Tinnitus - pulsatile in right ear only - AF Association

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Tinnitus - pulsatile in right ear only


I have had this tinnitus for 15 months now, saves having to find your pulse on your wrist! One GP just fobbed me off 'learn to live with it' but yesterday another GP in the practice, who is very efficient, referred me to a ENT specialist for a possible MRI straight away with no hesitation because it was only in one ear.

I explained I thought it had not really increased in severity and came on shortly after my ears were dewaxed and that I had read on here that it could be vascular i.e. AF has caused a minute blood clot stuck in a very small vein.

Has anyone else with the issue in only one ear been referred to a specialist for further tests and if so what?


12 Replies

I have been able to hear my pulse in my right ear for years and just put it down to over sensitivity to my heart. No ringing as such just a steady shoosh shoosh in time with my pulse. Don't hear it above ambient noise just when I am quiet or at night when trying to sleep. Nothing at all in left ear but no hearing above middle C on piano that side anyway so probably frequency of shoosh shoosh is above that.


in reply to BobD

Thanks Bob, that's reassuring as I have exactly the same.

Have a good day!

Hi Orcharworker,

My tinnitus which started around the same time my AF did and only seemed to be the one ear. I also thought my hearing was poor in the same ear. GP referred me to the ENT department for a hearing test and to check out the tinnitus but only got a hearing test which showed up that I was getting deaf in both ears! Oh great! No MRI or further tests...only told I could access a tinnitus support group at the hospital if it would help.

From what I've read on this site tinnitus for people with AF is very common although I'm not sure why that should be. Assume with myself it was the stress of the disorder which brought it on. Now my AF seems to be under control but, sadly, the tinnitus remains. However, it hasn't got any worse so for that I'm thankful!

I did read somewhere (probably on here) that they need to check it out when it's only the one ear affected just in case there's a tumour and they won't bother if both ears are affected.

Good luck with the tests.


Thanks Freda, good to be 'armed with that detail before I see the specialist.

Hope yours stays stable and the AF!

I have had the same but in my left ear for years, I had this before the AF became an issue.

I was sent for tests and several MRI scans and a small anomaly was found.

I was then sent to the most obnoxious little man, a Proffessor in Manchester who basically said live with it ha ha.

However now I have diagnosed AF things may be taken a little more serious I will speak to my EP next time I see him.

Good luck anyway.

Thanks Lainie, I try to avoid too many tests but will see what they say. Hope your AF is under control.

I have tinnitus since I got my first AF years ago and now sometimes hear my heart beat in my right ear when I have been up to the loo and gone back to bed. I put it down to my blood pressure raising and going back down because I have been in bed got up and gone back to bed fairly quickly....perhaps I need to tell my GP when I next see her as I put it down to a nothing.

best wishes for a good outcome

Thanks, if you are a 'belt and braces' person I guess you ask your GP for a referral. My preference is to avoid medics unless an emergency but I am still on a learning curve for Tinnitus.


I've had tinnitus in my left ear for years. I've had auditory tests and an MRI. I understand that the MRI was to determine if the tinnitus was caused by a brain tumour; thankfully not.

The usual advice is learn to live with it; you're in good company as I understand that Sting and Diana Ross amongst others have it. Avoid places such as noisy restaurants where there are two or more sound sources as other people's speech becomes unintelligible. If you have a flat screen TV speech can sometimes be unclear - Homeland for example - so for those programmes use headphones on a small speaker like the JBL Flip, rather than expensive soundbars.

Thanks John, hopefully the MRI won't be necessary.

Yes, I had same problem which was worse during AF episodes. My doctor told me to detune a radio because the white noise helps cancel it if you are trying to get to sleep. Never tried it though.

in reply to RichMert

Hi, I have a hear a pulse in my left ear, asked Dr. about it yesterday who said nothing wrong with my ear, could be due to AF and would probably just have to live with it. It does get a bit annoying at times. Best wishes Kath

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