How is pulsatile tinnitus diagnosed?

Make an appointment with your doctor if you think you’re experiencing pulsatile tinnitus. Your exam will start with a review of your symptoms and your medical history.

The doctor will probably use a stethoscope to listen to your chest, neck, and skull. If your doctor can also hear a pulsatile noise, you have objective pulsatile tinnitus. If not, it’s labeled as subjective pulsatile tinnitus.

You’ll also have hearing tests to determine whether there has been any hearing loss in one or both ears. Your doctor may order some imaging tests as well. These include:

  • ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • MR
  • angiography

You may also be tested for high blood pressure and given a blood test to check for thyroid disease or anemia.

If it appears as though you have pulsatile tinnitus, you may be referred to a cardiologist (heart specialist) for an exam and screenings for possible circulation problems or high blood pressure.

 

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