If you are having ringing in ears problems and you have also been diagnosed with high blood pressure, then there is a very good chance that the two factors are connected. Medical research is ongoing to establish the extent to which high blood pressure is an underlying cause of tinnitus, however the physical symptoms often speak for themselves. The rise in blood pressure can eventually lead to the condition of Meniere’s Disease, which is a disorder of the inner ear with symptoms of dizziness, nausea, vertigo and excess pressure in the ears.
Ringing in ears can be a sign for the onset of an attack of Meniere’s Disease, which is a chronic condition. The sounds associated with Meniere’s Disease are a low pitched ringing, which can become very loud prior to the onset of vertigo and dizziness.
Pulsatile tinnitus refers to the condition when you can hear the pulsing of your heart beat and blood vessels in your ears. This can be associated with high blood pressure, blood vessel problems, an aneurysm or possibly a tumour. People who suffer with pulsatile tinnitus will not definitely go on to develop Meniere’s Disease.
The link between high blood pressure and ear ringing is mainly through patient observation. It is commonly observed that when the blood pressure in patients returns to normal then it is often the case that the ringing of the ears stops. The source of the ear ringing is likely to be due to blood being pumped through the thin arteries within the ear, neck or head, and can be heard in one or both of the ears as a thumping of pumping sound.
So the presence of pulsatile tinnitus can be a sign of a more underlying condition that requires further investigation. Matters can be complicated in that there may be more than one cause of the tinnitus condition. Some patients have observed ongoing ear ringing even after the blood pressure has been reduced. This is likely to be due to another cause, such as damage to the inner ear.
Your doctor will most probably prescribe medication in the first instance to reduce your blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, and will then observe whether this treatment has been successful in relieving the ringing in your ears. Other factors such as diet, smoking, alcohol intake and exercise may also be considered to reduce the blood pressure.
Stress can also be an underlying cause of elevated blood pressure leading to ear ringing problems, and there are a number of tinnitus treatment programs which will use stress relief as part of the overall treatment program.
Should the reduction in blood pressure levels not lead to elimination of the ear ringing, then further potential causes will need to be considered. These can include investigations into potential benign intracranial hypertension and glomus tumor, which can be caused by the build up of cholesterol within the arteries of the ear.
Other causes of pulsatile tinnitus are inflammation or infection of the middle ear.