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Old 09-12-2009, 09:08 AM   #1
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TMJ & Pulsatile Tinnitus

Hi. I am male and 23 years old and over the past few months have developed a bunch of symptoms. In 2004 I was in two car accidents, and since then have had problems related to the spine. In addition I sit in front of the computer a lot for my job. Lots of back and neck pain. Tingling and numbness in areas like the arms and hands. In February I woke
up with a feeling of fullness/pressure in my head and high pitched ringing noise. I quickly went to the ENT doctor and he said it was probably just an infection of some sort and gave me some steroids for the ear. Those helped a bit to get rid of the feeling of fullness, but the tinnitus and
muffled hearing feeling persisted.

Within the next two months I developed stranger things that happened, I started having severe jaw dysfunction accompanied by popping and clicking noises. I have always had a certain amount of popping noise by my ear, but nothing like this. My jaw was hard to open and in lots of pain. My face started getting neurological pain associated with it and
numbness. I went to many different types of doctors near my house for these symptoms, (neurologists, orthopedic surgeon, ENT) but none of them could pin down what was going on with me. I went to a dentist and he diagnosed me with TMJ syndrome. but never fitted me with any kind of a brace for it.

Basically after failing to get help from going down the normal medical route, I decided to start seeing a chiropractor who practiced traditional techniques. At first he was really helping me, in particular on the third day I went to see him. I started feeling a lot of different neurological things I had never felt in a long time, normal hearing acuity, better sense of smell, less pressure
around my eyes, even sweating more! I could not believe the drastic affect his manipulations had on me. However, it was only short lived. After continuing treatment with him I started to getting worse. After several weeks with him of going 3 times a week I decided to leave.

Here's where things get weird. About a week after stopping with him I noticed stranger things happen. I was walking around at home and all the sudden I heard a "clunk" noise and felt part of my upper body twisting. My arms felt like they literally had dropped or something. Next thing
I had happen was my tinnitus changed from a continuous sound that was like crickets or chirps to a sound that was more rhythmical and beating. Because of this I got scared again and went back to see a different ENT this time who performed a doppler carotid ultrasound test on me.
The results came back pretty much normal he said, except he found a narrowing in my left external carotid artery near the face. I asked him "Could this be causing my pulsatile tinnitus?" and he wasn't sure.

Now I have moved out of the area and reside in Florida. I still have all of my symptoms and don't know what to do. I have a lot of muscle tightness in my upper body and pain. I'm starting with a massage therapist in a few days to see what she can do. Right now, the main thing I am worried
about though is the pulsatile sound I still get, which has moved to both ears now, but fluctuates at times. I'm really worried about it.

My question is this: Could that chiropractor have accidently done something wrong to my neck/head to cause some kind of artery tearing or twisting that has contributed to my condition? He was twisting my neck each time that I saw him, and like I said at first it really helped me. What are the chances
that I now have problems with blood flow to the head or neck? I'm only 23 and I don't understand this. Like I mentioned before I have had TMJ problems for a long time now, could that be causing the tinnitus or maybe blood flow with eustachian tubes? What further testing should be done? I am considering going to the MayoClinic in Jacksonville now rather then even mess around with going to all new doctors around
my area.

Tests already performed :
Spinal/TMJ X-rays,
many blood tests,
Brain MRI,
Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar MRI,
Doppler Carotid Ultrasound,
EMG,
ENG.

 
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:26 AM   #2
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Re: TMJ & Pulsatile Tinnitus

HI--Sorry to hear what you are dealing with. WHen you say severe dysfunction of your jaw, what exactly are you talking about? Were the car accidents whiplash injuries? If so, did they ever take tomograms or x-rays of your jaw joints and upper cervical area after the accident? Probably not of the tmj, but just hoping so. You may have damaged parts of your discs when you were in a car accident, or even displaced one or both if you are having severe dysfunction of your tmj joints. Don't freak out about your blood vessels at this point. If I were you, I would find a competent tmj specialist and have them do the battery of testing on you, and tomograms, maybe even an mri of the tmj's, or a cone beam scan. This will give the specialist an accurate description of exactly what is going on there..

