I have an earbeat.
December 18, 2010 10:06 AM   Subscribe

What is causing this weird ear pulse?

For the past day or so, part of my ear has taken on a pulse. The sensation is like any other part of the body where you might have a pulse - not painful, not even irritating, just odd. I feel like this sometimes happens temporarily in other parts of the body (after exercising, temples during a migraine, etc), but this one, while not constant over the past day, seems persistent and narrowly limited to the little piece of cartilage between my ear lobe and canal.

I'm not worried about it by any stretch, just curious as to what is causing it. Maybe an injury so slight that I didn't notice but that my body decides needs an extra little bit of circulation to?

Anyone know why this happens?
posted by Pax to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Other info that might be helpful:

I am in very good physical shape (5-6 days a week, at least an hour cardio plus yoga or weights).
I do get migraines with aura, but haven't in a few weeks
posted by Pax at 10:10 AM on December 18, 2010

This is actually very common. You have an artery that passes close to the inner ear on its way up to the brain. If it dilates slightly, or you have a slight change in blood pressure, or.... you can experience your pulse in one or both ears. It is worth mentioning to your doctor during your next routine visit or, if it persists over several days, worth scheduling a visit for a discussion just to make sure.
posted by Old Geezer at 10:42 AM on December 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, Old Geezer. It also occurs to me that I'm a bit congested and may feel a sinus infection coming on, and for me, that sometimes turns into an ear infection. Maybe that's related?
posted by Pax at 4:21 PM on December 18, 2010

I had this happen following some pretty aggressive tonsillitis and consequent tonsillectomy. My ENT doctor told me it was likely just an artery that hit too close to my ear drum or something to that effect. I felt like I was a walking version of "The Telltale Heart". She said it would go away in time and it did after a week or two. No biggie.
posted by gwenlister at 4:37 PM on December 18, 2010

Happened to me as well after taking up electronic cigarettes. I think it was the water in the vapour. Turned into a nasty cold, but after that, right as rain. I would definitely ask a doc to check for fluid or something.
posted by LongDrive at 4:51 PM on December 18, 2010

I had those same symptoms (along with some others) http://ask.metafilter.com/151764/What-condition-could-cause-twinges-in-veins-in-an-otherwise-young-healthy-person

It drove me crazy. I had a bunch of tests done (MRI, vitamin levels, etc.) and they didn't find anything. It eventually went away.

I did a lot of research and I chalked it up to one of the following side effect or bad reaction to a supplement or prescription medicine or post-viral syndrome.
posted by mintchip at 10:36 AM on December 20, 2010

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