Tinnitus Reporter
 Real life tinnitus facts, stories and statistics


4 Common Pulsatile Tinnitus Causes

Pulsatile tinnitus is a form of tinnitus where instead of a random noise; the sufferer hears a rhythmic sound in beat with their heartbeat. Pulsatile tinnitus causes are fewer than other types of tinnitus and it easy to distinguish between the two – the sound will be in rhythm with the feel of the pulse.

There is more chance of discovering the cause of pulsatile tinnitus than for non-pulsatile tinnitus, so if you are suffering from a rhythmic sound that matches your pulse, tell your doctor as soon as possible.

The causes of pulsatile tinnitus are rarely severe, but because they are often easier to find they hold more chance of possible cure, although not all pulsatile tinnitus have a cause. It is normally attributed to increased blood flow, and is often heard after exercise by many people, only occasionally does this sensation stay after the heart rate has slowed.

Severe anemia

One more serious cause is severe anemia. Anemia is a condition where there is a reduction in red blood cells in the body; this can be caused by low iron, vitamin b12 deficiency (pernicious anemia), infection, cancer, or kidney failure.

If anemia is detected during a blood test, then it is important to discover the cause of the anemia, especially anemia severe enough to cause pulsatile tinnitus. Other symptoms should be present, such as fatigue, bleeding gums and easy bruising.

Once the cause of the anemia has been discovered then it can treated and the pulsatile tinnitus should go away on its own.


Blood flow increases during pregnancy, and this can lead to the perceived pulsatile tinnitus, although it can be quite distressing for the sufferer, this is little to worry about as after birth the problem will likely right itself. 


Simply this means the arteries and blood vessels to narrow and harden, decreasing the smooth blood flow, making it harder for the blood to flow. This can cause the blood to flow ‘noisily’ over the blood vessels, causing the pulsatile tinnitus. 

The same way as plaque accumulates on your teeth over time, so it accumulates in your body. This happens with age and with an unhealthy lifestyle, and can cause problem with your heart and lungs. If your doctor thinks this is causing the problem, they will recommend lifestyle changes in order to prevent further health problems.


Hyperthyroidism simply means your thyroid is overactive and producing too much thyroid hormone, this can cause all sorts of symptoms like weight loss, racing heart, palpitations, muscle wasting, fatigue and hair loss. 

Because of the racing heart, the blood flows faster and this can cause pulsatile tinnitus, but it shouldn’t be the only symptom. A thorough medical history should point towards thyroid problems and these can be treated with drugs that suppress the thyroid hormone, but not the thyroid. 

Hyperthyroidism is easily detected with blood tests, and your doctor should be able to decide whether such tests are necessary.

Pulsatile tinnitus often has a more definitive cause than other forms of tinnitus, because of this it is often easier to diagnose and treat, but not always. If your doctor is unable to find a cause for your tinnitus then it is unlikely to be anything serious.