Another Cured Whoosher: Dural Venous Sinus Stenosis
This story is written by a 33 year old Cured Whoosher from South America. I'll call her Alice. Long story short: After multiple dead ends and a diagnosis of Meniere's
Disease, which didn't seem right to her, Alice read a medical report here on Whooshers.com about a cause her doctors had not considered. She noticed that her symptoms matched those of
the patients in the story, and she contacted the doctors who wrote the report. As luck would have it, she had a trip
already planned to China (!), where the doctors who wrote the report were based, so she stopped by for a visit. Her expectations
were low, but the doctors in China diagnosed her with the same cause in their report and, after considering the proposed treatment,
she was cured by the same procedure she had read had cured others. Now she's 6+ months whoosh-free. This is the
power of sharing our stories and medical reports, people. Alice, thanks very much for sharing yours. Someone out there is
reading this and will find relief because you did. Good for you for being your best advocate. Enjoy the silence! Your story
has been added to our Cured Whooshers page!
In the middle of 2009, from one day to the next, I started hearing noise in my right ear. The
best way to describe it: it was like hearing a my heartbeat through an echo machine constantly. My ear felt “full”
and the noise would gradually get louder. I thought that I had some wax buildup so I put off going to the doctor for 2 months.
When I started having problems to fall asleep because of the constant noise, I decided it was time to see my doctor.
My doctor checked my ear for wax buildup but found my ear to be clean. That’s when I started to get a little worried.
He sent me to an ENT doctor and after a sound test and some questions, I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease, given
some flyers with information and was told to learn to live with it. A few months passed and I was getting worse and worse
- not the noise, but my ability to function as a mom, a wife and an employee. I would be locked away in my room because too
much noise would irritate me and too much quietness would drive me nuts. I could only handle family time a few hours at a
time and was very irritable. My husband, my daughter and my family tried to accommodate me as best as they could but it was
putting such a damper on everything. After continued research on Meniere’s Disease, I did not feel comfortable with
that diagnosis because the sound I heard was constant and did not decrease at all. I also had headaches, nausea, dizziness,
loss of hearing in my right ear, exhaustion and irritability. However, I did not feel that this was the disease itself but
more a result of the lack of rest/sleep because of the constant noise.
One day, while sitting in my living
room crying my eyes out because of the frustration, my husband tried to make me feel better by saying “put your ear
on mine and let me check if I can hear it.” I wanted to hit him over the head with a baseball bat but I thought better
of it and put my ear next to his not expecting anything to happen. I was already at the phase where I started to believe it
was all in my head. He was quiet for a few seconds and then started to make a same whooshing noise I was hearing. It was such
an elation to know that I was not crazy and that someone else could validate this. We both cried afterwards and decided to
get a second opinion.
In January 2012 we went to Duke University Medical in North Carolina. After a week of
testing and an angiogram, I was told that I did not have Meniere’s Disease but Objective Pulsatile Tinnitus. My pulsatile
tinnitus was objective because when you put your ear against mine, you could actually hear it. None of the doctors had ever
experienced the sound for themselves. They told me that there was nothing they could do for me, but at least I had a diagnosis.
They advised me on some tinnitus medication, a hearing aid to help block the noise and a sleeping aid (Diazepam) to help me
sleep at night. [Oops, pulsatile tinnitus is not tinnitus, doctors!!!]
