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.
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 middle ear is an air-fluid space in the ear. If for some reason, may it be due to infection, inflammation or Eustachian tube dysfunction, the fluid increases in the middle ear, this would then result to pulsating in ear. Treating it with antibiotics, decongestants and nasal steroid sprays will relieve the patient. Vascular tumor could also give a pulsating in ear symptom. This tumor is referred to as glomus tumors or paragangliomas. This tumor is not dangerous or life-threatening, but since it is located in an area sensitive to hearing it may be very annoying for the sufferer. Surgery is the best treatment for this.
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.
A reason of having pulsating in ear would be the sudden change in blood flow in arteries and veins. Those who are affected usually are the pregnant, anemic, or those with thyroid problems. What happens is that there is an increased blood flow in the largest vein located in the neck. This jugular vein transmits blood from the brain going back to the heart, and since it passes to the middle ear know found inside the ear. People who experience these conditions are advised to visit their ENT doctor as soon as possible for immediate attention.
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