Q:

Why do I hear my heart pounding in my ears?

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Quick Answer

People typically hear a thumping sound in the ear that matches the heart rate due to noise coming from the surrounding blood vessels, according to MDhealth. Sound in the ears, such as thumping, rushing, ringing, whistling or twittering, is called pulsatile tinnitus. It is usually caused by an external source, such as the blood vessels and is not an issue in the ear itself.

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Full Answer

The sound comes and goes, but when it occurs, a person hears a constant noise with mostly the same pitch and loudness, explains MDhealth. It is sometimes dependent on activity or an underlying condition. Increased blood flow makes the noise louder. Strenuous exercise, anemia, overactive thyroid and pregnancy all cause blood to move faster, leading to a thumping sound in the ears.

Furthermore, MDhealth says that people hear a pounding noise in their ears when a localized group of blood vessels deals with a higher rate of blood flow. This happens for several reasons. In some cases, the stapedial artery in the middle ear gets a strong blood flow level. Although this vessel is supposed to close before birth, it remains functional after birth in some people. If there are tumors or swollen areas pressing on the ear’s blood vessels, a person is also likely to hear a thumping noise. See a doctor to determine the cause of this problem.

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