of interference in the ear, she said could be most likely fluid with my history but could be other things. I had some hearing loss in the right ear but when she put this weird head piece on me that bypassed the ear canal and sat under my ear she said that came back perfectly fine. She said if it's fluid like she thinks that once it's taken care of it could rid me of the ringing and the pulsing, some anxiety and dizziness. This made me feel quite a bit better

After this wall of text, my questions are:

Why didn't my doctor tell me that fluid in the inner ear could be a possibility? Is it truly something that can cause pulsatile tinnitus?

Does this test result rule out something like atherosclerosis or a brain aneurysm?

I have anxiety issues, there's no doubting that. I just want to know if the hearing test rules out some causes that could potentially be serious. Thanks for your help

13 Replies

  • jazoon

    Good morning,  No wonder you're feeling anxious.  I can't believe what you were told without having test results first.  It certainly sounds as though you're suffering from Eustachian Tube.Dysfunction, which in turn can cause

    Tinnitus too.

    You need medication to rid you of all the inflammation that's preventing your Eustachian tube from being able to drain properly.  If you haven't already read my posts to others on the Forum I will repeat what helped me.

    I suffer Sinusitis, Allergic Rhinitis and some Allergies too.  In April this year I was prescribed the 20 day reducing course of Prednisolone Steroid tablets, then a 6 weeks course of Flixonase Nasule Drops (I'm in UK, some countries they're not available)

    Ask your doctor about these medications and see what he/she says.  The longer you go on feeling like you do the worse your anxiety will become, making ETD and Tinnitus worse.....Tinnitus can also be brought on through


    Hope you manage to get sorted


  • jazoon

    hi i had a g,omas tumor in my ear i didnt know for three years what it was as all i had was constant pulsating in my ear kept going drs and all they said i had was infection it wasnt then one day another dr thought it could be fluid so sent me hospital to see ent dr wile there they just looked and said you have a tumor sent me for ct scans as mri scan didnt show it up. i had an operation a few months later it was growing behind my eardrum and was seen as a redeni g behind my ear drum.

    • pam79739

      Hello Pam,

      I have yet to be treated. I have to go 2 hours away to see a ENT specialist of head and neck surgery on Thursday. I had my CT scan which showed no tumors or growths and reaffirmed the existence of acute mastoiditis. I've been having some pretty bad headaches and anxiety about the diagnosis. I've been relying on Tylenol and Xanax to get through the days until I get there. My middle ear is also filled with fluid on the right side. I'll post back when I know more. Getting antsy as I read that mastoiditis is something that requires fast treatment and I've been dealing with this for a month now sad

    • jazoon

      Hello Jazoon,

      I really understand what you are going through it is very stressfull.  

      ​Try to be calm and take one step at a time.  Let us know when you have been for treatment or more advice regarding your condition.

      All the best.


  • Thanks for your replies. I had my MRI of the brain and MRA of the neck. It showed inflammation of the mastoid area and my ENT is set on believing it's a tumor. I'm going to be having a CT scan of the area, just waiting on an appointment to be scheduled and they want me to see a specialist 2 hours away from here as well. When I searched for inflammation of the mastoid area I couldn't really find any indication of that being a tumor but rather inflammation due to an untreated middle ear infection. I asked if it could be fluid buildup or something. The nurse said it is possible that its chronic inflammation when I asked if it could be anything less serious. These people are racking my nerves...

  • jazoon

    i hD my operation a year and a half ago i go see dr at hospital every six months to check my ear make sure it dosnt come back 

    my operation went well but i got an infection after a week from it which was very painfull but i got antibiotics and pain killers for that. im now ok. no problems

  • Sorry that I hadn't replied to this in a while. After seeing the specialist I was diagnosed with simple fluid in the ear. The specialist didn't seem concerned with the fluid filling my right mastoid I guess because there were no signs of inflammation or infection. I have to have a tube inserted in the ear which I'm scheduled to have done next week. She said my ear is filled with fluid, causing conductive hearing loss, hence the pulsatile tinnitus and tinnitus and headaches. I should lose all of that and have my hearing fully restored once the fluid drains. Huge sigh of relief

    • jazoon

      I'd have thought the fluid (mucus) has stuck your Eustachian Tubes together (ETD)  The Mastoid bone isn't usually affected with ETD.

      REally hope the tube works.  I'd have thought if your specialist made a tiny hole in the affected eardrum and

      microsuction to remove all the muck, that would have done the trick.  I've had several perforations in my left eardrum over the past few years and all have to have this procedure done....feels wonderful to get relief from that awful blocked ear feeling, that produces Tinnitus too.

      Good luck and let us know how you get on.  Tubes work for some people and not others.  My consultant won't use them on me.


  • jazoon

    hello i have constant banging and thumping noise  mostly in my right ear, espically at night,  i been using  these foam ear plugs while sleeping,   and thye consideratly cut doiwn the noise alot.....the over the counter medicine FLAVONOID  does not work, waste of money.... i havent gont to any ear dr. yet...

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