I came back home and almost accepted
my fate. I told my husband that I don’t think I can continue doing the job that I am currently doing and love dearly
for much longer and would much rather use the little energy that I have on my family.
wrote an email on April 9th to Dr. Li Baomin describing my situation, not really expecting a reply anytime soon but got one
three days later. Dr. Li Baomin requested I do an MRV of the “sigmoid sinus and transverse sinus” and send him
the images. On April 18, 2014, I received the best email of my life. It was just two sentences and it said, “I have
seen your MRV, and I found a stenosis in your right venous sinus. I want to know whether your pulsatile tinnitus is
in the right side. I can cure your [pulsatile] tinnitus if your [pulsatile] tinnitus is in the right side. Thank you for your
trust." [NOTE TO DOCTOR - It's not TINNITUS! It's PULSATILE TINNITUS]
I could not believe what I was
reading! I was so happy but also still a little nervous because it just sounded too good to be true. I had already planned
a trip to China so I made arrangements to fly to Beijing and have an appointment with Dr. Li for April 28th. I stayed in a
hotel that was a 10 minute walk to the hospital. Dr. Cao (Dr. Li’s assistant) met me and brought me up to meet Dr. Li.
The plan was just to meet with the doctor and if I felt comfortable enough, plan another trip later in the year to have a
procedure done. The doctors sat with me for three hours to explain everything and answer the long! list of questions I had.
I had brought a translator with me but that seemed to be unnecessary as we were able to communicate in decent English. They
gave me the option to do the procedure during this trip or come back later, whatever I was comfortable with.
went back to the hotel, discussed it with my family, and two days later I was admitted to the hospital. I was put through
many different tests to check my health. They checked for tumors, blood clots and everything in between. I was put on blood
thinners, and on May 12th I did the procedure which only took 2 hours. They had five specialists in the operating room with
me, just in case there were any complications, which thank God there were none. I felt very safe and secure. The nursing staff
was unbelievably caring, and my hospital room looked more like a hotel room. Even the hospital food was some of the best Chinese
food I had ever had. My husband was allowed to sleep in my room with me and visiting hours were very flexible. I stayed in
the hospital for 10 days after the procedure and was then allowed to fly back home. The hospital staff was very thorough and
caring! All in all, an amazing experience considering the situation.
I am happy to say that I am now living without the pulsatile tinnitus for over six months. I feel amazing, I’m
able to be the mom and wife I want to be and I am so happy that I won’t have to stop doing something that I love!!
Thank you www.whooshers.com for posting the article!!! I don’t want to think about how my life would be if I did not find this article.
p.s. I have added some pictures!
The first picture is the stenosis and the last picture is a stent to relieve
In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, a number of members of our community share their thanks.
Below are just a handful, received via our active Facebook group page and via emails submitted to Whooshers.com. They're being posted anonymously to protect everyone's privacy, but their meanings are
On behalf of Whooshers everywhere, thank you to our families and friends for their support, to
every effort to increase awareness for this unusual symptom, including our monthly Whoosher Wednesdays, and, of course, to the medical professionals devoted to evaluating pulsatile tinnitus, and isolating and treating its causes!
And a special thanks to each and every person who has shared his/her story of diagnosis and/or treatment, and to each
person who has signed our petition for a diagnosis code!
thankful that I have a fabulous family who was my support through my journey into discovering what I had in the first place
(PT) and what is causing it (arachnoid granulations). My husband thoroughly supported me when I told him I needed to find
out what the whoosh was all about; my mother came from out of state twice to watch my son so I could have a spinal tap and
cerebral angiogram; my then eight year old son would give me hugs to let me know he wanted me to feel better. They can't
understand what I go through on a daily basis but, through my tears I still shed on occasion, they continue to show their
love for me, and for that, I'm thankful."
am thankful that I am healthy, despite the PT. I've had some pretty crazy tests, but they all show that my brain (and heart)
are in great shape."
thankful for the continuing support of my family as I try to figure this whoosh and beyond out. I am especially thankful
for my sweet boys who wish on stars that mommy's ear feels better. I am thankful to all of you who have provided me hope
and a place to ask questions and not feel crazy."
to be here with my family. Even the ringing and whooshing isn't going to spoil my Thanksgiving!"
"I am thankful that Emma started Whooshers.com and this Facebook page. It is wonderful to see and experience its positive impact. I am so grateful for Emma and all of the folks here that share
their hopes and fears. I don't feel alone in this with all of you."
