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Whoosh [hwoosh, hwoosh, woosh, woosh] noun 1. a loud, rushing noise, as of air or water: a great whoosh as the door opened. verb (used without object) 2. to move swiftly with a gushing or hissing noise: gusts of wind whooshing through the trees. verb (used with object) 3. to move (an object, a person, etc.) with a whooshing motion or sound: The storm whooshed the waves over the road. Also, woosh. Origin: 1840-1850; imit.

Pulsatile tinnitus is a rhythmical noise that is synchronous with the patient's heartbeat.

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Sleeping with Pulsatile Tinnitus - An Aid Worth a Try and an Opportunity to Help Whooshers.com!

Click here for more information about SleepPhones!  

Since my pulsatile tinnitus woke me up that first morning almost two years ago, I've had trouble getting a good night's sleep.  The whoosh seems louder at night and in the early mornings when my surroundings are quieter (sound familiar?).  

Especially during the first six months of the whooshing, I was desperate for sleeping aids -- maskers, sound machines, etc.  I tried a lot of them.  I spent a lot of money.  Some kind of worked.  Most didn't work at all.  I found that many tools available to help “regular” tinnitus sufferers were useless to me as a pulsatile tinnitus sufferer.

  • I tried a couple sound pillows -- no good for me because the sound produced by the speakers in the pillow was never loud enough to drown the pulsing. 
  • Those "relaxation" CDs?  Forget it.  Listening to classical music and/or soft nature sounds is the last thing (sadly) that helps me sleep.  Quiet sounds only make me realize how loud my whooshing is.  
  • I tried a sound machine -- it worked okay, except to drown the pulsing I had to turn the sound up so high that I thought it might actually cause noise-induced tinnitus in my other ear! Or wake up my neighbors!

The best tools I could find were my iPod, some soft ear buds, and a white noise track that I'd downloaded for free online.  I'd wear the ear buds and set the white noise track to play over and over again, all night. 

This method posed problems though:

  • The cords would get tangled as I tossed and turned. 
  • Though I only whoosh on my right side, I had to wear both ear buds since they were connected by a cord -- otherwise if I kept the left one out, it would be another cord to dodge when I flipped over. 
  • An ear bud isn't exactly comfortable when sleeping on it, especially since I'm a side sleeper.
  • Having the ear bud inside my ear for a long period of time never seemed like a good idea to me.  The last thing I wanted was to make myself more likely to get noise-induced regular tinnitus, too. 

So, my dear Whooshers, in case any of you have experienced similar issues, I recently discovered an innovative headphone product that was created for people to wear at night:

SleepPhones™

I'll be the first to admit that pulsatile tinnitus has made me more cynical, but I thought this product was worth a try.  I contacted the nice folks at SleepPhones™, and they provided me a pair. 

Here's how they work:

  • Put the SleepPhones™ on like you're wearing a headband. 
  • Adjust the speakers over each ear.
  • Find the cord that comes out of the back of the headband and plug that into your iPod or mp3 player device.
  • Play that white noise track! White noise --not music-- helps me because I need to drown the noise, but you can use any music or sound that you want to.  

The headband part is very soft.  It stayed in place quite well while I slept. Side sleeping was very comfortable.  One night, I removed the speaker for my left ear from the headband (a small flat square made of felt with a speaker sewn inside --it is very easy to remove), since I just whoosh on my right.  I'm still not sure which way I prefer... the consistent white noise on both sides helps me, I think, but I like the option of removing one speaker when I want to.  Best of all, the white noise sound was steady and didn't change depending on my sleeping position; since the band fit around my head, the speakers stayed put, regardless of which side I slept on or if I slept on my back or stomach.  We're all different, of course, but what often wakes me up is that change in position --the change of the whooshing when I move around.  This product drowned the noise enough that I didn't hear that shift anymore. 

I've never endorsed a product on Whooshers.com.  I hesitate to call this a full-on endorsement for all pulsatile tinnitus sufferers because so many of us hear different types of pulsing sounds and different volumes and pitches.  All I want to relay here is that this product really helped me and I'm hopeful that it can help many of you, especially if you have similar sleeping issues as I described above. 

And for full (and required) disclosure: when the SleepPhones™ people gave me a free pair, I didn't promise to write a good review; in fact, I told them ahead of time that I wanted to try the product out before even suggesting that it may be helpful to any of my fellow whooshers.  After all, there are many products out there that promise this and that and, well, most of them are collecting dust somewhere in my house.  I'm sure a lot of you have had similar impulse buys out of desperation for a good night's sleep. 

