"How many members of the pulsatile tinnitus community are under the age of 18?"
"I've heard the whoosh
since I can remember - I never thought it wasn't normal."
"I told my teachers when I was little that I heard
soldiers marching in the snow, but no one believed me."
"I'm a parent of a young child and can hear the whoosh
when laying beside him/her."
These are just some of the questions and testimonials received over the years
regarding pulsatile tinnitus and children.
As of today, if you Google "pulsatile tinnitus and children" the
first results include erroneous links about tinnitus (which is not pulsatile tinnitus), ads for ENTs (who are usually not
the ideal medical professional to consult about *pulsatile tinnitus), and links to inhalers, which are hardly ever the solution
for any patient with pulsatile tinnitus.
Often, by the time pulsatile tinnitus is taken seriously in a child's case,
the child is a young adult or older. Parents of young children email us periodically in a panic when they hear their child's
whoosh, or hear child's complaints of the whoosh and when they (like adult patients) are blown off. As difficult as it is
for adults to find proper care for this symptom and to determine the underlying cause, it is exponentially more complex in
a child's case. There are relatively few doctors who truly understand the complexity of pulsatile tinnitus, and even fewer
who treat younger patients.
This has to change.
Reports on this topic are few and limited in information,
primarily because the studies usually involve so small numbers of participants. We don't know how common pulsatile tinnitus
is among children. We don't even know enough today about how common pulsatile tinnitus is among adults. But we do know there
have been cases of pulsatile tinnitus among children, and on occasion the topic gains more attention.
For example, this recent report regarding idiopathic intracranial hypertension, a potential underlying cause of pulsatile tinnitus, is focused on children. Not all patients in the study presented
with pulsatile tinnitus, but a portion did. The report reflects that the small sample size of the study is among the limitations
of the study. It's a step in the right direction, asking questions of a subset of our community we know too little about.
you are a younger person reading this, or an adult who experienced pulsatile tinnitus as a child, or a parent of a child possibly
suffering from pulsatlle tinnitus, we believe you! Keep searching for answers.
Parents, let us know if our community
Article source: Gondi
KT, Chen KS, Gratton SM. Asymptomatic versus symptomatic idiopathic intracranial hypertension in children [published
online July 1, 2019]. J Child Neurol. doi:10.1177/0883073819858455