25 years ago, I started experiencing partial hearing loss in my right ear when I was stressed or my blood pressure was high. I had many tests done back then, including an MRI, but there was no diagnosis except “maybe it’s just stress”. Because it didn’t occur often, I gave up on further tests and just lived with it.
Over the years, the hearing loss became more common, sometimes accompanied by numbness on the right side of my right hand and right foot. Sometimes I also get a dull ache on the right side of my head, always in the exact same spot behind my right ear. This is always associated with stress, anger, and/or too much coffee.
A few weeks ago, the symptoms suddenly became worse, the hand and foot numbness more pronounced and nearly constant. And now I’m also experiencing numbness on the right side of my face around my mouth.
The most disturbing new symptom is the whoosh-whoosh sound in my right ear. Pulsatile tinnitus, according to Dr. Google. Mostly I hear it when lying quietly, but occasionally it’s so loud it sounds like banging a piece of sheet metal. And then it stops suddenly for a few seconds, then starts again.
I’m otherwise very healthy. Ideal weight, don’t smoke, get lots of exercise. So far, my GP doesn’t seem too concerned. He ordered a carotid ultrasound, which was very normal, and an MRI without contrast, which had a few anomalies, but those could be explained by age.
I can’t help but wonder if I have an AVM. It worries me that I might have a ticking time bomb in my left hemisphere, and I think I need that one.
I’m afraid to work out, or do anything that raises my blood pressure much until I have some diagnosis or at least reassurance it’s not serious. Am I being overly concerned? Any advice appreciated.