#1
Old 10-21-2006, 02:48 PM
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Location: Massachusetts
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Ear Drum "Thumping"?

Recently in my right ear I've been experiencing this weird thing where very so often what feels like my right ear drum will sort of "thump". I guess that's the best way I can explain it. It doesn't hurt, but it feels almost like a little heartbeat coming from my ear, and it makes me a little worried about my hearing. Does anyone have any clue what this is?
#2
Old 10-21-2006, 03:45 PM
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Decatur, Illinois, USA
Posts: 14,041
Tinnitus.
Quote:
Pulsatile tinnitus: people hear something resembling their heartbeat in their ear. The cause usually involves vascular, tumor or muscular causes. A blood vessel may be close to the eardrum, a vascular tumor such as a "glomus" may fill the middle ear, or a vein similar to a varicose vein may make enough noise to be heard. Other possibilities include dehiscence of the jugular bulb, and an aberrantly located carotid artery. An enlarged jugular bulb on the involved side is common in persons with venous type pulsitile tinintus.

< snip >

Persons with tinnitus should be seen by a physician expert in ear disease, usually an otologist or a neurotologist.
#3
Old 10-21-2006, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck Duck Goose
thankyou for finding and posting that - I've been assuming it was bloodpressure related, but my bp is very normal (120/80 at most readings - can't get more normal than that) Now I have to find a ear guy
#4
Old 10-21-2006, 04:18 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Massachusetts
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Thanks for the info. Yeesh. That sounds kind of scary. Does pulsatile tinnitus usually turn out to be something pretty benign? All that talk about tumors and such is kind of alarming.
#5
Old 10-21-2006, 08:26 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,221
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lama Pacos
Recently in my right ear I've been experiencing this weird thing where very so often what feels like my right ear drum will sort of "thump". I guess that's the best way I can explain it. It doesn't hurt, but it feels almost like a little heartbeat coming from my ear, and it makes me a little worried about my hearing. Does anyone have any clue what this is?
One other possibility is tonic tensor tympani syndrome (TTTS) which is spasm of the tensor tympani muscle... this is the muscle that acts as sort of a "circuit breaker" for the eardrum, decoupling the conductive bones when a loud sound occurs, preventing damage to the eardrum. When it spasms it can cause fluttering or thumping sensations. Anectotally, people have resolved it by blowing cigarette smoke into the ear on the theory that nicotine relaxes the muscle and thus the spasms.

But if yours sounds just like a little heartbeat, well, it's probably just your pulse. I can hear mine in my ears when it's very very quiet. Some folks are just put together like that.
#6
Old 10-21-2006, 10:34 PM
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Right behind you!!!
Posts: 3,972
I had something similar to the OP. It was sort of an involuntary thumping sound in my left ear. It did not correspond with my pulse and it was not painful. It ended up being a mild sinus infection for me. Antibiotics and sinus rinses helped to clear it up for me.
#7
Old 10-21-2006, 11:23 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brain Wreck
One other possibility is tonic tensor tympani syndrome (TTTS) which is spasm of the tensor tympani muscle... this is the muscle that acts as sort of a "circuit breaker" for the eardrum, decoupling the conductive bones when a loud sound occurs, preventing damage to the eardrum. When it spasms it can cause fluttering or thumping sensations. Anectotally, people have resolved it by blowing cigarette smoke into the ear on the theory that nicotine relaxes the muscle and thus the spasms.

But if yours sounds just like a little heartbeat, well, it's probably just your pulse. I can hear mine in my ears when it's very very quiet. Some folks are just put together like that
Well, it sounds a bit like a pulse but it doesn't correspond to my actual heartbeat-- it has a pattern very much like a random muscle twitch, which makes the whole TTTS thing sound very logical.
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