Why Can I Hear My Heartbeat in My Ear — Is it Pulsatile Tinnitus?

May 30, 2022

Do you ever hear a whooshing sound or a rhythmic thumping in your ear and wonder, “Why can I hear my heartbeat in my ear?” It can be annoying and make it hard to concentrate. You might even face difficulty falling asleep, as the heartbeat in your ear is usually most noticeable when you lay in bed at night. This constant ringing in your ears is actually due to a form of tinnitus; pulsatile tinnitus.

What is Pulsatile Tinnitus?

Pulsatile tinnitus is hearing a thumping sound in your ear with a fixed or steady beat akin to your pulse. You might hear this constant steady beat in one or both of our ears, usually noticeable at nighttime. It usually results from circulation issues and turbulent blood vessels in your neck or head. 

It comes and goes on its own, but you should still seek medical attention if you find yourself wondering, “Why can I hear my heartbeat in my ear?” especially if you have the following symptoms:

  • Headache 
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Hearing loss
  • Problems in vision
  •  Chest Pain or other indications of a heart attack

Why Can I Hear My Heartbeat in My Ear?

Mostly, the heartbeat in your ear signifies an underlying health problem, which includes:

  • Blood Vessel Disorders & Malformations 

Malformations in the blood vessels and arteries, particularly those near your ears, are the usual causes of pulsatile tinnitus. These disorders include aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations, resulting in an altered blood flow through the damaged vessels. In arteriovenous malformation, you might only hear the heartbeat sound in one of your ears.

  • High blood Pressure 

The force of blood heightens against the inner walls of your arteries when you have high blood pressure. As a result, you hear a pulsating sound in your ear. 

  • Head & Neck Tumor

Your head and neck have benign glomus tumors, but they can press against your veins. Thus, you hear a heartbeat sound in your ear. 

  • Atherosclerosis

If you can hear your heartbeat in your left or right ear, you might have atherosclerosis. This condition is caused by the build-up of cholesterol, waste material, and fats in your ears. The build-up disturbs the blood flow, resulting in a constant whooshing sound in your ear. 

Other Reasons Why You Can Hear Your Heartbeat in Your Ear:

The constant pulsating sound in your ear can also be due to:

  • Anemia
  • Head Trauma
  • Conductive Hearing Loss
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Paget’s Disease

What’s The Takeaway?

Why can I hear my heartbeat in my ear? Well, it is due to an underlying health issue. The whooshing sound in your ear can be dangerous, especially if other alarming symptoms accompany it. Therefore, contact a doctor if you hear a constant heartbeat-like sound in your ear. Go for a medical checkup to detect the cause and choose a suitable treatment. 

This article was by Octagos Health. We offer remote event monitoring software solutions for cardiac patients and providers. You can contact us for a demonstration or any question that you might have at (281) 769-8733.