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Knocking Sound in Ear, Not Heartbeat? Fully Explained!

Do you always get noises that seem to come from nowhere, and you assume it is your heartbeat? Or do you have a knocking sound in your ear while walking? 

If yes, do not panic! There is more than what we see with naked eyes.

So what could be the knocking sound in ear not heartbeat?

Many people experience occasional knocking sounds in the ear. Reasons for this can be ear infection, high blood pressure, hearing loss, or many others. It can also be your heartbeat that you hear! To know more, you should explore the various causes, types and treatments of knocking sounds in the ear.

So, this article will lead you through the facts of knocking sounds in the ear! 

Table of Content

4 Reasons for Knocking Sound in Ear

Why do I hear knocking sound in my ear? Knocking sound in the ear can be due to many reasons. It doesn’t really have to be your heartbeat that you hear!

Remember that the Ear, Nose & Throat are interrelated. So, an ENT specialist supervises any condition related to the ears.


The different reasons for hearing knocking sound in ear are:

Middle Ear Infection

A middle ear infection goes along with throbbing pain and ringing ear.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can provoke pulsating sounds in the ear. Headaches and dizziness will often go with this condition.

Eustachian Tube Defect

Disorders associated with the pressure balance in the ear produce a tapping noise. 

The Eustachian tube links the middle ear to the back of the nose. This tube manages the air pressure buildup inside the ears. In this problem, there is damage to the Eustachian tube.

Cervical Spine Limitation

Functional limitations of the cervical spine can cause sound in the ears. 

Nerve tracts connect the upper cervical spine to the cranial nerve. Muscle tension in this area affects the cranial nerves. Cranial nerves may induce knocking sound in ears.

Also, joint problems in the cervical spine can cause knocking sounds in the ear. Noises in the ear are short-term. It will disappear. 


Otherwise, if there is no recent injury, document the duration of your symptoms. If it lasts for more than four to five days, visit your nearby ENT Specialist.


One common type of knocking sound in the ear is tinnitus. Tinnitus is popular among all ages of groups.

It concerns almost one in five people worldwide. Also, it gets more prevailing the older you are. In the worst-case scenario, it relates to bilateral hearing loss.

Why does it feel like someone is tapping on my eardrum? It may be due to Tinnitus. 

Tinnitus does not only involve knocking sound in ear not heartbeat. But it may display buzzing, humming, whistling, and ringing.

Although it is mostly felt in the ears, current science says the nerves are causing tinnitus. 

In healthy ears, nerves will connect the cochlear hair cells to send sound from the ear to the brain. Any hearing loss will eradicate the cochlear hair cells. 

But nerves in the brain are not always lost. These nerves no longer get stimulation and start to make signals by themselves. Since the outside world does not form these signals, we sense sounds that no one else does.


Who Can Get Tinnitus?

50 million populations in the United States experience chronic tinnitus twice a year. For 12 million, it is unbearable to continue the daily routine.

Tinnitus undermines these people to varying extents. It occurs from childhood and rises with age. 

Tinnitus is more typical in men than women and is more common among smokers.

Pulsatile Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a sign that hearing loss has happened. It often appears after a concert, sports affair, or cinema. Still, one-sided tinnitus is more worrying than tinnitus in bilateral ears.

Some tinnitus sounds like rapid thumping in ear that emerges with your heartbeat. It is pulsatile tinnitus. Usually, the internal blood flow shields the ears. Certain medical illnesses may diminish the protection of our ears from internal sounds.

Do you hear knocking sound in ear while lying down? Hearing your pulse while lying down is not strange! Ear wax will improve the resonance of blood flow, making it loud.

Also, losing some weight may leave the Eustachian tube open leading to loud heart sounds.

In the worst-case scenario, a brain hernia can drive attentiveness to one’s heartbeat.

Other conditions such as brain injury may result in an aneurysm within the ear. Furthermore, tumors will supplement blood flow around the ear.

Do you often hear a popping sound in the ear while yawning? You are not alone! Because popping is regular with everyday activities. For example, chewing, blowing your nose, and yawning. 


