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What could be the reason for Pounding in left ear with finger on left wrist pulse?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
Answered : 1109 Questions
Pounding in left ear; with finger on left wrist pulse, definitely not related to heartbeat, much faster.
Posted Mon, 10 Mar 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Manjeth Kumar G 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Pulsatile tinnitus. Need further investigations. Detailed Answer: Hello, I have gone through your query and understand your concern. Now you are suffering from what called Pulsatile tinnitus. First i have to explain that Wrist pulse is nothing but a rhythm of wave transmitted along the arteries during pumping of blood by heart. One normally do not feel heart beat unless you have Heart palpitation. As these pounding in ears are co- related with wrist pulse, then this is definitely a Pulsatile tinnitus. Now we have to identify the cause for this pulsatile tinnitus. There are plenty of causes for pulsatile tinnitus some are local and others are systemic. We have to rule out one by one by examination and investigations. 1. Anemia 2. Thyrotoxicosis or hyperthyroidism or also called Overactive thyroid. 3. Hypertension ( this is found to be normal in your case) We can rule out these by simple general examination like looking for paleness, signs of overactive thyroid and blood investigations like Full blood count to rule out any anemia, Thyroid profile studies to find any overactive thyroid. These are the common systemic causes which we have to rule out initially. Then coming to local causes 1. Perforated ear drums or glue ear 2. Atherosclerosis of arteries around ear or in neck( fat build up and narrowness in the wall of arteries ) 3. Development of abnormal blood vessels due to any tumors ( mostly benign). These need the thorough examination of ear to rule out any perforation or glue ear and investigations like lipid profile and Doppler duplex scan to rule out atherosclerosis. It the cause is not identifiable and then you need further investigations like MRI or Angiography to study about the blood vessels around the ear. If a specific cause is found this may point to a specific solution. For example anemia can be treated with medication or blood transfusion, glue ear can be treated with grommets, perforations can be closed with grafts and narrowed segments of artery can be repaired. Thus please investigate to identify the cause for this pulsatile tinnitus as i guided. Hope this helps. Please write back for further queries. Wishing you good health.
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Follow-up: What could be the reason for Pounding in left ear with finger on left wrist pulse? 14 hours later
Perhaps I phrased it incorrectly: when I'm checking the pulse, it's a steady 60bpm, but the sound, more like fluttering than pounding (like a muffled helicopter) doesn't seem to be co-related with the wrist pulse. It's also quite random; lasting only a few to several seconds, but not with any identifiable action or regularity. I have at the same time been experiencing slight cold/sinus type symptoms; but haven't had the ear thing with previous colds.
Answered by Dr. Manjeth Kumar G 18 hours later
Brief Answer: URI or ET blockade. Need ENT opinion, Antibiotics. Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for your reply. As there is no co-relation between pulse or heart beat with Pounding in ear, then it could not be a Pulsatile tinnitus. As you are suffering from upper respiratory problems like cold and sinus infection, then it could be a cause for pounding in your ear. This is also called tinnitus ( any ringing or other sound in ear). There is a possibility of spread of infection to middle ear or Eustachian tube block. Do not concern more about this, as it will clear within few weeks after treating the infection. Just you need the examination by ENT physician to rule any sinusitis or middle ear infection. He may start antibiotics and antihistamines with NSAIDS, if he suspect it to be bacterial. It may take few days for infection to clear. Hope this helps. Please write back for further queries. Wishing you good health.
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