If you are in florida, maybe you can get a good recommendation from the Piper clinic. From everything you have stated about your condition, all of those symtoms I'm afraid to say are from tmjd. You need to get to a specialist because ENT's and normal doctors do not know how to treat tmjd. Look on the Great Tmj doctors thread at the top of this page and maybe someone posted a good doc. in Fl. near you..

Good Luck!! PS--be open to traveling to a specialist. It will be worth your time, believe me. You can get royally screwed up by someone who doesn't know what they are doing!!!!! Don't be too worried about the ear symptoms, they should subside in tmjd treatment. Along with tmjd treatment, you will need to probably go into physical therapy, and massage therapy to alleviate the upper body symptoms, and gain strength in those areas as well. I'm doing that with my tmjd treatment everyweek as well. ----J.

Last edited by moderator2; 09-13-2009 at 07:43 AM. Reason: please don't quote big huge posts - try using the Quick Reply button instead of Quote Reply

 
Old 09-12-2009, 10:33 AM   #3
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Re: TMJ & Pulsatile Tinnitus

Ear ringing and fullness is a definite symptom of TMJ and I'm sure you have it to a degree. Generally chiropractic medicine is recommended as a supplemental treatment and not detrimental. I can't see you and I am not a doctor but symptoms do worsen over time; in my case they did for sure.

The best way to describe any kind of ringing is all based around the Eustachian Tube and can be skeletal or muscular. There is a muscle that opens and closes the E.T. called the Tensor Veli Palatini and is connected to a muscle in the mouth that controls opening and closing which is the Pterygoid. Skeletal would be the condyle pushing into the E.Tube wherein there is a slipped disc and if so you would hear more popping.

Feel around the area of your neck and see if it's tight. Use ice packs alternating and warm, moist heat and then (if you are lucky) massage all in 20 minute intervals.

This is a mantra for me for seeing as you are in Florida how far are you from Atlanta? That is where I am receiving treatment and it's an excellent facility. I've battled with this for years and I wouldn't trust anyone else to treat me.

You can message me for other questions. I wish it was easier to do that on this forum...oh well.

-V

 
Old 09-12-2009, 03:31 PM   #4
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Re: TMJ & Pulsatile Tinnitus

To make a very long story kinda short, I am 50 and have had pulsatile tinnitus in one year for over 15 years. It was always kinda quiet though and never bothered me much. I also have TMJ....and fibromyalgia.

Last 2 years the noise got much worse and it was making me crazy - bothering me so much at night and even during the day when there was background noise. Went to a ENT who is also a head and neck specialist. He did a hearing test on me which was fine. Sent me then for an MRI of my brain and auditory canal. Came back negative. Then he sent me for an MRA/MRV which is an MRI which checks the arteries and veins in the head and neck. They found I have a twisted artery but where its located, it should be causing facial problems, not tinnitus. Then he sent me to a University hospital to see a specialist. He then sent me for a CT of my temporal bone and middle ear - that also came back negative. So, I am at square one - no answers and still having tinnitus. I am sure you have done so, but read up on pulsatile tinnitus - there is alot of information on the internet about it.

I have wondered many times if it has something to do with my TMJ. My TMJ is worse on that side but the "noise" of the pulsatile tinnitus comes and goes as far as "loudness" is concerned. My jaw also "crunches" when I open and close my mouth on that side. The only test they did not do is an ultrasound of my carotid artery which I find strange. PT can have something to do with the way the blood flows thru your carotid artery and jugular vein.

I would suggest going to an ENT who is also a head/neck surgeon or to doctor of otorhinolaryngology. Just to have the above tests to rule out anything serious. There can be tumors in the inner/middle ear that can cause PT. Best to rule out all those things in addition to getting a diagnosis for TMJ. I also went to a chiropractor for many years and if I had to do it all again, I never would have gone. I had severe neck pain for so many years and when I finally stopped going to the chiro, my neck pain improved. I think they can cause more problems to some people.

