ZocdocAnswersWhat could be a possible cause of a heart beat sound in left ear?

Question

What could be a possible cause of a heart beat sound in left ear?

I am a 25 year old female. I had a baby about a year and a half ago, about 5 months into the pregnancy I began to hear the sound of a heartbeat in my left ear. Almost two years later I still quite often hear this sound in my ear. I did some research with other symptoms I have such as headaches and jaw popping. A lot came up about a condition known as TMJ but I am not sure who to actually see about this situation. I also wonder whether TMJ is likely.

Answer

Temporomandibular Joint dysfunction syndrome (TMJ) is a common ailment that afflicts many people but fortunately can be treated conservatively in most. It certainly can be the cause of recurrent headaches, as well as jaw popping. TMJ originates from the joint where the jaw connects to the bone on the side of your skull, and can be a chronic problem that shows improvement in many people with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen) and possibly with some jaw exercises that are simple and can be performed by yourself at home. While this would be a ready explanation for your headaches and jaw popping, it would be unusual for that to explain you being able to hear your pulse in your ear. Fortunately, the same surgeon (an Ear-Nose and Throat/ENT/otolaryngologist) who would be able to talk to you about your TMJ would be able to address the sound that you are hearing in your ear. Pulsatile tinnitus, the medical name for what you are describing, can come from many sources, but one of the main concerns is that in some people there could be an enlarged or abnormal blood vessel that your ear is hearing. Your ENT will be able to speak to you better and diagnose you appropriately with regards to both issues, including possibly recommending imaging to make sure that nothing serious is occurring.

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

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