What Causes Pulsating in Ear?

Published: 15th September 2010
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Pulsating in ear, also known to be pulsatile or vascular tinnitus, is a type of tinnitus which can be heard on your ears. What happens is that the patient experiences sensation in the ear as the same tempo as that of a heartbeat. This common type of sensation is caused by the blood flowing in veins and arteries and other smaller vessels in the neck, skull and ear. Even if this is uncommon condition, it still needs immediate medical attention as it may be an expression of a life threatening ailment.



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Chronic inflammation or middle ear infection, Eustachian tube, dysfunction middle ear effusion, vascular tumors, arteriovensus malformation, carotid artery-cavernous sinus fistula and venous hum are possible causes of a pulsating in ear. Increased blood to the tissue that is inflamed accompanies the chronic inflammation. And since it is just near the ear, it is then sensitive to hearing and the increase of the blood flow to the area. When there is a blockage of the tube and it caused a pulsating in the ear, this is the Eustachian tube dysfunction. The tubes would normally open and close as one would hear, swallow .yawn, or speak, but when a person gets sensitive, colds, cough, allergies or excessive earwax, it results to the blockage.



This symptom may also occur in the middle ear if there is an infection, inflammation or Eustachian tube dysfunction. The pulsating in ear would be a result from the fluid that increases in the middle ear. This sometime causes pain. Patient will be relieved with antibiotics, decongestant and nasal steroid sprays. Another pulsating sign is a vascular tumor referred to as gloms tumors or paragliomas. Though not dangerous, but it could get annoying as it is an area that is sensitive to hearing. To address the problem of the ear, it has to be removed through an invasive surgery.



Pulsating in ear may happen in arteriovenous malformation. These are the abnormal group of arteries and veins that occurs in the cranial cavity near the auditory nerve. Surgery would be the best treatment for this to repair the damage or injuries of certain parts. Carotid artery cavernous sinus fistula could happen with a person with severe head trauma. An abnormality occurs with the very large artery and very large venous within the cranial cavity. This condition though, doesnít required surgery but an interventional radiologist.



Another possibility of gathering pulsating in ear happens during a sudden change in blood flow in artery and veins. Usually it is the pregnant, anemic, or those with thyroid problems who are prone to have an increased blood tear in the largest vein located in the neck. This is called the jugular vein, and it sends blood from the brain to the heart. The strong blood flow in the jugular vein could be heard of as "humí. These are just the many known causes that lead to pulsating in ear. To those who have this condition, visiting ENT specialist as soon as possible is advised.



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