My son who is also your age has TMJ and gets very bad headaches from it. I noticed you posted this in June - I hope you check back in so you can see the responses. Good luck......

 
Old 09-12-2009, 03:32 PM   #5
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Re: TMJ & Pulsatile Tinnitus

Oh wait, you joined in June, not posted the post in June !!! Write back if you have more questions!! MaryAnn

 
Old 09-12-2009, 04:49 PM   #6
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Re: TMJ & Pulsatile Tinnitus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinkie50 View Post
Oh wait, you joined in June, not posted the post in June !!! Write back if you have more questions!! MaryAnn
HI--I just read an excerpt (sp)? from a John Upledger book this evening on cranial Sacral therapy and how some therapists have had great success in improving ear problems, or totally curing people of them all together. I thought that was very interesting, and wonder how many people have tried that therapy for tinnitus?? Worth looking in to i think. Take care all---J.

 
Old 09-12-2009, 07:11 PM   #7
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Re: TMJ & Pulsatile Tinnitus

Hi there.

Your story seems quite interesting to me. You have definitely had more
testing done for PT than I have so far. They found a slight narrowing of
the external carotid artery for me, which I guess goes to the face. Is
that the area that you have a twisted artery? I'm confused. My doctor
didn't think that it was causing my tinnitus. What about your doctors?
Isn't there a way that they can treat problems with an artery? Did anyone
explain how that could have happened? There are so many questions
still left unanswered...makes me wonder what medical doctors really
even know. I've never been big on going to the doctor. I do know one
thing, if many people who have exhausted the testing have TMJ disorder
than there must be some connection to PT. I have TMJ on both sides
of my jaw really, but mostly on the right side. I was able to briefly
be cured during the first week of being treated by the ex-chiropractor
I was seeing. He used an activator device on my jaw joint and found
where it was locking up and fixed it temporarily, along with my neck.
It was really great, so I still think that chiropractic can help me, I'm
just not going back to someone who uses the technique of twisting
the neck. I think that is potentially dangerous. I REALLY hope that
I can get the rest of these tests and find some answers. What's the
best thing for them to find? What can they fix as far as causing PT?
I read on the Internet that surgery is a possibility for someone with
malformation in areas of their arteries.

 
Old 09-22-2009, 03:13 AM   #8
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Re: TMJ & Pulsatile Tinnitus

Have you considered 'Carotid Artery Dissection'? I had pulsatile tinnitus as a symptom of my 7th and final TIA (mini stroke) following my dissection in Oct 2008. You would need an MRI of the carotid arteries to 100% diagnose this (I had doppler of the carotids and they missed it!!!)

Best Wishes

Robin

 
Old 09-22-2009, 04:33 PM   #9
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Re: TMJ & Pulsatile Tinnitus

Hi velvetrance. What are your symptoms and situation? Is it similar to mine?
Do you have TMJ accompanied by pulsatile tinnitus? I'm getting ready to go visit
the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL to do some more testing for me. What kind
of treatment are you getting in Atlanta?

 
Old 09-29-2009, 04:52 PM   #10
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Re: TMJ & Pulsatile Tinnitus

The twisted artery I have is actually inside my skull - the ear specialist I saw did not think this was the cause of my PT. I am really beginning to think its my TMJ. I have it bad on that side of my jaw - when I "hold up" my jaw behind my ear (hard to explain) and put pressure there, the PT stops. My TMJ is acting up BAD right now and the tinnitus has worsened too. MaryAnn

 
Old 10-18-2009, 07:58 PM   #11
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Re: TMJ & Pulsatile Tinnitus

