Symptoms A-Z

Heartbeat Sound in The Ear Symptom, Causes & Questions

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.

This symptom can also be referred to as: pulsatile tinnitus

Heartbeat Sound In The Ear Symptom Checker

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6 Possible Heartbeat Sound In The Ear Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced heartbeat sound in the ear. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Meniere's disease

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.

Rarity: Uncommon

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

Earwax blockage

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.

Rarity: Uncommon

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.

Rarity: Common

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

Heartbeat Sound In The Ear Symptom Checker

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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.

Rarity: Rare

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

Hypertensive crisis

Hypertensive crisis occurs when your blood pressure becomes dangerously high (180/120 mm Hg), to a level that can damage your organs. Hypertensive crisis is categorized as "hypertensive urgency" if the blood pressure is high without damage to organs, and as "hypertensive emergen...

Iron deficiency anemia

Iron deficiency anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough iron to form hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.

The condition can be caused by acute blood loss through injury, surgery, or childbirth;chronic b...

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?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your heartbeat sound in the ear

Heartbeat Sound In The Ear Symptom Checker 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 visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Heartbeat Sound In The Ear Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your heartbeat sound in the ear

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.