Q:

Why can I hear the blood rushing in my ears?

A:

Hearing blood rushing in the ears can be a sign of tinnitus. If these sounds occur rhythmically with the heartbeat, it is considered pulsatile tinnitus, according to Mayo Clinic.

Other symptoms of tinnitus include ringing, buzzing, roaring, rushing and clicking in the ears, states Mayo Clinic. Most of the time it is impossible to identify the exact cause of these sounds; they can result from hearing loss related to age, loud noise exposure, ear wax buildup and changes in the bones of the ears. Identifiable causes include temporomandibular joint dysfunction, Meniere’s disease and acoustic neuromas.

In a 2013 article in Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, Hofman et al. explain that the symptoms of tinnitus can be subjective or objective. In the non-pulsatile form, only the patient hears the abnormal sounds. In many cases of pulsatile tinnitus, both the patient and the physician can hear the abnormal sounds. This is considered objective tinnitus and is most frequently caused by blood vessel disorders.

Arterial causes of pulsatile tinnitus include vascular stenosis, aneurysms and anatomical variants. Individuals with fistulas from arteriovenous malformation due to vascular damage have also been known to hear abnormal, pulsatile sounds. Pulsatile tinnitus occurs in 65 percent of patients with venous disease, such as intracranial hypertension, notes Hofman et al.


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