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    Old 05-28-2008, 06:46 PM   #1
    jbae
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    Pregnancy & Pulsatile Tinnitus

    Hi everyone, I'm new to the boards and am desperately looking for advice that any of you have regarding pulsatile tinnitus during pregnancy. I'm currently 37 1/2 weeks and about a month ago, I woke up with a stiff left jaw and blocked ears for 2 days. These symptoms subsided, but then I started getting a pulsing/swishing/whooshing sound in my left ear. It is constant, 24 hours a day, and I can't sleep at night because it is so loud. I've seen an ENT and 2 TMJ specialists - all of which couldn't help. The ENT thought it was allergy-related and the TMJ specialists said I needed a nightguard b/c I was clenching at night. I've tried decongestants and steriod nasal spray, none of which worked.

    Have any of you had a similar problem in late pregnancy - and did this subside? I am so worried that this problem won't go away after delivery.....it is making me depressed and so tired!!

    Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!

     
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    Old 05-28-2008, 06:52 PM   #2
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    Re: Pregnancy & Pulsatile Tinnitus

    Hi Jbae,

    I am so glad that I read your post, because I thought I was going crazy. I am only 18 1/2 weeks, but a couple weeks ago, I started getting a pulsing 'whoosh' in my left ear. It wasn't constant at the time - mainly if I was sitting/watching tv or laying down, but it was extremely annoying. I kept putting my finger in my ear in hopes that it would stop. But, it is getting more and more constant, and at times it is so loud that I want to scream. I was told that it's due to increased blood flow during pg (can also happen in other instances where blood flow increases such as exercise -- but with pregnancy it's more of a constant problem) and that otherwise it was nothing to worry about and that it should go away. I know that doesn't help much at this point -- I was really hoping that it wouldn't last though the entire pg, and I'm still hoping it doesn't. As for things that may help, I haven't found any, but I will be sure to let you know if I do.

    Hope you're feeling well
    Kelley

     
    Old 05-28-2008, 07:19 PM   #3
    jbae
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    Re: Pregnancy & Pulsatile Tinnitus

    Hi kjmrfld, thanks so much for your reply! It's nice to know that there are others going through the same nightmare (although I feel terrible you are going through it too at such an early stage in pregnancy). I had a feeling it might be related to the increased blood flow to the head. The only thing I have found that helps me sleep at night is a white noise machine, which I highly recommend. I still wake up from the noise (and to use the bathroom!) but it does help some to relieve the noise. Unfortunately I've had this problem consistently since it began a month ago, but hopefully yours will resolve sooner. The only other thing I came across in my internet research was that sometimes pulsatile tinnitus is brought on by sudden weight gain/loss, because it changes the padding and proximity of the ear drum to the veins. This can cause the ear drum to pick up the venous hum of the blood flow through the vein. I did put on rapid weight gain in the last trimester, so I'm thinking that didn't help. Did you happen to put on weight at a faster rate during the past month?

    I will keep you posted on the next two weeks and let you know how this problem resolves after pregnancy. I was desperate to find someone who had this problem to see if it went away after, but unfortunately I didn't have any luck. I'll be sure to let you know - and best of luck with your pregnancy!

    Julie

     
    Old 05-29-2008, 07:36 AM   #4
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    Re: Pregnancy & Pulsatile Tinnitus

    Hi,
    This has happened to be because I have a lot of wax build up that is hard to get rid of. The thing that helped the most was going swimming-- I guess the chlorine or something really helped disolve everything and help the problem.
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    Old 05-29-2008, 09:49 AM   #5
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    Re: Pregnancy & Pulsatile Tinnitus

    Oh, I just told my husband that I am a walking blood vessel the other night. I normally can hear/feel my pulse in my ear when I lay on it or have a stethoscope on , but pregnant.....I am going mad. It is constant for me also. Unfortunately it lasted with all my other pregnancies full term. It improved afterwards, but like I said I have it a normally (not as severe of course) and did before my first so it is not a condition that formed after pregnancy.
    I actulllay get it in my eyes as well now. If I am laying down for a while my eyes will pulse back and forth with my heart beat. Now that is freaky!!!
    All has to do with that increased blood flow!!!!
    Sorry you are suffering. You are not alone.

     
    Old 06-01-2008, 11:23 AM   #6
    jbae
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    Re: Pregnancy & Pulsatile Tinnitus

    Thanks everyone for sharing your stories...I feel much better knowing that I'm not alone! I am at 38 weeks and counting(!) now so I guess all I can do is sit back and wait it out. I heard that swimming helps so I may try that if I can't sleep one night . Good luck to all of you and will keep this posting updated!

     
    Old 07-09-2008, 07:52 PM   #7
    jbae
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    Re: Pregnancy & Pulsatile Tinnitus

    Hi Everyone,

    I wanted to follow up and update you on my tinnitus postpartum.

    On June 13th 2008, I delivered a very healthy 8 pound 1 oz baby boy . He is absolutely adorable!! Unfortunately regarding the tinnitus - I wish I had better news. The noise in my ear did not get significantly better until very recently (I'm now 3 weeks postpartum).....and it is still audible at night while I'm sleeping.

