Why does the pulse in my ears beat?

Author Ольга Кияница


Normally a person does not hear and does not feel his own pulse, if he does not spend his probing specifically. Against the background of good health, the sensations of a throbbing in the ears may seem harmless or even amusing at first glance, however this sign is often caused not only by physiological causes, but also indicates the presence of certain diseases. Some of them are dangerous and need immediate start of treatment.

Causes and symptoms of ripple in the ears

This symptom is caused by the pathologies of different systems and organs, and its elimination is achieved by combating the underlying ailment-the root cause. In professional circles it was called "pulsating tinnitus" and according to some statistics, this symptom is observed in about 5% of adults.

The throbbing in the ears is often observed in elderly people and usually the appearance of such a sign indicates a worsening of the hearing. Similarly, pulsating tinnitus can often be provoked by prolonged exposure to a significant noise factor (for example, by sound from a working machine at a factory, etc.).

Video: What makes the ears noise? 3 reasons

Otolaryngologists share the causes of pulsation in the ears for physiological and pathological. In the first case, such a symptom is provoked by harmless factors and is eliminated on its own. To such physiological reasons include the following states: muscle contraction, movement. If the occurrence of tinnitus is caused by diseases and pathological conditions, the appearance of this symptom indicates the need to examine and find out the root cause of a knock in the ears.

For pathological reasons causing the appearance of pulsations in the ears include the following ailments:

  • pathology of the heart and blood vessels;
  • inflammatory diseases of the hearing;
  • pathology of the middle and inner ear;
  • neoplasms of the brain, neck or hearing organs:
  • consequences of head injuries;
  • swelling during pregnancy.

Initially, a person does not pay much attention to the occurrence of this symptom, but then such an internal pulsation worsens the quality of the audibility of external sounds. Over time, the patient becomes nervous, apathetic (down to depression) and complains of sleep and appetite disorders.


Clinically, pulsation in the ears is manifested by those symptoms that are characteristic of the tinnitus-causing disease.With a high susceptibility to all sounds, a knocking in the hearing organs may indicate a transferred stress or a nervous breakdown.

If in the ears there is a monotonous knock and the quality of the audibility of external sounds deteriorates sharply, then the symptom most likely indicates problems in the functioning of the circulatory system or an inflammatory disease of the hearing organs.

The level of ebbing in the ears may depend on the indices of blood pressure. In such cases, the knocking in the ears is clearly pulsating.

Sometimes a knocking in the ear is accompanied by pain and signs of fever. In such cases, most likely, the symptom is provoked by otitis (an ear inflammation). And if tinnitus is accompanied by frequent attacks of dizziness and impaired coordination of movements, then, probably, the patient will show signs of damage to the auditory nerve.

In addition, the pulse in the ears can also be felt due to the effects of injuries or the development of a life-threatening illness, such as a brain tumor or hearing. And in such cases the doctor's help should be immediate.

If you think about the dangers of those diseases that are capable of provoking sensations of pulsation in your ears, you can conclude that a visit to a doctor in such cases should be mandatory and it is unacceptable to postpone it "in the long run". Only a specialist after the examination will be able to correctly diagnose and prescribe the treatment of the root cause of the appearance of this unpleasant symptom!

Why the pulse in the ears is heard: the physiology of man

Normally, pulsation in the ears is not audible, but under the influence of a number of factors a person begins to sense the organs of hearing the movement of blood through the vessels. The human circulatory system is arranged in such a way that various external and internal factors can exert such an influence on it, under which it must be adapted. The pulse begins to be heard in the ears in the following cases:

  • external temperature drop;
  • certain physical activities;
  • sudden changes in pressure (for example, during air travel);
  • changes in the body caused by internal pathologies (for example, jumps in blood pressure, inflammatory processes of the hearing organs, swelling).

If a person does not have pathologies, then after a short period of time, pulsations in the ears disappear on their own, since the provoking factor is leveled by self-regulation in the circulatory system. In the presence of diseases, a knocking in the hearing organs is repeated regularly or sporadically, and the body itself can not cope with the existing problem without a targeted treatment of a particular pathology.

Cardiovascular diseases

Pulsation in the ears can occur with the following pathologies of the heart and blood vessels:

  1. Atherosclerosis. With this disease, the vascular walls lose their elasticity due to the deposition of atherosclerotic plaques on them and as a result of such changes the blood can not freely flow through the bloodstream. As a result, its current becomes audible. During the day, pulsation decreases and is more pronounced at night. Without the treatment of atherosclerosis itself, it is impossible to eliminate it.
  2. Pathology of the vessels of the inner ear. With such an ailment, the pulse beats in the hearing organs at all times. It can be eliminated only by specific treatment.
  3. Arterial hypo- or hypertension. A decrease or increase in pressure affects the extremely sensitive to the changes in the blood pressure of the inner ear capillaries. Eliminate pulsation in such cases can only be by normalizing and controlling blood pressure indicators.
  4. Disturbances in functioning and changes in the structure of cerebral vessels (vascular malformation, aneurysms). Such changes lead to deformation of sound, and the patient experiences pulsation and other noises in the ears. Eliminate such pathologies can only be surgically.
  5. Pathologies of arterial-venous shunts, jugular and carotid arteries. The constriction of these vessels causes blood to be pushed through their narrowed lumen more strongly. Such a process causes a ripple in the ears and can be eliminated only by expanding the lumen of the arteries or arterial-venous shunts.
  6. Vascular pressure in osteochondrosis. Degenerative-dystrophic processes occurring in articular cartilages of the spinal column have a negative effect on the functioning of the brain vessels. As a result, the vertebral artery undergoes compression and the patient experiences pulsations in the ears, headaches, movement coordination disorders, hearing loss and temporary disorders of consciousness. Eliminate the symptoms can only be through treatment aimed at achieving remission of the disease.