So I write now to tell you all that, based on my experience, I think these may be worth a try if you have pulsatile tinnitus and are having a difficult time falling or staying asleep because of the whooshing. I think they could help people with regular tinnitus as well.  

To sum up, these are my favorite features:

  • They're comfortable.
  • The sound quality is clear.
  • The speakers are inside the soft fleece, so you don't feel them as much as regular headphones. They are flat inside the headband so they don't stick out.  You can adjust the speakers so they fit right over your ears.  If you want to, you can even remove the speakers on the side you don't whoosh, for those of you (like me) who only whoosh on one side.
  • The cord comes out the back, not the sides, so even if you toss and turn you're less likely to get all tangled up and choke yourself. 

SleepPhones™ are currently on sale through the end of January 2011.  And for any item purchased by a Whoosher, the SleepPhones™ folks will provide a portion of proceeds to Whooshers.com! 

You have to click on this link to let them know you want part of the proceeds to go to Whooshers.com. 

As you all probably know, I don't get paid for any of my work here on Whooshers.com.  My point in launching this site was not (and is not) to make money... the point is to help people like me cope with what is often a very isolating and difficult symptom to cope with.  I promise that any proceeds received as a result of these sales will go toward our future site redesign (which is already in the works!) and other projects.  We have several Whooshers group meetings planned, more tshirts to produce, and more. 

Best of all, I think this may be an opportunity for some of you to get a better night's sleep!  Be sure to check out SleepPhones™ soon and review their site for more information! 

WhooshEr

Sat, January 22, 2011 | link          Comments

Coarctation of Aorta / Aortic Coarctation: Another Cause of Pulsatile Tinnitus

According to MayoClinic.com, coarctation of aorta (also called aortic coarctation) is a condition that means narrowing of the aorta.  It's a congenital disease, which means it's usually present at birth.  Pulsatile tinnitus is, in some cases, a symptom of coarctation of aorta. 

Especially if you've had pulsatile tinnitus your entire life, this (and other congenital diseases) may be an underlying cause to consider.  The most common symptom of coarctation of aorta in older children and adults is high blood pressure (hypertension). 

This medical journal article case report (just the abstract/summary is available here for free) discusses a "fit" 37-year old male with coarctation of aorta who experienced hearing loss and pulsatile tinnitus.  Actually, the journal article refers to it as "tinnitus" but if you read the abstract all the way to the end, where the writers finally refer to it as PULSATILE TINNITUS, it's clear that this patient had PULSATILE tinnitus, NOT regular tinnitus.  Big mistake doctors, not calling it what it is from the beginning! 

According to the article -which was published in 2004- this is the first reported case of tinnitus due to "coarctation of aorta."  The patient underwent a rather invasive surgical procedure, but, as the article noted, his pulsatile tinnitus went AWAY and his hearing was well improved.  They write,

"His lifelong intractable pulsatile tinnitus and sensorineural deafness resolved completely following a tube bybass for the aortic coarctation."

ANOTHER CURED WHOOSHER.

If you experience any of the symptoms of coarctation of aorta, it may very well be worth reviewing this medical journal article with your doctors.  You never know...

Source: "Intractable Tinnitus and Sensorineural Deafness Cured by Surgical Correction of Coarctation of Aorta," S. Rathinam, A.M. Pettigrew, J.C.S. Pollack, Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery 3:431-433 (2004).

Be sure to visit the Cured Whooshers page for more stories like this one.  The list of possible underlying causes is long, but there is hope!

Sat, January 8, 2011 | link          Comments


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RESOURCES

NEW: Click Here to Download the PDF, "Top Ten Pulsatile Tinnitus Tips for Doctors." Review it with your GPs and ENTs!

Radiation Dose Chart - American Nuclear Society (ANS) Public Information Resources Page: Click here for an interactive dose chart for various medical diagnostic tests. A downloadable and printable version is also available on this page. Discuss with your doctors.

Find a Neurotologist: American Neurotological Society (ANS) Membership Roster 2015-2016, by state (US) - International contacts at the bottom of the page. NEW! (This PDF file will download when you click here)

Find a Neurointervention Specialist: Society of Neurointerventional Surgery (SNIS)- Click on "Physician Locator"

Find a Neuro-Ophthalmologist: The North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (NANOS)

Site: Neuroangio.org - Your neurovascular education and information resource. Patient Information.

