What Causes Thumping in the Ear?

Thumping in ear

What Does Thumping in the Ear Mean?

Have you ever experienced a thumping sound in your ears or have you ever heard anyone experiencing the same? If yes, it might be pulsatile tinnitus. Pulsatile tinnitus causes a rhythmic sound in your ears.

Thumping in the ear is like a twittering sound, whistling sound or another type of sound but it will match your heartbeat. Sometimes, it can also disturb the blood flow in the body.

There might be several reasons why you experience thumping in the ear. Let’s see the common risk factors, causes, symptoms, and treatments for ear thumping problem.

Related Reading: Lump in Earlobe: Common Causes and Treatments

Risk Factors for

Tinnitus can occur in any normal person. People with the following risk factors are more prone to pulsatile tinnitus.

These factors include:

  • Exposure to loud noise
  • Smokers are more prone to tinnitus than nonsmokers
  • Men are more prone to tinnitus compared to women
  • Hearing loss can also increase the chances of pulsatile tinnitus
  • Old people have higher chances of tinnitus

What Causes Thumping Sound in Your Ear?

What causes thumping in ear

In severe cases, pulsatile tinnitus can also cause strokes. According to research, Fifty millions of Americans get affected with pulsatile tinnitus.

Thus, it is necessary to go through a proper examination of the underlying causes. There might be several causes for the thumping in the ear. Let’s see.

1. Exposure to Loud Noise

Exposure to Loud Noise

If you are always exposed to heavy sounds like the sounds of heavy equipment, fire saws, and similar equipment, then you have a higher risk of developing tinnitus or thumping in the ear.

There might be permanent damage to the sound-sensitive cells of the cochlea. Pilots, carpenter news, musician and workers at the factory are more prone to developing pulsatile tinnitus.

2. Medications

There are several medicines which can increase the chance of developing pulsatile tinnitus.

Aspirin, certain sedatives, anti-inflammatory, antidepressants and various antibiotics can lead to damage causing tinnitus. It can create knocking sound in the ear.

3. High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, that is, hypertension can also contribute to pulsatile tinnitus. Stress or alcohol can increase the chances of developing the thumping sound in the ear.

4. Generalized Increased Blood Flow

Several conditions like active thyroid gland, pregnancy, and vigorous exercises can also lead to the pounding of the year. The fast flowing blood can make more noise than the regular circulating blood in the body.

5. Blockages in the Ear

Blockages of the ear can contribute to the thumping in the ear. It can happen due to an ear infection, wax build-up or even a benign tumor of the auditory nerve.

6. Turbulent Blood Flow

Hardening or narrowing of the artery or vein of the ear can also lead to the pounding of the ear. It can hamper the blood flow near the ears and can cause pulsatile tinnitus.

Related Reading: 10 Natural Blood Thinners to Prevent Blood Clots

7. Age and Diseases

The natural aging, Meniere’s disease, otosclerosis anemia allergies, and cardiovascular diseases can cause tinnitus. Neck or jaw problems or injuries can also cause thumping in the ear. 

Symptoms of Pulsatile tinnitus

Pulsatile tinnitus can be because of a severe underlying cause. Therefore, it is necessary to see a doctor when symptoms of pulsatile tinnitus persist.

The symptoms might be buzzing, roaring, clicking or a hissing sound in the ear. It can be a non-auditory internal sound.

You should visit your doctor soon if the sound is continuous. The sound can also be whistling, chirping, static, whooshing or musical.

There might be fluctuation in the volume of the thumping sound. In serious cases, it may also result in hearing loss.

The other symptoms include fatigue, stress, memory problems, anxiety, and depression. Symptoms also include irritation, difficulty in sleeping, and difficulty in concentrating.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Thumping in the Ear

You should first visit a doctor and tell him about the condition of your ear.

The disclosure of your medical history is a must. The doctor will then help you lessen the thumping in the ear. The doctor will examine the blood vessels in the neck and the eardrums.

An additional test might be required according to the circumstances. Doctors may recommend ultrasound for the pregnant ladies.

MRI, CT scan, CT scan or MRA also helps provide a clear picture of the blood vessels. Tests may also include a hearing test, laboratory blood test, and imaging studies.

After analyzing the causes, effects and the condition of the tinnitus, it is necessary to go for treatment. Tinnitus is not treated until the knocking sound in the ear is extremely disturbing.