    I had some complications after labor though, including edema (very bad swelling of the ankles/legs), hypertension/pre-eclampsia and now, Bells Palsy. I don't want to frighten any of you, but I do want you to be aware of a possible link between tinnitus during pregnancy and the onset of Bells Palsy (which is an inflammation of your 7th cranial nerve in your face).

    Bells Palsy is not common, but does happen, in late pregnancy or postpartum for some women...and basically paralyzes one side of your face so you can't blink your eye/move your mouth/smile/etc. There is no known cause or cure, but it is believed to be caused by fluid retention (edema) after pregnancy and trauma/stress to the mother during labor. There is also a possible link between Bells Palsy and pre-eclampsia (very high blood pressure). Bells Palsy typically peaks within 48 hours - 1 week after onset, and resolves itself within a few weeks. Unfortunately there's not much you can do in the meantime except get lots of rest and try not to worry.

    I had all the early warning signs of Bells Palsy - the tinnitus during the last trimester, high blood pressure after delivery, massive swelling of my ankles, and then a severe earache/headache about 2 weeks after delivery. My doctor was not very proactive in treating these issues, so I urge all of you to talk to your doctor immediately if you experience any of these issues after delivery. Taking a tapered dose of Prednisone within the first 3 days of Bells' onset can apparently shorten the length and severity of the Bells Palsy. Luckily I went to the ER last weekend as soon as I started feeling numb in my face, and the neurologist there immediately suspected Bells' and put me on Prednisone.

    The good news is that the tinnitus is definitely getting better, and I don't hear the whooshing noise in my ear unless it's very very quiet at night. But I'm fairly certain it is slowing but surely going away.

    I hope this posting helps some of you with the tinnitus problem. Just be sure to talk to your doctor about any other issues you have or similar symptoms...and hang in there! It will all be worth it once your beautiful baby arrives.

    Good luck!

    Julie

     
    Old 07-18-2008, 09:36 PM   #8
    jbae
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    Re: Pregnancy & Pulsatile Tinnitus

    Here's another update: The tinnitus is completely gone now (five weeks postpartum)! The Bells Palsy is also drastically better....I can blink my left eye and even wink if I concentrate. The paralysis is still noticeable on the left side of my mouth but the muscle control improves every day.

    Hang in there and rest assured that this is very likely a temporary condition while you're recovering from the labor & delivery.

     
    Old 08-02-2008, 01:18 PM   #9
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    Re: Pregnancy & Pulsatile Tinnitus

    I feel like I could write the same experience. I had the chirping in my ear for a week, and then got Bells Palsy on June 9, 2008. I gave birth to twins on June 11. The Bells Palsy has gotten much better. The droop is gone and I'm starting to get muscle movement in my face. Opposite you, the one thing I still can't move is my eye or forehead.

    But now about 7 weeks pp, I have this constant swooshing and loud noise in my ear. It was never this bad, and I'm not sure what made it worse all of a sudden when my Bells Palsy is getting better. It is driving me crazy! They say get sleep and rest, but that is impossible with newborn twins.

     
    Old 08-08-2008, 07:11 PM   #10
    jbae
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    Re: Pregnancy & Pulsatile Tinnitus

    I am so sorry to hear that you are experiencing the tinnitus worse than before. My heart goes out to you because I KNOW firsthand how difficult and bothersome it can be. Just hang in there as best you can, and use the sound machine at night when napping (it really helped me keep my sanity the last few weeks).

    My doctor believes that the tinnitus and Bells Palsy are connected somehow; as well as the sciatica I had during the last trimester (also on the left side). I could barely walk! Somehow, he thinks that because the left nerve was so compressed by the baby, I developed all of these issues along this nerve. I also had severe oedema in my feet and ankles.

    I think it will take your body a little longer to lose all of the fluid from your multiples pregnancy and return to its pre-pregnancy state - but have faith that all of these issues will resolve when that happens. I do believe that getting as much rest as you can will help speed up the healing process- so try to enlist friends and family to watch the babies for a few hours so you can catch a nap. My sister had twins last year and I know how tired you must be! Consider hiring some help, even for a week, so you can get much needed rest at night. Baby nurses are expensive but a week's investment is worth the cost for your health's sake. We hired one after 2 weeks and it was the best investment I've ever made. My health rapidly improved after getting a few nights of solid sleep.

    And last but certainly not least, congratulations on the birth of your twins! You must be so proud. If you have the energy, keep a journal so you can share your journey with them when they get older!

    Best of luck -
    Julie

     
    Old 06-08-2010, 05:36 PM   #11
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    Re: Pregnancy & Pulsatile Tinnitus

    Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    I have had this since I was a child. I use to always say that I could hear someone walking in the snow in my ear when I laid down to sleep. My mom just didn't understand.

    I am now 38m and 10 weeks pregnant. It has increased in volume and frequency. I can hear it during the day in the evenings when I rest, as well as at night.

    I also suffer from allergies, so if I don't keep them under control it seems to increase even more.

    Last edited by bubbles54016; 06-08-2010 at 05:41 PM.

     
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