Hearing pulse in one ear?

I have been titrating up on Venlafaxine and reached 112.5mg on 3rd June and for about the last 2 weeks I can hear my heartbeat in my left ear - it’s like a whooshing/rushing blood sound which is louder at night.

I googled it and discovered it’s called pulsatile tinnitus (as opposed to regular tinnitus) apparently it can be a sign of a vascular abnormality eg with the carotid artery and so now I am worried.

Has anyone out there on Ven experienced this?

Yes. It’s probably just mild hydrops (mild pressure in the inner ear), nothing to worry about. My pulsative tinnitus used to be more severe and has become less so and less frequent over (a long) time. It’s annoying though when it’s really pulsing. Just distract yourself with some interesting pastime when it happens. Certainly don’t worry about it as that will just make it a bigger villain. And you don’t want that.

Diet can bring it on - cut out desserts, red wine and caffeine! And don’t let yourself dehydrate.


Thanks James that’s reassuring…I can block it out when I am busy, it’s when things are quiet that I can hear it pounding in one ear…I might experiment with a Sudafed tab and see if it eases it

Yes try that … I’ve often wondered if the middle ear could be the culprit. If that works maybe that’s what is causing it - blocked tubes.

I will have to wait till tomorrow cos if I take a Sudafed now I will be awake all night and the Ven on it’s own gives me bad enough insomnia!
Will keep you posted

I think you’ll find it can be a side effect of Venlafaxine. A lot of antidepressants can cause tinnitus. Helen

I’m sceptical of those drug associations, because often the people are on those drugs due to related issues. Though, yeah, we don’t necessarily know the full physiological impacts of those drugs which might have a bearing.

In any case it’s pretty easy to tell if it’s pressure related - does it increase in intensity when you bend over or clench your jaw? If so that’s responding to local blood pressure and suggests a physical issue like hydrops, not anything neurological.

Hi all, I’ve been getting this “heartbeat” in my right ear for a bit also. Mainly when my heart rate goes up, like when I’m exercising… but only one ear which is interesting.

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The heartbeat sound in my ear was one of the first symptoms that came when I started having migraine pain 5 years ago. It’s always there, mostly in my left side but whenever I have a bad headache I get it on both

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OMG James yes it does increase when I clench my jaw or bend over, I’ve just done both this minute and it has Increased it …and it took a few minutes to recede to a lower level…what does this mean - Eustachian tube blockage? I will definitely try Sudafed in the morning and will report back as to whether it has any effect. I have also just remembered that the ENT Prof I saw for a 2nd opinion before my sinus surgery asked me could I hear my heart beating in my ear and of course I said no because I didn’t have this at that time - now I wish I had asked him what it meant…

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Most likely elevated pressure in the inner ear. This causes it to hook up with blood pressure and then this pollutes your hearing with noise from your heartbeat. Nothing but basic physics. Alarming at first but completely harmless if distracting.

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Your right…about 2 to 3 hours after i take Venlafaxine my ears and nose beat like drum!!:roll_eyes:
Jo x

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Thanks D will do…by any chance have you ever experienced pulsatile tinnitus in one ear? I am experiencing this for the last two weeks in my left ear and I dunno if Effexor is causing this…

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Hey Mav

Yep I’ve experienced it in my left ear every since this all started for me. Effexor has reduced it by about 90% though.

Hoping it resolves for you soon!


Hi D
Is yours like a hissing noise (which apparently is “regular” tinnitus) or is it a whooshing sound in tandem with your pulse, like a blood pumping/rushing sound?

Mine is really noticeable when I get up from lying down and I bend down, it almost sounds like a loud water splash and it goes away when I stand upright. I never stayed in a bended down position for long period of time when getting up from lying down so no clue if that loud water splash will continue.

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Yeah mine used to do that. But now no longer escalates when I bend down. It’s improved spontaneously without any medication.

I still get it though from time to time for seemingly no rhyme nor reason but it’s less intense and not related to physical position anymore. I have non pulsative tinnitus all the time though, but it’s easily ignored these days though as stated I can escalate that by clenching my jaw.