When a person hears a heartbeat in his ear, it is called pulsatile tinnitus, which is a type of ear problem. In most cases, pulsatile tinnitus may not be a serious ear condition. However, in some cases, it can be an indication of conditions that include an aneurysm, tumor, anemia, arteriosclerosis or a blood pressure problem, states the Vestibular Disorder Association.
Pulsatile tinnitus is hearing a rhythmic pulse-like noise in the ears. Many people can have pulsatile tinnitus due to growing older, reports Harvard Medical School. With age, the walls of blood arteries can grow stiffer, leading to this type of tinnitus that is usually more evident at night time. A main cause of pulsatile tinnitus can be a blood flow problem linked to arteries in the neck and head, relates the Jackson Ear Clinic.
When pulsatile tinnitus is associated with another condition, such as blood vessel damage or a tumor, the condition may be diagnosed by a doctor through the use of an MRI or CT scan, explains Harvard Medical School. The person may also require blood vessel studies, according to the Jackson Ear Clinic. The treatment option depends on the specific condition that may be causing the tinnitus. Blood vessel problems may be treated with surgery or radiological methods. Similarly, surgery may be necessary for an acoustic neuroma, which is a tumor, relates the Vestibular Disorder Association.