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Developed a high pitched ringing in ear and pounding heartbeat. What could be the reason?

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four days ago i developed a high pitched ringing in my ears. I visited the doctors yesterday and she checked my ears. she said they were fine and that this would probablly go in a week or two. This evening i woke up to the sound of a pounding heartbeat in my left ear. Im really anxious as i dont know if this is leading to something more serious. There is no infection or pain just the sounds. I have no other symptoms that i can think of.
Posted Mon, 6 May 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 2 hours later

Thanks for posting the query

Sudden onset of tinnitus (ringing in the ears) could be due to various reasons such as reduced blood supply to the inner ear apparatus, raised blood pressure, certain medications, hormonal changes, blocked Eustachian tube (the tube connecting nose and the ear), etc.

I would suggest you consult your physician and get the blood pressure checked in three positions such as standing, sitting and lying down position. When the blood pressure is high you can get this sort of pulsatile and high pitched tinnitus. A pure tone audiometry is also recommended at this stage to diagnose an impending sensorineural hearing loss.

Also, you can try taking betahistine and neurobion tablets. Betahistine helps in improving the microcirculation of the inner ear, while neurobion rejuvenates the inflamed nerves.

Consult an apt ENT specialist for a complete evaluation and a thorough management.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Developed a high pitched ringing in ear and pounding heartbeat. What could be the reason? 27 hours later
I have been to see my gp again and they told me to give it another week and see if it clears up if not then to return. I am finding that when i lay down after a while the noise gets louder yet when sitting or standing it is not as noticeable. Allso my ears are very sensetive to sound and i have the feeling of pressure behind my ears wich is allways worse after laying down. I try to pop them and sometimes the pressure clears slightly but it feels like there is fluid in the ear because occasionally after popping them there is a sound like bubbles popping. this morning allso my sinuses feel blocked, i have the feeling of pressure between my eyes. i have no discharge from nose though. i have had problems with sinusitus in the past but not recently.
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 54 minutes later

Thanks for writing back

The increase in the intensity of tinnitus while lying down is because of the back flow of blood towards the head. This causes congestion around the Eustachian tube(the tube connecting nose and the ear). Once the tube gets blocked, the sounds are heard much louder and the vice versa happens on standing or sitting because the blood flow increases towards the periphery.

Even acute blockage of the Eustachian tube as in sinusitis can cause tinnitus, secondary to the negative pressure created inside the middle ear. As you had not revealed about your sinus history in the previous post, I did not comment about the possibility of Eustachian tube block.

The popping sound in the ear is due to opening and closing of the congested Eustachian tube. Do not worry! This is a transient problem. In addition to the above medications, try doing steam inhalation also, this will help in relieving the congestion around the Eustachian tube and reduction in the intensity of tinnitus.

Hope this answers your query; I wish you good health and speedy recovery.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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