"I'm thankful the audiologist I saw for my whooshing 5 years ago encouraged me to seek additional
input from an ENT. He did a CT and found metastatic thyroid cancer. My whooshing is unrelated and still present, but it
is less bothersome, and the entire experience has been a MAJOR blessing in disguise."
"I am thankful for my family as they stand by my side in support and the doctors who try to
figure out exactly which abnormality is causing me symptoms. Also thankful for the skilled surgeons that have seen me through
surgery safely in their attempts to make my symptoms tolerable again."
"I'm just happy to have found that I'm not the only one lol. The Internet's literally what's
going to be what saves us all in the end if we can keep it up long enough."
"I am thankful to other Whooshers for being here. Also I am thankful to my hearing therapist
and most of all my wonderful family for being there for me. Thank you."
"After searching the Internet for endless hours typing in several words trying to construct
them in a way Google would understand I finally found a website that I am ever so thankful for. I came across Whooshers!!!
I had typed in "baby ultrasound noise in head, I hear a woosh noise, headache and woosh sound, pulsing sound and sore
head." I was so happy I had called my noise a woosh and there was a website, be it I had spelled it differently, I
had gone to my doctor months before and explained about my woosh. I am very grateful that I have a supporting husband.
Without him I wouldn't like to imagine where I'd be at. I showed him the whooshers website and finally he understood what
I was experiencing. Although I had told him I had noises in my head I don't think he actually fully knew the truth in what
I was experiencing until he read some of the cured whooshers stories I showed him. I am thankful I am in a position where I can still have some quality of life. I do struggle but
others are not so fortunate and are battling life limiting illnesses so I always think of others when I'm having a bad day."
"I am thankful for the support and help from this community. It's been a blessing to know there
are other people out there with the same problem, to see people jump in with suggestions when someone posts, and to hear
that some have found solutions!"
so thankful for you and this site and all of the connections I've made since ... for support of my family and my two lil
girls and GOD whom with all of the struggles of daily life keeps me going! HAPPY thanksgiving! and HUGS to all of my dear
"I am truly grateful
for finding this site and knowing I am not alone. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!"
you, because of your website I was able to meet with a physician today who I believe will help me find answers. I have hope
for the first time in years. Happy Thanksgiving!"
Another Cured Whoosher: Sigmoid Sinus Diverticulum (SSD)
How about another Cured Whoosher story? This is Jennifer's story, about her eventual diagnosis and treatment for sigmoid
sinus diverticulum (SSD). She had a procedure over six months ago and is still whoosh-free.
Over the years we
have heard from a number of pulsatile tinnitus patients with similar symptoms and (eventually) this diagnosis. Be sure to see our Cured Whooshers page where you can read other SSD stories and find links to medical reports that you may share with your doctors. Additional
resources may be found at the bottom of this post.
Jennifer, thank you for sharing your story. It will
be added to our Cured Whooshers page. Enjoy the silence!
I wanted to share my story with all fellow “whooshers” to let you
know there is hope and silence out there!
My name is Jennifer, I’m 45 and living in northern Virginia.
This is my story...
About 5 years ago I started hearing a faint swishing noise in my left ear. I didn’t
think much about it as I only heard it every once in a while but I did mention the noise to my ENT doctor. He said they could
do more invasive tests to see what could be causing the problem but that it was probably a blood vessel that was very close
to my inner ear and what I was hearing was the blood rushing through the vein. At that time I didn’t want to pursue
the issue because it wasn’t really a bother to me.
So a couple of years went by and the sound of
the swishing was getting little louder and a little more bothersome. I definitely started noticing that the sound would get
much louder if I turned my head a certain way or if I bent over. I wanted to go back to my original ENT but he had since left
the area so I made an appointment with his replacement. I told him about the noise and the possible blood vessel situation
my first ENT had mentioned. The new guy didn’t seem too enthused about doing more intensive research and he poked and
prodded a bit and then said something like “well, you will probably just have to live with it, it’s a form of
tinnitus.” Ugh. Really? Ok, well, the noise isn’t THAT bad, so I guess I’ll live with it.
