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What are some causes of a pulsing noise in the ear?

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Quick Answer

Some of the causes of pulsatile tinnitus, or pulsing in the ears, include head or neck tumors, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure or turbulent blood flow, according to Mayo Clinic. The malformation of capillaries may also cause pulsatile tinnitus.

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Full Answer

Tumors in the head and neck may press against the blood vessels in that area of the body, causing pulsing in the ears, explains Mayo Clinic. Atherosclerosis also can cause pulsing in the ears, due to the build-up of cholesterol in the major blood vessels near the inner and middle ear. It causes the vessels to lose their elasticity, which in turn causes the blood to flow more forcefully. Because it is so close to the ears, the ear easily detects the heartbeats.

People who have high blood pressure also may experience pulsing in the ears, and factors such as stress, alcohol consumption and caffeine may make it more noticeable, states Mayo Clinic. If there are kinks in or narrowing of the carotid artery, the blood may flow turbulently, which leads to pulsing in the ears. Arteriovenous malformation, or the malformation of capillaries, also may result in a pulsing sound in the ears. In this case, the condition usually only affects one ear.

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