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Whooshing Noises Inside Head Symptoms, Causes & Statistics

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Last updated October 16, 2020

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7 causes of whooshing noises inside head

This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Possible Meniere's Disease

Meniere's disease is a disorder of the inner ear. It can cause severe dizziness, a roaring sound in the ears called tinnitus, hearing loss that comes and goes and the feeling of ear pressure or pain. Meniere's commonly develops between the ages of 20 and 60, and most often starts in only one ear.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: nausea, episodic dizziness, ringing in the ears, vertigo (extreme dizziness), ear fullness/pressure

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Non-urgent Tinnitus Needing Hearing Tests

Tinnitus is the medical term for ringing in the ears. Tinnitus is always a symptom of another disorder and is not a disease in itself.

Tinnitus occurs when nerves within the ear are damaged by prolonged exposure to loud noise or to certain drugs. The disrupted activity in the nerves causes them to overreact and produce the sounds known as tinnitus. When nerves are damaged enough to cause tinnitus, there will also be some degree of hearing loss.

Symptoms of tinnitus include a ringing, buzzing, or high-pitched whining sound within the ears. The hearing loss may or may not be noticed by the patient.

Tinnitus is not serious in itself, but can interfere with quality of life. There are treatments that can help with the discomfort it causes.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and hearing tests.

Treatment involves use of a hearing aid, which can better conduct normal sounds across the damaged nerves of the ear; and treating any underlying conditions, such as high blood pressure.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: ringing in the ears, ear pain

Symptoms that always occur with non-urgent tinnitus needing hearing tests: ringing in the ears

Symptoms that never occur with non-urgent tinnitus needing hearing tests: heartbeat sound in the ear, ear discharge, vertigo (extreme dizziness), face weakness, ear pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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Cerebral Venous Thrombosis

Cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT,) or cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) refers to a blood clot in certain veins of the brain.

There are two layers of material that form the lining between the skull and the brain. The occasional open spaces, or sinuses, between these two layers have veins running through them to drain blood and spinal fluid from the brain.

Cerebral venous thrombosis means that a blood clot (thrombosis) has formed somewhere within the veins of these sinuses.

This condition is caused by a congenital malformation in the brain; pregnancy; use of oral contraceptives; meningitis; use of steroids; and trauma to the head.

Symptoms include headache; nausea and vomiting; mental confusion; changes in vision; difficulty walking, moving or speaking; seizures; and coma. CVT is a life-threatening medical emergency. Take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination; CT scan or MRI; blood tests; and sometimes a lumbar puncture (spinal tap.)

Treatment includes anticoagulant medication to destroy the clot, followed by any rehabilitation that may be needed.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, headache, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, being severely ill

Symptoms that always occur with cerebral venous thrombosis: being severely ill

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Acoustic Neuroma

An acoustic neuroma is a benign (non-cancerous) growth or tumor that develops on the nerve that carries information about hearing and balance from the ear to the brain. This tumor, although it is not cancerous, can create pressure on the nerve leading to symptoms such as hearing loss, ringing in the ear, and loss of balance.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: hearing loss, vertigo (extreme dizziness), hearing loss in both ears, heartbeat sound in the ear

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when a bump, blow, jolt, or other head injury causes damage to the brain.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: new headache, irritability, clear runny nose, vision changes, general numbness

Symptoms that always occur with traumatic brain injury: head injury

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Pseudotumor Cerebri

Pseudotumor cerebri occurs when the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) inside of your skull increases with no apparent cause. This cerebrospinal fluid covers the brain and spinal cord, protecting and cushioning them from injury. It is important to understand that pseudotum..

Whooshing noises questionnaire

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Inner Ear Infection (labyrinthitis)

An inner ear infection, also called labyrinthitis, affects the delicate bony structures deep within the ear.

Labyrinthitis usually follows a viral infection such as the common cold, influenza, mumps, or the measles. In rare cases, usually in young children, it can be caused by bacteria.

Risk factors include a middle ear infection; meningitis; or any autoimmune disorder.

Symptoms include vertigo, where the person feels that the world is spinning around them; nausea and vomiting; some loss of hearing; ear pain, sometimes with drainage from the ear canal; and ringing in the ears (tinnitus.)

Viral symptoms may at least partially resolve on their own, but treatment can rule out a more serious condition as well as address the pain and discomfort. Bacterial labyrinthitis is often more serious and can cause permanent hearing loss.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and sometimes a hearing test.

Treatment for viral labyrinthitis includes rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Antibiotics will be prescribed for bacterial labyrinthitis.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: nausea, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, fever

Symptoms that always occur with inner ear infection (labyrinthitis): vertigo or imbalance

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Whooshing noises inside head symptom checker statistics

People who have experienced whooshing noises inside head have also experienced:

  • 9% Headache
  • 7% Dizziness
  • 5% Fatigue

People who have experienced whooshing noises inside head were most often matched with:

  • 53% Cerebral Venous Thrombosis
  • 23% Possible Meniere'S Disease
  • 23% Non-Urgent Tinnitus Needing Hearing Tests

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant.

Hear what 6 others are saying
Blow to headPosted June 13, 2021 by D.
I have TBI—traumatic brain injury. Still have headaches all the time. I've had a great deal of head pressure and a hissing sound in the back of my head. Doctors have done two blood patches on me thinking I have a fluid leak. The head pressure kind of went away, still headaches all the time with the hissing sound still going on in my head. It's been 18 months since a tree hit me in the back of my head. I'm seeing numerous therapies and seems like nothing is helping.
Hushing sound in my brainPosted May 20, 2021 by J.
I always hear a hushing sound in my brain. Sometimes it's so loud that it keeps me awake at night. I have more headaches than before. Is there something that can be done—already went for a hearing test.
Right temple painPosted April 10, 2021 by M.
My story is very long so I would like to state my current situation. My left ear is ringing on some occasions, not always. I have this whooshing sound in my head for the past two weeks, and sometimes it comes along with pressure on both ears. I am also suffering from headaches, especially when coughing, sneezing, bending down, and lifting weights. CAT scan didn’t show any sign of sinus infection; the doctor didn’t indicate an ear infection. In the coming week, I will see a neurologist and see what his diagnosis is.

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