Thumping/drumming in one ear

Posted by kerryf88 @kerryf88, Mar 15, 2019

It started about a week ago, I was walking my dog and suddenly I hear this rapid drumming sound in my right ear, twice, it doesn’t match my heartbeat at all, the second time it happened I covered my right ear with a finger and it’s gone. And since then I’ve been having occasional rapid thumps (3-4 thumps) in the right ear, maybe once or twice a day or sometimes none in a day, no common trigger, just happens randomly during the day. I don’t know why? When the thumping happens it feels like that ear is partially blocked like under water.

I’m currently experiencing slight dizziness due to bad postures from a few weeks ago, which leads to sore neck and shoulder, not sure if this could be related?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) group.

@born2write

OMG, I have been going through these spell for months now and just now got the diagnosis from my ENT doc. I have been so frustrated until today. You really confirmed it for me, and I will be doing more research. Mine started after I had severe bouts of airplane ear (which I have worse than most people anyway) on a trip from Texas to Georgia with multiple descents. I have read that it is a rare condition, so I'm not surprised my PCP's remedies didn't work. My ENT doc wanted to check out my carotid artery and had me scared to death. I hate how they say, "It could be a life threatening condition", and then leave you scared to death while you wait for the test and follow-up. He told me today what was going on and because I am always skeptical and want more information (he gave me almost nothing really), I decided to research "ear spasms" rather than "tinnitus" and "thumping in the ear" like I did before and came up empty handed. I think they should at least have some literature they can give you. When I saw your post and read it, I was so thankful. You gave me good info and ideas and, most importantly, you gave me hope that I can learn to control it.

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Hello @born2write and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. What a relief to have been given a diagnosis as to what you've been experiencing, albeit, it sounds as though the process for getting the diagnosis was stressful.

It is so great that you've joined the discussion after reading the post from @variegata.

Can you share what you are currently doing to help your symptoms?

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@amandajro

Hello @born2write and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. What a relief to have been given a diagnosis as to what you've been experiencing, albeit, it sounds as though the process for getting the diagnosis was stressful.

It is so great that you've joined the discussion after reading the post from @variegata.

Can you share what you are currently doing to help your symptoms?

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So far, I have started a magnesium supplement. My spells are infrequent right now, so it is hard to say if it is helping. Once I have a spell it can go on for hours and disrupt my sleep, so I am researching ways to quell or stop the spasms once I have another bad spell. Before the diagnosis I was putting heat on my knees (arthritis) and had an idea to heat up my finger and place it inside the ear canal. It seemed to help! I'll try that again if the magnesium doesn't stop the spells altogether. Time will tell.

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My ears Thump like a heartbeat when I stand and walk and stops after I sit down! What is causing this?

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@sharihall

My ears Thump like a heartbeat when I stand and walk and stops after I sit down! What is causing this?

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You should see your doctor asap. What I learned in the process of getting my diagnosis for Middle Ear Myoclonus is that the thumping in the ear can be due to problems with the veins/artery, especially the carotid artery and can be potentially life threatening. The thumping with MEM does not match the rhythm of your heartbeat. If you go to your primary care doctor and he/she can't diagnose a problem through the exam, then you may need a referral to an ENT. There is a type of tinnitus called pulsating tinnitus which does match the rhythm of your heartbeat. Hope this helps and you find out the reason for this problem soon.

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@sharihall

My ears Thump like a heartbeat when I stand and walk and stops after I sit down! What is causing this?

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@sharihall, might you have pulsatile tinnitus? Does this sounds like what you are experiencing?
– Pulsatile Tinnitus https://www.healthline.com/health/pulsatile-tinnitus

Here's a discussion where other members are discussing pulsatile tinnitus:
– Pulsatile tinnitus https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pulsatile-tinnitus-1/

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@colleenyoung

@sharihall, might you have pulsatile tinnitus? Does this sounds like what you are experiencing?
– Pulsatile Tinnitus https://www.healthline.com/health/pulsatile-tinnitus

Here's a discussion where other members are discussing pulsatile tinnitus:
– Pulsatile tinnitus https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pulsatile-tinnitus-1/

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I also have the thumping in my right ear for over a year. I did go to an ENT and had tests and an MRI it's Pulsatile Tinnitus. Sometimes I hear it loud when I'm trying to go to sleep and other times. So I play tv or radio sort of louder so it drowns it out. I do say to see an ENT for this or any sort of problems with your ears! Good luck!

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My doctor recommends an ear specialist because he feels I may have pulsatile tinnitus. I have a heartbeat sound in my ear when lying down and when my head is in a certain position. Sound is in sync with heart beat.

Has anyone had the experience, and was the cause ever found?

Thanks

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@adr

My doctor recommends an ear specialist because he feels I may have pulsatile tinnitus. I have a heartbeat sound in my ear when lying down and when my head is in a certain position. Sound is in sync with heart beat.

Has anyone had the experience, and was the cause ever found?

Thanks

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Hi @adr, it definitely sounds like pulsatile tinnitus. I did move your post to this one: Thumping/drumming in one ear
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/thumpingdrumming-in-right-ear/?pg=4#comment-725802
so you can connect with other people who have been diagnosed. This kind of tinnitus is often the first clue that you have something else going on that needs to be treated. Your treatment plan will depend on what’s causing your tinnitus. Have you considered a white noise maker to drown out the sound while you wait for your appointment?

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@adr

My doctor recommends an ear specialist because he feels I may have pulsatile tinnitus. I have a heartbeat sound in my ear when lying down and when my head is in a certain position. Sound is in sync with heart beat.

Has anyone had the experience, and was the cause ever found?

Thanks

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Yes I have that sometimes

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@ancopau1998

I also have the thumping in my right ear for over a year. I did go to an ENT and had tests and an MRI it's Pulsatile Tinnitus. Sometimes I hear it loud when I'm trying to go to sleep and other times. So I play tv or radio sort of louder so it drowns it out. I do say to see an ENT for this or any sort of problems with your ears! Good luck!

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Thank you. I have a white noise machine. It is somewhat effective. I set it to rain. I'm wondering just how often the tests (mri's) find a cause.

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@amandaa

Hi @adr, it definitely sounds like pulsatile tinnitus. I did move your post to this one: Thumping/drumming in one ear
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/thumpingdrumming-in-right-ear/?pg=4#comment-725802
so you can connect with other people who have been diagnosed. This kind of tinnitus is often the first clue that you have something else going on that needs to be treated. Your treatment plan will depend on what’s causing your tinnitus. Have you considered a white noise maker to drown out the sound while you wait for your appointment?

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Thank you. I'll check out the other posts.

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@adr

Thank you. I have a white noise machine. It is somewhat effective. I set it to rain. I'm wondering just how often the tests (mri's) find a cause.

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Hi @adr, so glad you have a noise machine, I also have mine on rain too! I just had one MRI and was negative. I'm just living with it,it is annoying though at times. Sometimes it is faint like right now as I'm writing to you. Good luck to you!!

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