Studies have shown that the occurrence of pulsatile tinnitus in women is higher than that in men. Well, that is a relief for men because of other complications and illnesses bagged under them as being more common such as multiple sclerosis, breast cancer, myasthenia gravis, and many more.
Why is Pulsatile Tinnitus in Women Higher?
Even if pulsatile tinnitus is not regarded as an emergent and life-threatening concern as compared to the other complications mentioned, here are three unique reasons why pulsatile tinnitus occurs with the female genotype.
1. Hormones and the Menstrual Cycle
Women who are still in the age of bearing a child from menarche to menopause (beginning and end of menstrual cycles) undergo a cyclic change in hormonal imbalances. Often ridiculously associated with having mood swings, these are said to be brought about by the rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone in the body, which also gives rise to blood pressure spikes, as well as variation in awareness and sensitivity to pulsatile tinnitus. It has also been highly associated with the use of hormonal medications as well as birth control pills, which have a direct effect on the hormones in the body.
This condition is marked with abnormal growths on the stapes bone, that tiny piece of bone along with the others that comprises the hearing mechanism in the ear. With this overgrowth, the conduction of signals becomes impaired, resulting in hearing loss and is linked with the emergence of pulsatile tinnitus as an indirect aggravating factor. While it is also found in men, women who are pregnant are more prone to developing this condition.
First documented in 1858, otosclerosis was first thought to be directly the cause of pulsatile tinnitus and thus women were discouraged to have pregnancy lest they wanted to aggravate their condition and risk themselves of becoming deaf. Current research found no direct link concerning pregnancy and becoming deaf, therefore there is no supporting evidence as of yet.
It is quite safe for women to have their pregnancy nonetheless, but as a safety measure and saved discomfort, it is highly recommended that those who suffer otosclerosis should seek medical intervention first. Stapedectomy is a quick procedure with an excellent prognosis, thereby allowing a much more convenient pregnancy afterward.
Associated with otosclerosis in women, pregnancy is regarded as a cause for developing or aggravating the effects of pulsatile tinnitus. While there is no direct evidence that suggests its link with the condition, researches and studies conducted with pregnant women indicates a 66% occurrence. Still undergoing thorough researches and studies are being done to shed light on this matter.
Theories point to the idea that since pulsatile tinnitus is linked with increased blood pressure, pregnancy-induced hypertension has a common manifestation that is the same with increased blood flow within the system, and could be the cause for this phenomenon to occur. If this is the case, then pulsatile tinnitus should subside greatly or vanish after delivery.
Let it be clear that pulsatile tinnitus is not exclusive among women, nor does it only happen because of female conditions. Men also suffer from this condition, especially those marked with high blood pressure and emotional stress. Nevertheless, women may more or less expect this to occur given the abovementioned reasons.