Hearing a thumping in your ears, also known as pulsatile tinnitus, can be caused from Meniere's disease, which can affect your balance and hearing. Other causes of pulsing in the ear include earwax buildup or temporomandibular joint dysfunction disorder. Read below for more information on causes and treatment options.
6 Heartbeat Sound In The Ear Causes
This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.
Meniere's disease is a disorder of the inner ear that affects balance and hearing.
Meniere's disease is due to an abnormality in the inner ear that results in low levels of fluid, thus interfering with the sense of balance. The abnormality may be hereditary or it could be from allergies, autoimmune disease, or other illness.
Symptoms usually affect only one ear and include severe attacks of vertigo, or the sensation of spinning; tinnitus, or ringing in the ear; pressure inside the ear; and increasing deafness. These symptoms are unpredictable and can come and go without warning.
Meniere's disease is progressive and will not go away on its own. It can lead to a severe loss of hearing and balance, and so a medical provider should be seen at the earliest symptoms.
Diagnosis is made through patient history; physical examination; hearing tests; and balance tests.
There is no cure for Meniere's disease, but it can be treated with motion sickness and anti-nausea medicines, hearing aids, and occasionally surgery.
Top Symptoms: nausea, ringing in the ears, vertigo (extreme dizziness), ear fullness/pressure, brief fainting episode
Symptoms that always occur with meniere's disease: dizziness: at least 2 episodes
Urgency: Primary care doctor
Ear wax production is a normal process, as the body makes wax to protect the ear from infection. Sometimes ear wax can build up and cover the eardrum, which is a thin layer of skin that stretches across the end of the ear canal and picks up sound from outside. Ear wax buildup has nothing to do with poor hygiene, and it is not possible to prevent a build-up by washing.
Top Symptoms: dizziness, dry cough, ear canal pain, ear fullness/pressure, ringing in the ears
Symptoms that never occur with earwax blockage: swollen ear, fever
Urgency: Phone call or in-person visit
Temporomandibular joint (tmj) dysfunction disorder
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction is often caused by a variety of factors, including daily habits, your teeth alignment, and even stress. It usually affects one side of the jaw, but in some people it can affect both sides. People with TMJ dysfunction will typically experience pain on one side of the face that is worse with chewing, yawning, or other movements of the jaw. With some simple changes in your daily habits and other at-home treatments, most people with TMJ dysfunction will experience relief of their symptoms within weeks.
Treatment for temporomandibular joint dysfunction usually includes avoiding eating hard foods or foods that require a lot of chewing. Good posture and relaxation techniques may help relieve tension in the muscles that connect to your temporomandibular joint. In people who clench or grind their teeth, a mouth guard worn at night (and fitted by your dentist) may also help relieve your symptoms. Pain relievers, like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), can also help.
Top Symptoms: dizziness, pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw, history of headaches, jaw pain, pain in the back of the neck
Symptoms that always occur with temporomandibular joint (tmj) dysfunction disorder: pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw
Urgency: Primary care doctor
Cholesteatoma (a non-cancerous growth in the ear)
Cholesteatoma is a type of skin cyst that is located in the middle ear and mastoid bone in the skull. It can be a birth defect though more commonly occurs as a complication of chronic ear infection.
Top Symptoms: ear fullness/pressure, ringing in the ears, pain in one ear canal, vertigo (extreme dizziness), hearing loss in one ear
Urgency: Primary care doctor
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Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Heartbeat Sound In The Ear
To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:
- Have you been experiencing dizziness?
- Have you noticed a change in your hearing?
- Did you get hit in the head?
- Are you experiencing a headache?
Self-diagnose with our free if you answer yes on any of these questions.
Heartbeat Sound In The Ear Statistics
People who have experienced heartbeat sound in the ear have also experienced:
- 7% Headache
- 4% Fatigue
- 3% Dizziness
People who have experienced heartbeat sound in the ear were most often matched with:
- 37% Meniere'S Disease
- 37% Temporomandibular Joint (Tmj) Dysfunction Disorder
- 25% Earwax Blockage
Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).
Female, age 13. I started hearing my pulse in my ears for a few days. I thought of it as nothing and kept going with my day. Over the entire day, it kept getting louder and louder. Then at dinner, I couldn't take it anymore. I told my mom about it and was rushed to the ER. She didn't tell me why. I received an MRI and was told that I had severe migraines and that they would never be cured. I eventually was sent to a specialist in New York. They helped cure my migraines for good. Apparently, I had a rare case of migraine that was both a gift and a curse. They see about 9,000 patients, and 1,000 of those patients have what I had. It's very curable and a one-time cure. It takes away all dizziness. I can now spin in complete one hundred circles and not be dizzy, just bored! I hope that you all can find the same relief that I did.