Unidentifiable whooshing sound


Firstly, thanks for taking the time to read this. 

To give you a bit of background with my hearing, I had grommets as a kid and they seem to do the trick, since then my hearing has been fine, except for when I fly or have dramatic altitude differences, as my hearing can take a few days or can be quite uncomfortable until my ears adjust properly, I've always had this issue and have just become used to it as you do.  But as i reached my late 20's early 30's I noticed a difference in my hearing in my left ear, i noticed that my ability to hear through this ear was much less than my right ear, and my directional hearing was affected (colleagues at work joke that my hearing is not great) and sometimes i find it difficult to pin-point where a sound is coming from..So i went to the doctors and had a couple of tests done at the Royal Ear Nose and Throat hospital in London, they have since put me on steroid sprays and antihistamines, saying its a build up of fluid in the middle ear... I have problems with my Eustachian tube not dilating enough to drain the ear... 

Recently I have had 2 problematic issues with my ear that to me are quite worrying.

1, I seem to get a pressured feeling and 'whooshing' sound in my left ear. It's quite difficult to explain but i feel its connected or is my pulse as it almost sounds a bit like liquid traveling at a pressured pulsing rate... i find it happens when i laugh or get a bit excited about something in everyday life... usually its not there, but more and more frequently it comes at least a few times during the day and doesn't seem to show signs of going away... it really confuses me as I never used to get this, and all of a sudden its just part of everyday hearing in my left ear...to give you an example, i went to the theater recently and i was enjoying the show but all the while i could feel and/or hear this whooshing sound in my left ear, it was very annoying.  I don't know if this is connected to tinnitus, or if anybody else can shed some advise or if they have had something similar i would really love to understand it better... 

2. I recently flew a few times within a short period of time and my hear for the first time was perfect on and straight after a flight - i couldn't believe what a transformation the steroid spray and the antihistamines had achieved.... however after my last flight, my Eustachian tubes were pretty blocked in both ears and my ability to hear was reduced greatly and i could hear better through my bone closest to my ear than my ear itself, it felt like when you cup a glass up to you ear... this latest for approx. 2 weeks and then gradually recovered... 

I'm posting this because I'm concerned that my hearing is changing and that i'm developing something more sinister than it seems or i can explain... Why did i lose my hearing for nearly 2 weeks? Where has this whooshing feeling or sound suddenly come from? Are they both connected?  

Apologies if this isn't the right area to be posting this subject in but any advise you could offer would be appreciated. 

I have a follow up appointment a the Royal Ear Nose and Throat hospital in February 2019 (earliest appointment since October) but until then i wanted to get some feedback here...

Thanks again for reading.


  • Hi BenjaminPLondon

    Thank you for your post, unfortunately, we are not medically trained so can only comment so far but i hope the information below will help answer some questions. 

    What you are describing as pulsing rate could indicate that you may have Pulsatile tinnitus- There are two main causes of pulsatile tinnitus: a change in blood flow (the movement of blood through blood vessels) in the neck, skull and ear(s) or increased awareness of blood flow near the ears. It could also be a pulse that’s not related to blood supply, which means a muscular cause is more likely.

    You can read more about pulsatile tinnitus and what you can do to help via our tinnitus publications here

    You may want to start keeping a log of what you are experiencing with your ears on a daily basis to take that with you to your appointment in February. This will hopefully give the specialist an idea of what changes you are experiencing and what activities or situations are causing them. In tern this may also help you to understand what improves the symptoms you are experiencing. 

    Best wishes


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