Is it Tinnitus

For the last two weeks I have had a clicking in my left ear that is in time with my pulse. It comes and goes. Should I visit my GP?

  • Hi SpudTrooper

    Thank you for your post and welcome to the forum. My name is Rachel  and I work on the Information Line here at Action on Hearing Loss.

    What your describing does sound like Pulsatile tinnitus, however we would encourage you to go to your GP and request an  referral to the ENT doctor at the local hospital. The ENT Specialist will ask about your medical history and look at your eardrum and the blood vessels in your neck and skull. The consultant will also use a stethoscope to see if they can hear a pulsatile noise in your neck and skull. The consultant may also do  a series of hearing tests, which is usual for any type of tinnitus. Your consultant may use imaging techniques, such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to look at how blood is flowing through your body- please note this is a routine procedure.

    In the meantime, you may wish to read our factsheet Pulsatile tinnitus which may give you some more information about Pulsatile tinnitus.

    There’s no single treatment for pulsatile tinnitus that works in the same way for everyone. If clinicians can find an underlying cause, such as high blood pressure, they may be able to treat that – which, in turn, may get rid of the tinnitus. However, if you have pulsatile tinnitus and clinicians cannot find an underlying cause, they will advise you on the practical steps you can take to manage the condition and refer you on to a hearing therapist for support management such as TRT, CBT or mindfulness training. 

    Although there is currently no single treatment for tinnitus that works in the same way for everyone, and research to find a cure is on-going, there are many different therapies and self-help techniques that may help you to manage the tinnitus and reduce its impact on your life. Please feel free to read our tinnitus factsheets for further information- one in particular is called Tinnitus - causes and therapies.

    Please let us know how you get on at the doctors? 

    Our Helpline is open Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm so please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to talk or have any questions.

     All the best

     Rachel on behalf of the Information Line