UCSF Pulsatile Tinnitus Clinic

Blog: Tales From Clark Street

Presentation: "Algorithm for Evaluation of Rhythmic Tinnitus," Douglas E Mattox, MD, Patricia Hudgins, MD, Jahrsdoerfer Lecture, University of Virginia, March 25, 2010. (This link is to the abstract/summary)

Presentation: "Imaging of the Patient with Tinnitus," Mary Beth Cunnane MD, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Dec 2013. (NEW! Mentions Pulsatile Tinnitus and Whooshers.com. Republished with Permission.)

Article: "Imaging in Pulsatile Tinnitus: Diagnostic Pearls and Potential Pitfalls," B. S. Purohit, R. Hermans, K. Op de beeck; 1SINGAPORE/SG, 2Leuven/BE, European Society of Radiology, 2014.

Article: "Imaging In Pulsatile Tinnitus : When Should It Ring A Bell?" G. Bathla1, V. Chong; 1singapore/SG, 2Singapore/SG, European Society of Radiology, 2012."

Article: "Emma's Story," A Personal Account of Pulsatile Tinnitus, The British Tinnitus Association (BTA).

Article: "Pulsatile Tinnitus: Contemporary Assessment and Management," Aristides Sismanis, Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head & Neck Surgery: October 2011 - Volume 19 - Issue 5 - p 348357 doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e3283493fd8, Otology and neuro-otology: Edited by Myles L. Pensak.

Article: "Temporal Bone: Vascular Tinnitus," William W.M. Lo and M. Marcel Maya, Vascular, pp.1361-1374, 2003.

Article: "Diagnostic Clues in Pulsatile Tinnitus (Somatosounds)," Carlos Herraiza and José Miguel Aparicioa, Unidad de Acúfenos; Instituto ORL Antolí-Candela, Madrid, Spain; Unidad de Otorrinolaringología, Fundación Hospital Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain; Otorrinolaringología, Hospital Quirón, Madrid, Spain, Acta Otorrinolaringol Esp. 2007;58(9):426-33. This is a link to the article abstract.

Article: "How I Struggled with (PULSATILE) Tinnitus," The Story of Actor Graham Cole, Daily Mail Online, January 10, 2007.

Article: "I Got Lifesaving OP for Whooshing Thanks to US Help," David Powell, Daily Post UK, DPW West, Feb 19, 2013.

Article: "Vital Signs: An Unwelcome Ringing," by Dr. Christopher Linstrom, Discover Magazine, April 2010. (About a cured patient with pulsatile tinnitus symptoms!)

Article: "Tinnitus Highlights Poor Doctor Patient Communication," Martin Young, MBChB, FCS(SA), Diagnosis and Treatment, KevinMd.Com, November 2010.

Article: "Pulsatile Tinnitus: Recent Advances in Diagnosis," Aristides Sismanis MD, Wendy R. K. Smoker, MD, The Laryngoscope, Volume 104, Issue 6, pages 681-688, June 1994. ABSTRACT (Summary)

Article: "Neuroradiologic Assessment of Pulsatile Tinnitus," Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL: Dr Kircher and Dr Leonetti; Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI: Dr Standring; Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surgery, Chicago, IL. Sept. 22-24, 2008. (CLICKING THIS LINK WILL DOWNLOAD THE PDF FILE)

Article: "Imaging of Tinnitus: A Review," Jane L. Weissman, MD and Barry E. Hirsch, MD, Radiology, August 2000.

Article: "Imaging in Pulsatile Tinnitus," G. Madania and S.E.J. Connor, Clinical Radiology, Volume 64, Issue 3, Pages 319-328 (March 2009).

Article: "Imaging of the Patient With Tinnitus," Mary Beth Cunnane MD, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, December 31, 2013. (NEW! Mentions Whooshers.com and PULSATILE tinnitus as well.)

Article: "Imaging of Pulsatile Tinnitus: A Review of 74 Patients," Guner Sonmez, C Cinar Basekim, Ersin Ozturk, Atilla Gungor, Esref Kizilkaya, Clinical Imaging, Volume 31, Issue 2, Pages 102-108 (March 2007). (This is an abstract/summary-you have to pay to see the article in its entirety)

Article: "Pulsatile Tinnitus: A Review of 84 Patients," Daniel Waldvogel, Heinrich P. Mattle, Matthias Sturzenegger and Gerhard Schroth, Journal of Neurology, Volume 245, Number 3, 137-142, DOI: 10.1007/s004150050193, November 12, 1997.