Inflammatory processes and pathologies of the organs of hearing

The onset of a heartbeat in the ears can be provoked by disturbances in one or another part of the sound analyzer, which senses and transmits a sound signal to the brain. The following inflammatory processes and pathologies of the hearing can cause this symptom:

  • sulfuric cork;
  • developmental anomalies;
  • inflammation of the tympanic membrane and Eustachian tube;
  • purulent inflammation (otitis);
  • disturbances of the outflow of liquid, provoking the echo effect, amplifying pulsation.


Tumor of the brain or hearing organs

In cases where the rash in the ears is often accompanied by headaches and does not last for a long time, you should undergo examinations to exclude or confirm the possible presence of benign or malignant neoplastic processes in the brain, hearing organs or neck area. Increase neoplasm leads to increased pressure on a number of located vessels and if such compression is subjected to a large arterial vessel, blood supplying the inner ear or brain, the pulse of pain does not subside.

Usually, in tumorous processes, pulsation occurs only on the right or left side, that is, where the tumor grows. If the neoplasm is localized in the cervical spine, then a heartbeat will be heard in both ears.

Especially dangerous is the combination of ripple in the ears with such symptoms as weight loss, severe weakness, nausea and other manifestations of intoxication syndrome and tumor growth (pain, infiltration, etc.). Such a dangerous combination of manifestations may indicate the presence of cancerous processes and needs to be referred to an oncologist immediately!

Consequences of head injuries

Injuries of the middle ear or head often cause the occurrence of pulsating pain, provoked by a violation of blood circulation in the damaged area. Usually the victim begins to feel a ripple and pain a few hours after the traumatic situation. In addition to these manifestations, trauma symptoms such as nausea, dizziness and vomiting can be observed. The strength of the knock in such cases depends on the degree of edema growth and the severity of the inflammatory processes in the tissues of the hearing aid.

Usually, the throbbing pain is felt from the side of the damaged ear (that is, only to the right or left). When trying to tilt the head or torso, pain and knocking in the hearing organs intensify.

The tactic of treating pulsations in the ear in such cases depends on the clinical case. It is determined by the doctor individually for each patient after a comprehensive examination (radiography, MRI of cerebral vessels, CT, etc.).

Swelling in pregnancy

With normal pregnancy, noise and ripple in the ears do not appear. However, if the fetation is accompanied by the appearance of edema caused by a violation of water-salt metabolism, then the tissues of the inner and middle ear are also swelling and the woman feels a knock in the ears.

To eliminate such an unpleasant symptom, a woman may be recommended some conservative techniques to prevent the development of edema. Due to the fact that she is pregnant, the doctor usually does not recommend taking medicines that may have a negative effect on the unborn child and prefers the appointment of phytopreparations (for example, herbs that have a mild diuretic effect).

Other reasons

In addition to the pathologies described above, the following diseases can sometimes cause the occurrence of pulsations in the ears:

  • diabetes;
  • hyper- or hypothyroidism;
  • failures in the nervous system caused by stress and lack of sleep;
  • myoclonus (sharp spasm of the muscles of the middle ear and soft palate);
  • hepatitis;
  • hyper-, hypo- or avitaminosis;
  • unreasonable use of Acetylsalicylic acid and Gentamicin, which leads to damage to the cells of the auditory nerve and causes hearing damage.

What preventive measures are needed?

In some cases, to prevent the occurrence of ripple in the ears can such simple recommendations:

  1. Use headphones correctly.
  2. Observe the rules of hygiene of the hearing.
  3. Prevent the occurrence of inflammatory diseases of the ears (wear a scarf and hat in cold weather, avoid drafts, do not dive in dirty water, etc.).
  4. To refuse from bad habits.
  5. Correctly make up your daily diet.
  6. In time, consult a doctor for the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system, hearing, throat, nose, injuries, etc.


The throbbing of the pulse in the ears is not always a harmless symptom in all cases and its occurrence can be provoked by dangerous or severe diseases requiring compulsory treatment by a specialist (for example, an otolaryngologist, oncologist, cardiologist, vascular surgeon, neurologist, etc.). You can not ignore such a sign and postpone your visit to a doctor!

To begin with, you should contact an otolaryngologist who can exclude or confirm pathology from the hearing organs and, if necessary, appoint consultations of other specialized specialists. Treatment of such a manifestation as pulsating tinnitus is always aimed at eliminating its main cause, that is, causing a pulsation in the ears of the disease. It can be prescribed only by the attending physician after a comprehensive examination of the patient.

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