• Pulsatile tinnitus, a condition consisting of thumping or whooshing sounds in the ear, affects a small proportion of patients who have tinnitus. Disturbances in the flow of blood can cause pulsatile symptoms.

    Blood Flow

    Pulsatile tinnitus can result from events like an increase or turbulence in the blood flow within the head or neck area. Pulsatile tinnitus requires investigation to rule out or prevent serious disease like stroke.

    Ear Infection

    Fluid accumulation in the middle ear from an infection or inflammation can also cause thumping noises, as well as pain and decreased hearing.


    Drugs like blood pressure medication have side effects that include pulsatile tinnitus which usually subsides in about a month, but persistent symptoms may necessitate changing to a different drug.

    Serious Conditions

    Atherosclerosis narrows the arteries and increases turbulence in blood flow associated with pulsatile tinnitus. Athersclerosis can lead to heart attack or stroke. Early treatment can prevent these events.


    Applying pressure to the upper neck on the affected side can reduce turbulent blood flow in the arteries. Exhaling forcefully through a closed mouth and pinched nose to force air into the middle ear can reduce turbulence in the veins.Medication can also lower blood pressure and reduce thickness of the blood, easing its flow.


    Quiet Times: Pulsatile Tinnitus Tinnitus

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