Why Do I Hear My Heartbeat In My Ear?

Why Do I Hear My Heartbeat In My Ear?

Have you ever had the feeling that your ear throbs and you don't know what to do? It is a relatively common thing. You have probably wondered why you hear pulsations in your ears similar to the beating of your heart. Today we are going to see what are the most common causes of pulsatile tinnitus and what you can do to stop hearing it. The good news is that, in most cases, it is a treatable problem.

Remember that the content of this article is general information, and if you want to have a personalized diagnosis, it is best to go to a specialist or go to a hearing center to clarify your doubts.


Why are Heartbeats Heard in The Ears?

It is not a coincidence that people immediately associate the pulsations in the ear with the beating of the heart because they generally have the same rhythm. The reason is simple, the most frequent cause of pulsatile tinnitus is the perception of blood flow in the vessels (arteries and veins) in the vicinity of the ear.

The vibrations from this uncomfortable buzzing or thudding are transmitted to the hair cells in the ear, which act as sensorineural receptors and allow the brain to recognize the sound.

In a normal situation, a person does not notice these noises, but if there are variations in blood flow, pulsatile tinnitus can appear, temporarily or more lasting.

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The Most Frequent Case: Occasionally Hearing That Your Ear Throbs

In case of making a more intense physical effort than usual, that sensation of hearing the heartbeat in the ear may appear. As you can imagine, the cause is simple: by increasing your physical activity, your heart rate and blood pressure also increase. This can cause you to notice pulsatile tinnitus for a few minutes during and after exertion ends. But then, when you relax, that uncomfortable feeling goes away, as both your blood pressure and your heart rate go down again.

Other people may temporarily feel the throbbing in the ear when they change position, for example, just after going to bed. Again, the most common is that the sensation disappears quickly. It also sometimes happens to people who wear earplugs to sleep. On the one hand, the change in posture can have an influence, and on the other, by suppressing other sounds, the person tends to focus more on the heartbeat.


In Some Cases, Pulsatile Tinnitus Is Permanent

It is a rare case, but there are people for whom the sensation of pulsation in the ears is permanent. It does not usually pose a direct health problem, but, being annoying, it affects the quality of life, concentration, and rest of the affected people. Sometimes it even causes a little pain in the area.

The most frequent cause is a vascular origin. Blood circulation is slowed down in the ear area due to narrowing or congestion of veins and arteries.

Other possible causes are hypertension, stress, hypersensitivity of psychological origin, fluid spillage in the ear, hyperthyroidism, and other very specific pathologies such as otosclerosis, Paget's disease, or stenosis. It can also be caused by a benign tumor.

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What To Do In Case Of Throbbing In The Ear?

If the sensation is only temporary, it's usually not a problem, and there's nothing to worry about. In the case of chronic pulsatile tinnitus, it is recommended to consult a specialist doctor, usually an otolaryngologist, who will be able to determine the options to follow.

It is a type of discomfort that is usually cured well, unlike other types of tinnitus. Sometimes the solution involves minor surgery to restore proper circulation to the affected area. In other cases, the solution may be the prescription of medication.

But since the causes can be very different depending on the people affected, the medical professional is the one who will be able to answer that question much better. As I always say on the blog, do not hesitate to consult a doctor. It is the only way to have a response totally adapted to your situation and your symptoms. Articles on the Internet are useful for general ideas, but only up to a point.


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