Circulatory disorder of the ear


The ear is an important sensory organ which, in addition to hearing, also contains nerves for balance. It is divided into a so-called middle ear and an inner ear.

Since the structures in the ear are very small, the arteries that supply the cells of the ear with oxygen are also small. Circulatory disorders are often noticed at the ear very early, as even small failures can sometimes have major effects.
Circulatory disorders can lead to the loss of the entire sense of hearing, which is also known as sudden hearing loss.

In some cases, the clinical picture of tinnitus aurium can also be attributed to circulatory disorders in the inner ear. Circulatory disorders in the region can sometimes make themselves felt in symptoms of dizziness, as the organ of equilibrium is anatomically very closely connected to the inner ear.

Read more on the topic: Sudden hearing loss

root cause

The causes For Circulatory disorders in the ear are similar for the entire organism. The difference is that the vessels that supply the ear are significantly smaller than most of the other vessels in the body.

In many cases, circulatory disorders can be traced back to blocked arteries. This disease, arteriosclerosis called, can massively disrupt the blood flow to the inner ear. Blood lipids, coagulated blood and calcium are deposited in the arteries and can even block them.
With a complete or incomplete occlusion of the arteries leading to the inner ear, a Undersupply of the structures of the ear and it comes to Hearing impairment like a Sudden hearing loss.

Risk factorsthat promote the development of arteriosclerosis include diseases such as

  • High blood pressure,
  • Diabetes mellitus,
  • a high percentage of blood lipids,
  • Smoke

In addition to atherosclerosis can also Injuries cause a circulatory disorder in the ear. If the cervical spine or the skull are injured, the blood flow to the ear is potentially at risk.
With older age, degenerative changes in the cervical spine should also be considered if the cause of the circulatory disorders is not obvious.

In some cases, tumors can also be the cause of the circulatory disorder. So can a growing tumor pinching off an arterywhich normally supplies the inner ear with nutrients and oxygen.


Circulatory disorders in the ear usually get along with you Hearing loss and / or with Noises like noise in the ear noticeable. It is important to differentiate these clinical pictures from one another and to find out their causes.

Different tests can be used to find out which structure of the ear is responsible for the hearing loss.
A tuning fork can help distinguish whether there is damage to the inner ear or middle ear.

If circulatory disorders are the cause of the symptoms, the damage is usually in the inner ear. A so-called Audiogram can help find out which frequencies are affected by the hearing loss. Here, tones in certain frequencies and volumes are played with the aid of headphones and the volume from which they can be heard is determined.

Certain standard tests should not be forgotten when making a diagnosis of sudden hearing loss due to a circulatory disorder.
Especially the determination of the Blood pressure is important here. Very high or low blood pressure may indicate a circulatory disorder in the inner ear, which would explain the symptoms.
It is also important to examine the blood for certain deviations, as these can give an indication of the presence of arteriosclerosis, for example.

In order not only to clarify the localization of the disorder, but also to find the individual cause of the hearing loss, if necessary, imaging procedures must be used.
Magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) is primarily used here, as this diagnostic method can be used to display "soft tissue" such as vessels and connective tissue particularly well. By using contrast media, the blood flow can be assessed and, under certain circumstances, a circulatory disorder in the inner ear can be found.


The symptoms of circulatory disorders in the ear are usually hearing loss and / or the perception of noises such as hissing.

The hearing loss can vary from person to person, but usually only affects one ear. Since there is sometimes a failure of only certain frequencies, noises may only be perceived as distorted.
It is also noteworthy that loud noises are usually perceived as unpleasant. There is also a common feeling of pressure on the affected ear.

Since the balance organ is in close proximity to the inner ear, dizziness attacks can also occur, which are associated with the circulatory disorder.

Read more on the topic: Hearing loss


At Tinnitus it is a clinical picture in which the person concerned perceives noises such as noise that does not come from the outside and is therefore only perceived by the person concerned.

Basically, one has to distinguish between two different forms of tinnitus: subjective and objective tinnitus.
Of the subjective tinnitus is not generated from a source in the ear and persists even if the nerves that carry information from the inner ear to the brain are severed.
Of the objective tinnitus can be assigned to a source located in the inner ear.

Tinnitus caused by a circulatory disorder can potentially lead to both forms of tinnitus. Because of anomalies in the vessels, irritation in the inner ear can occur, which is then perceived as a sound. If the blood supply is reduced, however, hearing loss can also occur and, as a result, subjective tinnitus.


Just like the hearing organ, the sense of balance is also located in our ears.

If there is an undersupply of the equilibrium organ due to circulatory disorders in the ear, serious damage can occur there.
These can disturb the balance organ and cause dizziness.

