When your pulse can be heard on your ears, this is known to be a pulsating, pulsatile or vascular tinnitus. With pulsating in ear, a person experiences sensations in the ear as that of the same tempo of the heartbeat. This is an uncommon type of sensation in the ear. This is caused by blood flowing in veins and arteries and other smaller vessels in the neck, skull, and ear. And while this is an uncommon symptom, it must automatically be examined by a doctor because it might be a life threatening ailment.
The following could be causes for pulsating in ear: chronic inflammation or middle ear infection, Eustachian tube dysfunction, middle ear effusion, vascular tumors, arteriovenous malformations, carotid artery-cavernous sinus fistula and venous hum. The chronic inflammation is always accompanied by the increased blood flow to the tissue that is inflamed, and since its location is just in the ear, so it’s sensitive to hearing the increase of the blood flow. In Eustachian tube dysfunction, it’s the blockage of the tube that cases pulsating in ear. Normally, the tubes open and close as one chews, swallows, yawns, or speak, but in the event that it gets sinusitis, colds, cough, allergies or excessive earwax, this results to the blockage.
The air-filled space in the ear is called the middle ear, could be filled with fluid due to an infection, inflammation, or Eustachian tube dysfunction. This could be painful. To relieve the patient, they are prescribed with antibiotics, decongestant and nasal steroid sprays. The tumor called glomus tumors or paragangliomas, though it is not dangerous or life- threatening but could cause pulsating in ear, since the location is just near the sensitive area of hearing interiorly in the specific location.
Another cause of pulsating in ear could come from arteriovenous malformations. These are abnormal group’s arteries and veins that transform in the cranial cavity near the auditory nerve and this could pulsate in auditory nerve. Surgery is the best approach for this condition to regain the function of the damaged or injured areas. In carotid artery-cavernous sinus fistula originating from a head trauma, there becomes abnormality in the connection between a very large artery and very large venous within the cranial cavity, and could also create various kinds of pulsating in ear. It may be treated nonsurgical, but it should be taken cared of and consistently check by 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 “hum’. 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.