Is the Ringing in My Ears Caused by Blood Pressure?
There are many people who experience noise or ringing their ears. For some the symptom comes on suddenly and dissipates in a few days or so; for others the annoying ringing in the ear or noise just goes on and on. For all those who are suffering from this the obvious questions are – – – what is it, what causes it and what can be done to stop it? Could the ringing in the ears be caused by blood pressure?
In medical terminology the condition is known as tinnitus – a constant noise or ringing in one or both ears – and it is most often caused by damage in the inner ear. But other causes have been identified including high blood pressure.
Tinnitus has a number of forms. Pulsatile tinnitus is a rare form occurring in only 3% of tinnitus patients. In these cases the ear noise is a rhythmic pulsing most often timed with the patient’s heartbeat; the patient hears a whooshing or thumping sound. It is caused by a blood flow restriction of the vessels in the neck or head; the patient has either an increased blood flow going through the vessels or there is a restriction or narrowing of the vessels themselves. The sound of the turbulent blood flow may be heard in one or both ears. Pulsatile tinnitus and continuous tinnitus can occur simultaneously in the same patient; but medically they are completely independent from each other with respect to underlying cause. Continuous tinnitus results from damage to the cochlea – the inner ear structure housing the hearing nerve.
Patents with high blood pressure (aka hypertension) may or may not experience pulsatile tinnitus symptoms. Hypertension patients can have many symptoms or none at all! Ear ringing is not a common symptom for most hypertension patients. For many who do have this it only occurs only after they begin taking blood pressure medication. For some patients the tinnitus just goes away within 4-6 weeks; for others a different blood pressure medication resolves the problem. Hypertension patients who have the pulsatile tinnitus prior to taking blood pressure medication may also experience relief once the medication has effectively reduced the blood pressure.
Pulsatile tinnitus can also be linked to other underlying conditions. Infection or inflammation of the inner ear can be a cause. Another common cause is BIH (benign intracranial hypertension). In this case there is increased pressure in the cerebrospinal fluid bathing the brain; young, overweight females may present with BIH. Glomus tumor is yet another cause; this benign vascular tumor is most often found either in the ear itself or in the artery just below. This tumor develops in conjunction with a cholesterol build-up in the artery wall.
Treatment of pulsatile tinnitus is linked to the specific underlying cause. For high blood pressure cases medication is generally prescribed. As with any medication patients should report any and all side effects to their doctor. If you suspect hypertension is causing your tinnitus be sure to have your doctor check your blood pressure.Ear Ringing Cures