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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 Whoosher's Story about Fibromuscular Dysplasia: Watch "Mystery Diagnosis," Mon. Sept. 7th @10pm

There are many causes of pulsatile tinnitus, but some whooshers have been diagnosed with a disease called fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD).  You can learn more about FMD in an article and video posted in the "Resources" section of this site, and even more information at The Fibromuscular Dysplasia Society of America.

On Monday, September 7, 2009, at 10pm EST, FMD will be higlighted on the television show, "Mystery Diagnosis," which airs on the Discovery Health channel.  The FMD story will air on the second half of the show.  Check your local listings for the correct time and channel in your area.  Don't miss it! 

Click here for more information about the show.

Sat, August 29, 2009 | link          Comments

Tinnitus A, by Gerald B. Frank: A Poem

The hissing in my ear goes on
Like an operatic song,
One by Verdi, not Bellini,
Led by Solti, not, Guilini,
Sung and played in monotone
On my ear-drum gramophone!

Published with permission from Poems about Tinnitus, Dizziness-and-Balance.com

Fri, August 28, 2009 | link          Comments

Whooshing for a Decade

This post is dedicated to a fellow whoosher who recently wrote in to whooshers@gmail.com.  I'll call him Steve.  Steve has been a pulsatile tinnitus sufferer for 10 years.  Like many of you, he is truly suffering. 

What I first found compelling about our email conversation was that Steve and I may not have much in common besides the whoosh.  For example, he is a man in his fifties; I am a woman in my thirties.  But, as he described to me how his life continues to be affected by pulsatile tinnitus, I understood him and his pain.  The whoosh has made everything more difficult:  Work.  Marriage.  Enjoying the simple things in life.  It has created isolation.  After 10 years of seeking answers, sustaining the hope that the cause of his pulsatile tinnitus will ever be found and cured has taken a toll on Steve.

My email exchange with Steve inspired me.  I think he is stronger than he thinks he is.

I asked him if it would be okay to post an excerpt from his initial email to Whooshers.com, and he agreed. Whether you are a new whoosher or you have been whooshing for years or even decades, you’ll appreciate some of the feelings Steve describes.

Steve, I want to thank you for writing us.  You’re not alone.  There are a lot of us out there.  Like you, we all try to make light of the difficulties the whoosh creates but we know it's not easy.  We all have worries, doubts, and many of us have frustrating paths (and medical bills) to recovery.  It is unfair to you that your path to recovery has been so long.  It's alright to complain, to express your concerns and anxiety.

If you’re reading this and you have been whooshing as long as Steve or even longer, please let us know how you’re doing.  As a pulsatile tinnitus sufferer myself, I believe that sharing our stories is a big step towards recovery.  You can post comments directly under each post on this site by clicking on the "Comments" link, or you can email whooshers@gmail.com in confidence.  Your email will not be posted without your permission.

We can learn from each other, new and experienced whooshers alike.  Whooshers.com appreciates all the emails and comments so far. 

Please keep them coming.


Listened to all the sounds on your website still nothing close, maybe I’m looking at Whooshers wrong but I can’t find much from other sufferers of PT. I’m 56, had this for about 10 years and like you have had all the tests and bloodworks, a couple of times. Supposedly had the best in the country look at me and none see anything wrong. I do wish someone else could hear this. Mine has a few twists like I actually hear so much better than other people, but whenever I talk, people always say, What! Like I’m not talking loud enough. Strange, I repeat myself so much it’s beginning to bother me.

Unlike your PT I can’t shut mine off for a second with a vein (pressing on the jugular), but I can duplicate the sound in my head by moving my jaw left or right.

Told the DR’s this, nothing, they can’t hear it with a stethoscope so I’m sure they think I’m faking it. I’m not a blogger or a tweeterer but I don’t think I could even if I wanted to, my interest in things has been gone for years. Exercise is a thing of the past, I even tried yoga but it still got my heart rate up and then everything flies right out the window. My marriage has been in the tubes for years now, she thinks I’m just feeling sorry for myself, I am down all the time, so I guess it’s not her fault, she’s sick of hearing about it so I just never say anything about it anymore.

Why I’m saying all this to you I have no idea. I know I don’t like listening to other people’s problems that’s why I just keep this to myself all the time. My family Dr’s no help, he’s got me on a few meds to at least help me sleep or I really am a bear the next day. Again sorry for this, I’m just venting, sometimes I wish it were some honking tumor at least there would be some chance of relieving this noise. Funny there’s no pain involved but it’s getting harder and harder to go on. I could go on for pages about this but I’m done. Sorry to bother you.     


Sat, August 22, 2009 | link          Comments

Poll Results: Have You Asked Your Doctor to Listen to the Whoosh With a Stethoscope?
Yes, and s/he could hear it. 27%
Yes, and s/he could not hear it.  18%
No, but I will! 55%
Other: 0%
Thank you for voting.  Please see this week's new poll!
Thu, August 20, 2009 | link          Comments

Unpleasant Things, Thanks to Pulsatile Tinnitus: A Haiku

Meditation and
Sitting in a silent room.
Low, whispy whispers.


Sun, August 16, 2009 | link          Comments

We Want to Hear Your Whoosh!

Dear Whooshers,

Whooshers.com needs your help.  We're building a selection of links to whooshing sounds and downloadable audio files to help fellow whooshers around the world identify and share their "whooshes" with others.  One link to a selection of whooshing sounds that some of us hear is posted already, but we need to expand this area of the site. 

It's difficult to describe a sound that no one else can hear, right?  Finding an audio file to play for others can be a helpful way to convey what you're hearing.

From what I can tell online and from my conversations with other whooshers, there may be many different kinds of whooshing sounds.  Mine sounds very much like a heart murmur.  This is coincidental because I don't have a heart murmur. 

I've talked to several other whooshers, some who say their whooshes sound like wind blowing in their ear or like the sound a baby sonogram makes.  Other whooshers hear a sound like a washing machine or like the air blowing through a car window that is opened just a teeny tiny bit when driving fast (How about THAT for a description!  I'd love to find audio of this washing machine and open car window!).  Some whooshes sound more like sWOOSH--sWOOSH. Others are more like SWOOOOOOOSH  SWOOOOOOOSH. 

Other people may hear a completely different kind of sound than those described above.  That's what we'd like to survey.  Also, if we can compile a nice selection of whooshing noises, we'll be able to discuss them here, and we may be able to see how common certain kinds of whooshing noises are compared to others. 

When I shared the audio file of the whoosh that sounds very much like mine with friends and family, the reactions were like, "You hear THAT?  ALL THE TIME?" I had been describing the sound to them for months, but it wasn't until they HEARD it that they truly understood.

There are links to audio files of venous hums, bruits and other whoosh-like sounds that can be found online.  We'd like to find YOUR whooshing sound and post a link to it so others can hear it, too. Just letting us know, by an anonymous post on this site, that none or one of these files is like your whoosh would be a tremendous help.

If you do some searching and find a link to an audio file that sounds like your whoosh, would you please post it or send an email to whooshers@gmail.com?  If you're interested in finding your whooshing sound but need some help, you can post a description of your whoosh here and ask others to help find some audio files online.  And don't forget to find the earlier post on this site where you can tell us where you're from and how long you have been whooshing (anonymously, if you please, of course!).

Thank You!


UPDATE: Just found a link to more sounds.  Do any of these sound like your whoosh?

Sat, August 8, 2009 | 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.