Article: "Role of Angiography in the Evaluation of Patients With Pulsatile Tinnitus," Edward J. Shin, MD; Anil K. Lalwani, MD; Christopher F. Dowd, MD, Laryngoscope 110: November 2000. (PDF FILE)

Article: "Angioplasty and Stenting for Intractable Pulsatile Tinnitus Caused by Dural Venous Sinus Stenosis: A Case Series Report," Li Baomin, Shi Yongbing, and Cao Xiangyu, Dept of Neurosurgery, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, Otol Neurotol. 35.366-370. Dec 2014.

Article: "CT Angiography as a Screening Tool for Dural Arteriovenous Fistula in Patients with Pulsatile Tinnitus: Feasibility and Test Characteristics," J. Narvid, H.M. Do, N.H. Blevins and N.J. Fishbein, American Journal of Neuroradiology 32:446-453, March 2011.

Article: "Brain Dural Arteriovenous Fistula (BDAVF)," Patient Information, www.NeuroAngio.org

Article: "Usefulness of C-Arm Cone-Beam Computed Tomography in Endovascular Treatment of Traumatic Carotid Cavernous Fistulas: A Technical Case Report," Sato, Kenichi MD, PhD; Matsumoto, Yasushi MD; Kondo, Ryushi MD, PhD; Tominaga, Teiji MD, PhD, Neurosurgery: August 2010 - Volume 67 - Issue 2 - p 467470.

Article (Abstract): "A Convenient Sonographic Technique for Diagnosis of Pulsatile Tinnitus Induced by a High Jugular Bulb," The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, Minoru Nakagawa, MD, Norimitsu Miyachi, MLT and Kenjiro Fujiwara, MD, Department of Neurosurgery (M.N., K.F.) and Clinical Laboratory (N.M.), Kosei General Hospital, Hiroshima, Japan, J Ultrasound Med 27:139-140 0278-4297, 2008.

Article: "Surgical Treatment of the High Jugular Bulb in Patients with Ménières Disease and Pulsatile Tinnitus," V. Couloigner, A. Bozorg Grayeli, D. Bouccara, N. Julien and O. Sterkers, European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology Volume 256, Number 5, 224-229, DOI: 10.1007/s004050050146 (ABSTRACT)

Article: "Brain AVM," (arteriovenous malformation), MayoClinic.com

Article: "Chiari Malformation," MayoClinic.com

Article: "Ménière's Disease," National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

Article: "TMJ Disorders," MayoClinic.com

Article: "Anemia," American Society of Hematology, Hemotology.org

Article: "Pseudotumor Cerebri," (also called Benign Intracranial Hypertension) MayoClinic.com

Article: "Pulse-Synchronous Tinnitus," The Intracranial Hypertension Research Foundation

Article: "Coarctation of the Aorta," MayoClinic.com

Article: "Man Cured of Hearing His Eyeballs Move," www.bbc.co.uk, July 27, 2011. Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome (SCDS)

Article: "Diagnosis and Cure of Venous Hum Tinnitus," Laryngoscope, Chandler JR, 93(7):892-5, July 1983.

Article: (Abstract) "Sinus Wall Reconstruction for Sigmoid Sinus Diverticulum and Dehiscence: A Standardized Surgical Procedure for a Range of Radiographic Findings," Dr. DJ Eisenman, Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; Otology Neurotology, 32(7):1116-9; September 2011.

Article: (Abstract) "Awake Embolization of Sigmoid Sinus Diverticulum Causing Pulsatile Tinnitus: Simultaneous Confirmative Diagnosis and Treatment," Park YH, Kwon HJ, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Republic of Korea, Interv Neuroradiol. 2011 Sep;17(3):376-9. Epub 2011 Oct 17. (NEW!)

Article: "A New Therapeutic Procedure for Treatment of Objective Venous Pulsatile Tinnitus," Sanchez TG, Murao M, Medeiros HRT, Kii M, Bento RF, Caldas JG, et al. Int Tinnitus J. 2002;8(1):54-57.

Article: "Glomus Tympanicum," The New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 362:e66, Number 22, June 3, 2010.

Article: "Resolution of Pulsatile Tinnitus Following an Upper Mediastinal Lymph Node Resection," Wang YZ, Boudreaux JP, Campeau RJ, Woltering EA, South Med J. 2010 Apr;103(4):374-7.

Article: (Abstract) "Dissection of the Internal Carotid Artery After SCUBA-Diving: A Case Report and Review of the Literature," Franz Hafner, MD,* Thomas Gary, MD,* Froehlich Harald, MD,* Ernst Pilger,* Reinhard Groell, PD,w and Marianne, Brodmann* "Neurologist. 17(2):79-82, March 2011. (NEW!)

