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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 not tinnitus.
Pulsatile tinnitus is a rhythmical noise that is synchronous with the patient's heartbeat.

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A (Not So Happy) Pulsatile Tinnitus Whoosherversary

About this time last year, I began experiencing pulsatile tinnitus.  365 days ago, I didn't even know what pulsatile tinnitus was.  Yet, here I am, and here we are.  Still whooshing every other second.  That's a lot of whooshes. 

At first, the sound I heard was faint.  Like many of you, at the onset, I thought the whooshing was probably associated with a cold or sinus infection (even though, physically, I felt fine) or a result of changing air pressure since I'd just been on several long flights.  I convinced myself it would probably just go away. 

It didn't go away.  I started to worry and looked up my symptoms online.  Oh, boy.  And, just like that, the adventure to find the cause of my whoosh began.  Doctors galore. 

I've heard from many of you who've had pulsatile tinnitus anniversaries... one year, ten year, even thirty year anniversaries.  Pulsatile tinnitus anniversaries aren't easy.  

If this were a wedding anniversary, the first year anniversary would traditionally be celebrated with something "paper."  The last thing I want to do right now is celebrate, but in the spirit of "paper," I wrote a letter to the first doctor who took my pulsatile tinnitus seriously, to thank him. 

A doctor who takes pulsatile tinnitus seriously is reason to celebrate.

My whoosher wish --if I even get one-- is to fix the cause of my pulsatile tinnitus by this time next year. 

I hope you do, too. 


Thu, February 25, 2010 | link          Comments

Poll Results: How Many Diagnostic Tests Have You Had In Attempt To Determine The Cause Of Your Whoosh?

36.6%   Zero (15 votes)

34%      One or Two (14 votes)

15%      Three, Four, or Five (6 votes)

10%      Five to Ten (4 votes)

5%        Ten or More (2 votes)

Total Votes: 41

Thanks for voting!  View results for this and previous polls on the Whooshers.com polls results page.

Don't forget to check out the latest Whooshers.com poll.

Wed, February 17, 2010 | link          Comments

Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension

There are already a few posts and articles on this site about Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension, yet another possible cause of pulsatile tinnitus.  Basically, the symptoms of the condition mimic those from a brain tumor, but no tumor is present.

Not all individuals with IIH experience whooshing, and vice versa.  But since some of you have written in to let us know that this was your eventual diagnosis, I thought we should take another look at it. 

Do any of you have IIH experiences you can share with the rest of us re symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment?  Please click on the Comments section below.  

The Intracranial Hypertension Research Center (IHRC) provides a well organized site with a list of IH symptoms, which includes pulsatile tinnitus.  

Many medical sites explain that IIH is most common in women of childbearing age who are overweight or obese.  It's a myth, however, that this is the only group affected.  Some men, skinny women and kids are affected, too.  I wonder if it's more difficult for individuals other than those "typically" affected to be diagnosed with IIH.  I imagine so.  

By the way, you may be familiar with "pseudotumor cerebri," or "benign intracranial hypertention."  Actually some of the resources on Whooshers are labeled under these names.  Well, according to IHRC, these names are becoming less accepted in the medical research community due to the fact that they may imply that the condition is not severe.  And according to the Mayo Clinic, if there's no explanation for the increased intracranial pressure, pseudotumor cerebri or benign intracranial hypertension is more frequently called "idiopathic intracranial hypertension." 

Makes sense to me.  To people suffering from this condition, I'm sure there is nothing "benign" or "pseudo" about what they're going through!

Diagnosis is sometimes tricky.  A recent Whooshers post about imaging reviewed a medical journal article which indicated that idiopathic intracranial hypertension (doctors there used the "benign" name, oops), often doesn't show up any abnormal imaging findings.  Something to think about if you have some of the symptoms of IIH AND you've had a bunch of tests that have not revealed the cause of your whooshing, or anything else. 

So, just some thoughts.  According to the sites above, your GP and a neuro-ophthalmologist may be good first stops to explore IIH symptoms.  Please leave comments below or write whooshers@gmail.com if you have info to share. 

Sun, February 14, 2010 | link          Comments

Tinnitus, Depression & Suicide

This post is dedicated to Former Greene County Virginia Sheriff William L. Morris.

The Richmond-Times Dispatch today reported some tragic news. 

A tinnitus sufferer, Mr. Morris committed suicide on January 28, 2010. 

