Pulsatile tinnitus is not a disease, but rather a medical term used to describe a perceived sound in one or both ears without external noise or sound present. The most obvious symptom of pulsatile tinnitus is a pulsating ear noise that is in tune rhythmically with the individual’s heartbeat, actually hearing the heartbeat in the ears. One may experience a low-pitched thumping sound or a higher pitched clicking sound depending on where it is coming from. These aggravating sounds may be continuous or irregular or may be one or multiple sounds.
It is an interesting fact that the symptoms of pulsatile tinnitus are experienced by millions of people throughout the world and have a profound affect their quality of life. This constant noise affects the individual’s behavior, home, and work environment, as well as family and social relationships.
For reasons unknown, pulsatile tinnitus appears to be more prevalent in women than men. Perhaps hormonal changes in women contribute to its onset. More research is needed to explain this phenomenon. However, men also suffer from this form of tinnitus. Patients may experience pulsatile tinnitus in one ear or another or both simultaneously.
People, who experience episodes of pulsating beats and sounds that are in rhythm to the heartbeat, hope that it will just go away. Unfortunately, this is seldom true. Anxiety and depression can result as this condition escalates from being a nuisance to an exhaustive experience. Once symptoms occur, a complete medical exam is warranted to determine the exact cause. Something is definitely wrong and should be evaluated immediately. More damage may occur if you just ignore the symptoms.
This condition has afflicted the human race for millennia. In ancient medical textbooks including Egyptian papyrus scrolls and clay tablets from Assyria, it is documented that people suffered from noise in their ears. The doctors of the day believed that wind was trapped in the ear. Needless to say, their cures were not effective although the logic may have been present.