I am currently going to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL
for my pulsatile tinnitus. The ENT I am seeing there ordered
an MRA of the head/neck and MRI of the auditory area. The
MRI was normal, but the MRA found an arteriovenous fistula
located up in my skull. The ENT said that I can have a procedure
done to remove the AV fistulas and the pulsatile tinnitus should
go away. As far as the normal tinnitus ear ringing he said it
is probably never going to go away, he found a bit of a hearing
loss with me. However he is FULL of crap because I am only
23 and never had a history of loud noise exposure. The tinnitus
I have is definitely being caused by my TMJ. The tinnitus did
not come on gradual in any way, and it even went away for a
whole day, so I know that it's not from a true hearing loss.
Anyway, after the pulsatile tinnitus is gone, I will be going to
see a Dr. Piper who is a TMJ dentist to see what he can do for
me to correct this problem that has been plaguing me for so many
years. In addition to that I am getting atlas orthogonal adjustments
from a chiropractor in Jacksonville, whom I am already getting
good results with. Wish me luck! I'll keep you all updated.

 
Old 11-17-2009, 01:39 PM   #12
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Re: TMJ & Pulsatile Tinnitus

Does anyone know if there's a possible connection between
TMJ and pulsatile tinnitus? I know that TMJ can cause normal
sounding tinnitus, but how about a pulsatile kind? I just had
an angiography study done and it seems pretty normal to my
doctor. However, I just have so many different symptoms
going on with me (mainly neurological) I just don't know what
is causing what. Can chiropractic manipulation of the neck
cause any kind of compression of nerves near the skull and
a pulsatile tinnitus? I just wish there was some other kind of
tests the doctors could do. It seems like MRI isn't enough for
me or it's not detailed enough to see everything. I'm only
23 years old and all of these things are really affecting my
quality of life.

 
Old 11-18-2009, 05:42 PM   #13
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Re: TMJ & Pulsatile Tinnitus

Well, basically now I am kind of stuck. I am waiting to hear back from
an interventional radiologist at Mayo Clinic who performed an angiogram
on me. He seems to think that there is nothing really too abnormal
causing my pulsatile tinnitus. He was originally suspicious of AV fistula,
but I guess that's ruled out now. Is there any chance he could miss a
dissection of an artery? He's a really good doc, so I would suppose not.
The other night I have noticed that my jaw has shifted a little bit, my
bite is actually becoming affected now and the pulsatile noise in my
ear is faster now. I did some research and found an unusual cause of
pulsatile tinnitus: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Considering I also have
many different neurological symptoms along with my TMJ and spine
I am going to consider exploring this option. I am running out of things
to look for. This tinnitus is either related to my TMJ or there is still
some kind of blood vessel abnormality that is subtle and just enough
to cause this. I am determined to figure this out. Dec. 1st I will be
going to visit Dr. Piper a TMJ Specialist in St. Petersburg, FL. Perhaps
he will be able to fully inform me about my TMJ and tell me if the
pulsatile noise could be related or not.

 
Old 11-19-2009, 10:55 AM   #14
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Re: TMJ & Pulsatile Tinnitus

Quote:
Originally Posted by bduritsch View Post
Does anyone know if there's a possible connection between
TMJ and pulsatile tinnitus? I know that TMJ can cause normal
sounding tinnitus, but how about a pulsatile kind? I just had
an angiography study done and it seems pretty normal to my
doctor. However, I just have so many different symptoms
going on with me (mainly neurological) I just don't know what
is causing what. Can chiropractic manipulation of the neck
cause any kind of compression of nerves near the skull and
a pulsatile tinnitus? I just wish there was some other kind of
tests the doctors could do. It seems like MRI isn't enough for
me or it's not detailed enough to see everything. I'm only
23 years old and all of these things are really affecting my
quality of life.

 
Old 11-19-2009, 10:59 AM   #15
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faith7777 HB User
Re: TMJ & Pulsatile Tinnitus

I have had pulsetile tinnitus for about 3 years ....have had so many diffrent test done seen so many diffrent doctors they just dont know what is causing it ..i have tmd

i just pray and leave it up to god.

 
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