In a note he left, he wrote:

"I hope that my death will help bring about some cure for those that suffer with tinnitus, by bringing attention to it. . . . It is important that my life will not be wasted."

Mr. Morris, we will continue to strive towards a tinnitus cure and more attention to all the symptoms -- physical and emotional -- of non-pulsatile and pulsatile tinnitus. 

Sadly, Mr. Morris is not alone in his despair.  Tinnitus is annoying, but to some sufferers, the sounds they hear are truly debilitating and life-altering.  These feelings of extreme torment are difficult --too difficult-- for some to describe and manage.  

But there's one thing we can all agree on: just because the distress is invisible does not mean it's "all in our heads."  Tinnitus is real.  

I didn't know Mr. Morris or what kind of treatment he had, but as a pulsatile tinnitus sufferer, I can understand the root of his despair.  It's very sad.  My condolences to his family.  I'm sure they miss him terribly.  

If you or a tinnitus sufferer you know is experiencing severe sadness or depression, we hear you.  Please tell your doctor.  There are resources available that can help.

UPDATE: Another article about Mr. Morris is posted here.

Mon, February 8, 2010 | link          Comments

Pulsatile Tinnitus: Rare or Medium Rare?

According to the American Tinnitus Association, tinnitus affects over 50 million Americans and over 250 million people worldwide. 

But when you talk about pulsatile tinnitus, the numbers get much smaller.  Some groups estimate that only 3% of all tinnitus sufferers have pulsatile tinnitus.  That means in a room full of 100 tinnitus sufferers, only 3 will have pulsatile tinnitus. Of the three, how many hear the whooshing sound vs another pulsing sound?  Who knows.

As an individual with pulsatile tinnitus, I’ll acknowledge that it is rare (and maybe I should buy a lottery ticket).  I’ll even concede that, since there are so many more individuals with non-pulsatile tinnitus, it’s understandable why those of us with pulsatile tinnitus may not get that much attention. 

Wait a second.

250 million tinnitus sufferers x 3% = 7,500,000 pulsatile tinnitus sufferers worldwide!

That’s right, 7,500,000 of us.

I don’t know about you, but when I was diagnosed, I sure didn’t feel like one of 7,500,000.  The lack of available information and support for pulsatile tinnitus sufferers caused me a lot of stress and anxiety; for a while I felt a bit like I was the only one in the universe with pulsatile tinnitus.

If it weren’t for the Internet, I’d be the only pulsatile tinnitus sufferer I know. 

But since the launch of this site in July 2009, over 3,450 of you (unique vistors, for the techie geeks) from all over the world have visited Whooshers.com and viewed over 10,100 pages! 

This may not really seem like a lot, especially compared to the big numbers above, but when the site was launched I never imagined this many whooshers would find it.  The numbers are growing each day.  

I’m sure some of you are family members, friends, and doctors of pulsatile tinnitus patients.  Others of you are just bored at work, and a few of you found yourself here, immediately realized you’d made a typo in your search engine or something, and are off reading another Web site.  But my hunch is most of you are individuals with pulsatile tinnitus.  Even if only half of the 3,450 Whooshers.com visitors are pulsatile tinnitus sufferers, I’d say we have a large enough group to make sure that pulsatile tinnitus gets more attention in medical offices, research labs and support groups in the days and years to come. 

What do you say?

Mon, February 1, 2010 | link          Comments

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Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulsatile Tinnitus, Dr. Maksim Shapiro, NYU Neurointerventional Radiology Section, NYU Langone Medical Center - neuroangio.org

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

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

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

Article: "Pulsatile Tinnitus: Differential Diagnosis and Radiological Work-Up," Sjoert A. H. Pegge, Stefan C. A. Steens, Henricus P. M. Kunst, and Frederick J. A. Meijer, Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen and Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen, The Netherlands. (SEE TABLE 1).

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: "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.

NEW Article: "Emergence of Venous Stenosis as the Dominant Cause of Pulsatile Tinnitus," Eytan RazErez NossekDaniel Jethanamest, Vinayak Narayan, Aryan Ali, Vera Sharashidze, Tibor Becske, Peter K. Nelson, Maksim Shapiro, Originally published8 May 2022 https://doi.org/10.1161/SVIN.121.000154, American Heart Association Journal - Stroke: Vascular and Interventional Neurology. 2022;0:e000154

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

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

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