When it comes to the symptom of dizziness, a distinction is made between vertigo, which feels like you are on a merry-go-round, and vertigo, which is more similar to the feeling on a ship.
Both types of dizziness can occur with circulatory disorders.

Noise in the ears

The noise in the ears with a circulatory disorder is due to the part of the ear that is responsible for hearing.

One possible cause is damage to the hearing organ due to insufficient blood flow.
Either the nerve fibers that connect the sensory cells with the brain or the sensory cells themselves can perish.

In certain frequency ranges, the ear can then no longer perceive the tones.

Course of disease

The course of the disease, like the prognosis, is heavily dependent on the underlying disease of the circulatory disorder.

Chronic circulatory disorders usually become noticeable insidiously and do not necessarily lead to the first symptoms in the ear.
Little by little, more and more parts of the body are affected by the circulatory disorder, making the symptoms more numerous.

An isolated circulatory disorder in the ear without an underlying disease, on the other hand, can occur very suddenly.


In most cases, the cause of the symptoms cannot be clearly assigned to a circulatory disorder in the inner ear.

There are no clear therapy recommendation for patients who experience sudden hearing loss.
If there are indications that a circulatory disorder is the cause of the symptoms, it should be treated and eliminated as well as possible. This includes, for example, normalizing blood pressure and adjusting blood values.

In the case of injuries in the spine and head area, these should be treated and discussed whether they are responsible for the symptoms. Despite abnormal laboratory values, there may be other causes behind the symptoms, which is why comprehensive therapy is necessary.

So can Steroids may be prescribed, which in some cases can improve the symptoms. These drugs can be either systemic or local
administered with a syringe.
Especially when the tinnitus is in the foreground of the complaints come more often Local anesthetics used, which can be administered via the vein.

If the hearing loss is only slight, the symptoms can go away on their own.


Infusions for circulatory disorders in the ear are more of a symptomatic therapy and do not combat the cause of the circulatory disorder.

Especially when the equilibrium organ is affected and the result is dizziness attacks, the circulation can be stabilized with infusions.

In addition, the reason for short-term circulatory disorders can also be a deficiency or excess of certain electrolytes (blood salts). These can be carefully compensated for with infusions.


The homeopathic remedies that are used for circulatory disorders in the ear should be selected depending on the cause of the circulatory disorder.

For example, if the reason is arteriosclerosis, i.e. vascular calcification, Allium ursinum and Ammi visnaga can be used.

With inflammatory causes such as autoimmune vascular diseases, the body attacks its own vascular cells, which can destroy or block the vessels, which endangers blood flow.
In this case, essential oils from conifers such as silver fir or spruce can be used.

Which doctor treats this?

Basically, the ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT) is responsible for diseases of the ear.

However, a circulatory disorder in the ear usually has to be treated in an interdisciplinary manner, i.e. from several disciplines:

  • The ENT doctor should therefore consult a vascular specialist, because the cause of the circulatory disorder can usually be found in the blood vessels.
  • In rare cases, a neurologist who is responsible for the brain and the function of nerves can also be involved in the treatment.


The prognosis for hearing impairment or hearing loss due to a circulatory disorder is difficult to estimate and in principle depends on the type of disorder.
If an injury leads to a complete rupture of the artery leading to the inner ear, the likelihood of regaining hearing in the affected ear is relatively low.
This is different with tumors, which may be operated on and normalization of hearing is therefore very likely.

In the case of arteriosclerotic changes, an improvement in blood values ​​and continuous use of so-called platelet aggregation inhibitors can help to prevent the disease from progressing.

Chronic diseases can be stopped and temporarily improved through early detection and treatment, but they generally progress and thus also worsen the blood circulation in the ear.
As a rule, there is a gradual deterioration in balance and / or hearing, and symptoms worsen.

In general, the individual prognosis for circulatory disorders in the ear can be greatly improved if a doctor is consulted as soon as the symptoms occur and individual therapy is initiated.


Since atherosclerotic changes in the vascular wall of the arteries that lead to the inner ear can lead to hearing impairment and even a complete loss of hearing, it is important to keep the risk factors for the development of this disease as low as possible. This includes above all

  • a healthy lifestyle with sufficient exercise,
  • a healthy eating style and
  • No smoking.

Since, in addition to the vessels of the inner ear, all other vessels are equally affected by the disease, reducing these risk factors is generally advisable.

Further information

  • ear
  • Circulatory disorders
  • Circulatory disorder heart
  • Which symptoms can be used to recognize circulatory disorders in the brain?
  • arteriosclerosis
  • Sudden hearing loss
  • Tinnitus
  • Listen
  • Blood pressure

You might also be interested in:

  • Diseases ear
  • Inner ear
  • Middle ear
  • Balance organ

You can find an overview of all articles on the subject of the ear under: ENT A-Z