Q

Tinnitus

Why do I hear a heartbeat in my ears?

A Answers (5)

  • A Internal Medicine, answered on behalf of
    There are a few different things that can cause beating in the ear. It's not common, but it can happen.
     
    If you have a narrowing of the blood vessels, then when the blood flows, some noises can cause a murmur and you can hear it in your ear. Or if there is a lot of blood flowing through the neck vessel, patients may hear it. Or if you have fluid in the middle of your ear, that can cause this symptom, too.

    Trinity Health recognizes that people seek medical information on a variety of topics for a variety of reasons. Trinity Health does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. As a Catholic health care organization, Trinity Health acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition.
     
    Please note, the information contained on this website is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions regarding your medical condition or before starting any new treatment. In the event of a medical emergency always call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency care facility.
     
    2 people found this helpful.
  • If you hear a pulse-like noise in your ears, it may be pulsatile tinnitus. This is a rare condition caused when your blood vessels make sounds you can hear. Pulsatile tinnitus is almost always benign, but it could be caused by a serious underlying condition such as atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries) or a tumor.

    3 people found this helpful.
  • There can be many reasons for hearing your heartbeat in your ear, which is also known as pulsatile tinnitus. Usually, it's from a blood vessel being close to the eardrum. Sometimes, you'll hear it more when you lay on the affected side because you are putting pressure on the ear. Often, the sound is caused by something benign, like fluid in the ear. High blood pressure can cause it as well. Very rarely, vascular tumors in the middle ear can cause that symptom. And, even more rarely, aneurysms can cause that sound. Talk to your doctor if you hear the sound for over a week.
    9 people found this helpful.
  • A Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology), answered on behalf of
    Why Do I Hear A Heartbeat In My Ears?
    Hearing a heartbeat in your ears can indicate a hardening of the blood vessels in the neck. In this video, Dave Salley, MD, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Chippenham & Johnston-Willis Hospitals, discusses what other noises you might hear, and what they mean.
    4 people found this helpful.
  • A , Hospitalist, answered
    What you are describing is called pulsatile tinnitus. Most often people complain of a whooshing or thumping sound, often in sync with one's heartbeat.

    It is actually quite common. Often people will be aware of their heartbeat in their ear, similar to what you describe. Sometimes, another person can hear the noise by getting very close to your ear and listening carefully. Or your doctor can hear it with a stethoscope.

    Usually pulsatile tinnitus is not a cause for concern, especially if it lasts just a short time. Similar to you, many people are more aware of it at night.

    However, you should contact your doctor. High blood pressure, ear problems and an overactive thyroid gland can cause pulsatile tinnitus. On rare occasions, pulsatile tinnitus can be a symptom of an abnormality of the carotid artery.
    8 people found this helpful.
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How do other illnesses affect pulsatile tinnitus?