If you are affected by the noise of the blood flow, antidepressants might help you to slow down the blood flow. Wearing hearing-aid, ailing your hearing loss or surrounding yourself with white noises might also help you.

Prevention of the Ear Thumping

There are several ways to prevent thumping in ears. The precautions listed below might help you avoid pulsatile tinnitus.

1. Hearing Protection

If you remain exposed to loud noises, always use an over-the-ear hearing protection. It might help you to prevent the knocking sound in the ear.

2. Keep Track of the Volume

Exposure to loud music without protection or hearing music in headphones in high volume can damage your ears. They can cause hearing loss and ultimately, pulsatile tinnitus. It leads to thumping in ears.

3. Food and Exercise

Eating healthy and regularly exercising can help to improve your blood vessels. A healthy diet can keep the blood vessels healthy. It will help you prevent pounding in ears as cardiovascular diseases can increase the chances of pulsatile tinnitus.

Home Remedies for Thumping Sound in the Ear

The medicines for the treatment of pulsatile tinnitus may have side effects on your body.

Therefore, home remedies and natural treatment may come to your rescue.

Keep reading further to know how to stop thumping in the ear.

1. Garlic

Garlic contains antioxidant properties. Therefore, you can use garlic for ear thumping treatment. Take six cloves of garlic and blend them with olive oil.

You can also use almond oil. Make sure that it is adequately mixed. Keep it for a week and then sieve the liquid. Putting few drops in the year can bring you relief.

2. Turpentine

Turpentine is also useful to get rid of thumping in the ear. Take a spoon of clean turpentine. Mix it with an equal amount of olive oil or almond oil.

Take a cotton ball and dip it and the mixture. Squeeze the Cotton ball and insert it in your ears and leave it overnight.

3. Warm Salt Pillow

The warm salt pillow is also helpful in treating the knocking sound in the ear. Take some warm stir-fried salt and fill it in a cotton fabric bag. Rest both your ears on the pillow alternatively. Repeat the process until you feel relief.

4. Mustard Seed Powder

Rap fine mustard powder in cotton balls and insert in your ears. Leave it overnight. It will help you Including this thumping sound in the ears.

Avoid using this remedy for children. Make sure that you do not leave any leakage before inserting the cotton ball in your ears.

5. Ginger

Ginger is helpful in reducing the symptoms and problems caused by status. It helps in improving the blood circulation, and it also fights pathogens. It also helps to cure nausea caused by pulsatile tinnitus.

6. Walnuts

Take some walnuts and soak them in warm water. Leave it for thirty minutes. Stir fry it after it dries until it is crunchy and crispy. Eat half an ounce of walnuts every day. It can help you in reducing thumping in ears.

7. Foot Baths

Perform cold and hot foot bath alternatively. It can help in bringing relief to the symptoms of pulsatile tinnitus. They help to dilate the blood vessels and increases the blood flow towards the head.

8. Herbs

Natural Herbs also helps in ear thumping treatment. Some of them are Japanese cornel dogwood, Bayberry, Hawthorn, Gingko, and Black cohosh

9. Acupressure and Massage

The outer edge of the little toe near the toenail is the acupressure point. It is associated with the ear thumping. Arouse those points gently using a toothpick. Massaging your earlobes with sesame oil may also help.


Under severe conditions, it is recommended to visit a doctor. Also, before using any home remedy for ear thumping treatment, it is advisable to take medicinal advice.

Make sure that you do not get exposed to loud noise for a long time if your ears are sensitive. Also, use hearing aids and other prevention techniques to prevent your thumping in ears.

It is almost impossible to recover your damaged ear. Therefore, do take measures before it is too late.

Read Next:

Davis, K.,“What you need to know about tinnitus,” MedicalNewsToday Website, last accessed March 28th, 2018, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/156286.php
“Understanding Tinnitus — the Basics,” WebMD Website, last accessed March 28th, 2018, https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-tinnitus-basics
Dybala, P., “Tinnitus causes,” Healthy Hearing Website, last accessed March 28th, 2018, https://www.healthyhearing.com/help/tinnitus/causes
“Tinnitus,” Mayo Clinic Website, last accessed March 28th, 2018, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/symptoms-causes/syc-20350156

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Dr. Mark Williams, MD

Dr. Mark Williams is a leader in alternative and integrated medicines. He is a medical writer and reviewer at Daily Health Cures. He received his medical degree in 1988. Mark brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Daily Health Cures editorial team. He is a natural health advisor and provides a variety of alternative healing techniques in his practice.