Fast forward to summer of 2013. Everyday I was hearing the swishing and it was so annoying! I discovered that
if I pressed on my neck under my ear the sound would diminish a bit. I soon found myself walking around constantly pressing
on my neck just so the swishing wouldn’t be SO loud. The noise was starting to have an impact on my daily life... I
would only use the phone on my right ear, I would have to watch TV with my head cocked to one side and there were nights when
trying to fall asleep seemed almost impossible with this crazy thing going on in my head! I knew it was time to try again
This time the ENT doctor I chose was highly recommended and very well respected with an office
close to our nation’s capitol. Surely he could help me. I mean he must have more answers than the small town ENT’s
I had been to in the past. So in September of 2013 I had my first appointment. Again I mentioned the blood vessel possibility
and he seemed quite receptive to running tests to help me find an answer. Great! So he did the usual poking and prodding,
gave me a hearing test (which I passed with no problem) and even scoped my inner ear with a tube that was inserted through
my nose. Not fun at all. But I was hopeful, hopeful he could see something that was causing the whooshing. The only thing
he discovered was that I had a very severe deviated septum. However, he did schedule a doppler reading of my carotid artery.
This I was happy about. I had done a bit of research and I knew this was a good first step in possibly finding an answer.
Of course the reading came back clear (which is actually good news) but at the time seemed so disappointing. He then mentioned
possibly scheduling an MRA (similar to an MRI that looks at your blood vessels.) Yes! This is what I need! Finally they will
be able to see if there is a blood vessel in my ear that is causing this insane sound happening in my head!
BUT, he only wanted to schedule the MRA after I had deviated septum surgery. What? Excuse me? I’m pretty sure
the noise in my ear has absolutely nothing to do with my crooked inner nose. But he was so insistent. He actually convinced
me the two issues might be related and he felt he should correct the known issue first then have the MRA to possibly see what
was causing the whooshing. I was so desperate to get answers that I agreed to the deviated septum surgery. I was put on the
schedule for the first week in January 2014. But then I went through the holidays feeling very apprehensive (I knew my deviated
septum surgery had nothing to do with the sound in my ear!) So, I called the ENT office and cancelled the surgery.
Then, I searched the Internet again for a better solution. That is when I found Whooshers.com Hallejuliah!!
I read over all the stories and finally felt that someone out there knew what I was going through.
name that came up in the miracle of solutions was Dr. David Eisenman, a neurotologist practicing in Baltimore, MD. Some people
had traveled across the county to see him and here he was less than 2 hours away from my home. I called his office the next
day and met him 10 days later. One of the best days of my life, seriously, he is wonderful!
had me diagnosed in 5 minutes and knew exactly what the next steps were we needed to take. I was scheduled for a special CT
scan, a scan that he has helped develop to look at specific sections of the skull and blood vessels. There were days
when I never thought I would get relief from the crazy sound in my head and then there it was: the diagnosis. Sigmoid Sinus
Diverticulum. Basically, I had a bulging blood vessel and the bulge had worn away the tiny bone by my ear and what I was hearing
was the blood rushing through my veins.
Dr. Eisenman let me know my options and I couldn’t get on
his surgery schedule fast enough. March 17, 2014. Now, I’m not Irish, but I’ve always loved St. Patrick’s
Day, and I will really have something to celebrate from here on out because that is the day that changed my life.
They went in, straightened out the blood vessel, then built the worn away bone back up with “bone cement.”
Dr. Eisenman and his team were amazing and everything went perfectly. I had to spend one night in the hospital, and I have
a scar behind my left ear. But I also have complete silence. COMPLETE SILENCE!
I’ve waited eight
months to share my story. Everything is still perfect and there are days on end when I never even think about my old
If you are suffering, please know there is help out there.