Yet, extreme popping could be a consequence of the Eustachian tube stuck closed.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask about Pulsatile Tinnitus

Knocking sound in the ear will not exclude pulsatile tinnitus. To diagnose pulsatile tinnitus, your doctor would require extra information, such as:

  • Any episodes of fainting?
  • Have you experienced unusual headaches or dizziness?
  • Have you realized a difference in your hearing ability?
  • Did you get involved in a recent accident?
  • Do you have a family history with a similar condition?
  • Do you have a history of medical illness?
  • Are you taking any medications?

How to Diagnose Tinnitus?

If you doubt that you have tinnitus, you should take a complete medical check-up. 

If ‘what kind of doctor do I see for Pulsatile Tinnitus?’ is your confusion, then I’ll say you should visit an ENT specialist who is aware of this condition.

For one-quarter of patients, the origin of their tinnitus is unknown. Still, it is crucial to exclude the life-threatening possibilities.

Doctors will first clarify your medical history. Then, they will conduct a physical examination of your head and neck. Not to forget, the eyes will be a vital part of the body to examine for any signs of increased pressure in the brain. 

Other investigations required to diagnose tinnitus are:

  • Otoscopy
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Duplex Ultrasound

Doctors may also involve neurologists in cases to rule out other causes.

Thyroid and anemia patients may be at a risk of hearing knocking sound in ear. This will be mostly based on their blood flow, so they can be asked to take blood tests.

Treatment for Tinnitus

Tinnitus is due to a variety of underlying health conditions. Thus, a thorough evaluation will help doctors create a personalized treatment plan.

Thyroid disorders and anemia can be cured with initial treatment. Anti-hypertensive medication can treat high blood pressure. Along with that, add up lifestyle modifications like exercise and weight reduction.

If a tumor provokes your pulsatile tinnitus, doctors will suggest surgery to fix it. Adjunct therapy such as stenting is also one of the treatment modalities.

Self-Treatment for Tinnitus

How can I stop pulsatile tinnitus naturally? Does tinnitus go away? 

These are questions that must be stressing you. So the answer is that doctors may recommend methods to relieve symptoms if there are no severe problems. Sometimes, sound therapy may help repress the irregular knocking sound in ear.

Doctors may tell using a noise-suppressing instrument like a wearable sound generator. Whereas, the sound of an air conditioner or fan may also benefit during bedtime.

Besides, some lifestyle and psychological changes can improve symptoms of pulsatile tinnitus. Here are a few therapies that may be helpful for patients with knocking sound in ear not heartbeat.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT can reset your emotional response towards the knocking sound. It will also help you adapt your sensation and shift your attention to something else.


Meditation and Yoga

Meditation and Yoga allow a more calming state of mind and body.

Breathing Relaxation Techniques

Breathing exercises relieve the effects of air pressure on the ear. At the same time, it helps with breathing and sleeping patterns.

Other than these, certain websites like General Fuzz can help get rid of tinnitus too!


Question:  Should I be worried about pulsatile tinnitus?

Answer: Pulsatile tinnitus is nothing to worry about. It can go away. But this differs for everyone and it relies on the underlying reason. Tinnitus during a workout tends to subside once the body regulates itself.

Question: Is pulsatile tinnitus life-threatening?

Answer: Pulsatile tinnitus is not dangerous. But for some patients, symptoms can be bothersome. Doctors will guide you on fruitful remedies for keeping these away.

Remember to speak to them as soon as you witness symptoms. This will apply even if you don’t have an underlying health condition. It will ease their job in performing examinations and offer you any guidance.

Question: Does tinnitus run in the family?

Answer: Recent surveys reveal that some states of tinnitus are hereditary. It means children can be predisposed to have it. Even so, there’s strong proof that environmental aspects play a role too.

Question: Is pulsatile tinnitus irreversible?

Answer: Pulsatile tinnitus is usually permanent when you cannot treat the underlying illnesses. It rarely disappears by itself. This varies, but usually, it is benign. Yet, there are many practices to handle this condition. Many patients seem to agree that self-treatment modalities help ease their problems.

Final Thoughts

Now you know that various conditions can result in knocking sound in ear not heartbeat. 

Most of the time these sounds come and go without requiring medical treatment. So if you have a knocking sound in the ears, discuss it with a doctor to resolve its cause. Doctors can teach you how to live with the problem. 

So you should know there is nothing to worry about!

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