ZocdocAnswersWhat does it mean if I hear my pulse - it rings in my ear loudly?

Question

What does it mean if I hear my pulse - it rings in my ear loudly?

I hear my heartbeat in my ear - it's very loud

Answer

It sounds to me that what you are describing is something we call pulsatile tinnitus, and I recommend that you speak with a doctor. Pulsatile tinnitus is the sensation of hearing each of your heart beats in your ear. Most people that have this problem describe their symptoms similar as you do, and usually say that the sound will come and go with variable intensity. There is a fairly standard workup that goes into finding out why you are having this problem. The first part of the workup is simple and involves the standard physical exam by a doctor will listen to your carotid arteries with his or her stethoscope and determine if there are any turbulence sounds that we call bruits. If you are older, then this would be a problem that is common. If no such sounds exist, then some doctors would proceed with some type of imaging of your cerebral or head vasculature. Sometimes if an artery is too close to the ear, you can create sounds that results in pulsatile tinnitus. Other times, the artery has enlarged because of an aneurysm and this is what results in that sound. Because of the various different possibilities, most of the time a doctor will want to work this up. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with the vascular medicine doctor or a vascular surgeon for further assessment.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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