Article: "Carotid-Cavernous Sinus Fistula," Bobby S. Korn, M.D., Ph.D., and Kang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., N Engl J Med 2011; 364:e15, February, 24, 2011. (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES)

Article: "Pulsatile Tinnitus Cured by Mastoidectomy," Duvillard C, Ballester M, Redon E, Romanet P., Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Hôpital Général, Dijon, France, Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol, September 2004.

Article: "Pulsatile Tinnitus: A Symptom of Chronic Subclavian Artery Occlusion," Marcio Francisco Lehmann, Charbel Mounayer, Goetz Benndorf, Michel Piotin, and Jacques Moret, AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 26:19601963, September 2005 (PDF).

Article: "Carotid Endarterectomy Relieves Pulsatile Tinnitus Associated with Severe Ipsilateral Carotid Stenosis," J Kirkby-Bott, H.H Gibbs, European Journal of Vascular & Endovascular Surgery, Volume 27, Issue 6, Pages 651-653, June 2004.

Article: "MR Angiography Imaging of Absence Vertebral Artery Causing of Pulsatile Tinnitus: A Case Report," *Mehmet Cudi Tuncer; **Yekta Helbest Akgül & *Özlen Karabulut,* Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Dicle University, 21280, Diyarbak¹r, Turkey.** Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Özel Diyarbakr Hospital, 21100, Diyarbakr, Turkey, International Journal of Morphology, v.28 n.2 Temuco Jun. 2010."

Article: "Endovascular Treatment of Sigmoid Sinus Aneurysm Presenting as Devastating Pulsatile Tinnitus. A Case Report and Review of Literature." Mehanna R, Shaltoni H. Morsi H, Mawad M., Interv Neuroradiol. 2010 Dec;16(4):451-4. Epub 2010 Dec 17.

"Pulsatile Tinnitus Caused by an Aneurysm of the Transverse-Sigmoid Sinus: A New Case Report and Review of Literature," Lenck S, Mosimann PJ, Labeyrie MA, Houdart E., Department of Neuroradiology, hôpital Lariboisière, 2, rue Ambroise-Paré, 75010 Paris, France, J Neuroradiol. 2012 Oct;39(4):276-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neurad.2012.02.001. Epub 2012 Sep 29. (NEW!)

Article: "Intractable Tinnitus and Sensorineural Deafness Cured by Surgical Correction of Coarctation of Aorta," S. Rathinam, A.M. Pettigrew, J.C.S. Pollack, Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery 3:431-433 (2004).

Article: "Pulsatile Tinnitus," Don McFerran FRCS Consultant Otolaryngologist Essex County Hospital, Colchester, British Tinnitus Association, October 2007.

Article: "Pulsatile Tinnitus and Dural Arteriovenous Malformation (Dural AVM)," G. A. J. Morrison, The Journal of Laryngology & Otology (1989), 103:1073-1075 Cambridge University Press (ABSTRACT).

Article: "Medical Mystery: Giving Birth Didn't Ease a Woman's Dangerous Hypertenstion," Sandra G. Boodman, The Washington Post, October 17, 2011.

Article: "That Noise Wasn't Just Tinnitus," Sandra G. Boodman, Special to The Washington Post, July 7, 2009

Article: "What's That Noise In Her?" H. Lee Kagan, Discovery Magazine, January 2006. (About a patient with arteriovenous malformation (AVM) and her doctor whose patience and persistence paid off).

Article: "The 'Rare' Disease That Isn't," Thomas M. Burton, The Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2009

Article: "Diseases and Conditions/ Fibromuscular Dysplasia (FMD)," Cleveland Clinic. Lists symptoms, details, treatments, and resources including Whooshers.com.

Article: Unraveling Pulsatile Tinnitus in FMD: A Report of the United States Registry For Fibromuscular Dysplasia."

Video: "A Rare Disease That May Be Underdiagnosed," Thomas M. Burton, June 26, 2009 (Hear an example of a whooshing sound in this short video)

Whooshers.com Pulsatile Tinnitus Sounds (Real Ones Recorded by Real Whooshers!)

Audio: Having trouble describing the sound you hear to others? Listen to this collection of sounds that whoosh and see if you can find a match to yours! Demonstrations: Heart Sounds & Murmurs, from the University of Washington Department of Medicine

Audio: FREE White Noise from White Noise MP3s.com

Audio: SimplyNoise.com

Whooshers.com Review: SleepPhones- Soft, comfortable headphones to help mask the whoosh for a good night's sleep.

Click Here for the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP)

Replace "ringing" with "whooshing," and here it is: our theme song.