Friday, October 24, 2014
Friday, July 04, 2008 sammejia, Community Member, asks

Q: Pulsating in eyes

A lot of times when I go to bed and close my eyes I can sort of see a pulsating sensation in my eyes at the same beat of my heart. Is this normal? I have high blood pressure and have been on Diovan 160mg for over a year. This also happens sometimes when I am staring off into space and I notice the pulsating sensation. I am very puzzeled by this.

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Answers (3)
Martin Cane, M.D., Health Pro
7/11/08 10:44am



Thanks for your interesting question. 


I assume you are followed on regular basis for your high blood pressure, and that you are taking your medication as prescribed.


Most people with high blood pressure have no symptoms, which is why it is known as the "silent killer."  However, in extreme cases, people will have symptoms of headache, vision changes, nose bleeds, and others.  A pulsating sensation in the eyes is not something I would expect unless the pressure was extremely high.  Another possible cause that come to mind and should be checked for by your doctor include Thyroid disease which can cause a faster pulse rate, with a more dynamic pulse that patients can sense and sometimes even hear.  They note these findings while falling asleep, when the room is quiet of other noises or distractions.  If your pule pressure is high (the difference between your systolic reading and the diastolic reading), this can cause a very dynamic pulse that could be sensed by the patient.  In severe cases, a patients head will actually bob to a small degree.  Cause for high pulse pressure include heart valve problems, which your doctor can also check you for.  In some cases, an echocardiogram is ordered to check the valves out, as well as other heart structures. 


You need to make an appointment with your physician to have your pressure checked, as well as looking for the above possibilities.  Should your doctor not find any cause for your compaint, ask him about seeing an opthalmologist for an evaluation.


Best wishes.


Martin Cane, M.D. 

IA, Community Member
10/26/09 7:50am

dear Dr. Cane,


Quick question to pulsating in the eyes. I noticed those symptoms that my iris in contracting and expanding in a pulsating in a rhytmic fashion. The pupil actually contracts and relaxes. Just checked my BP its 105/70. Any idea's?



Dr. Blaivas, Health Pro
7/24/08 1:48pm

The symptoms you are describing are probably related to myokymia, a benign spontaneous twitching usually of the lower eyelid.  Possible precipitating factors are stress, fatigue, or too much caffeine.  It is rarely a precursor of a more serious condition known as blepharospasm.  Describe the situation to an ophthalmologist, who might be able to help.

Lona Crossman, Community Member
7/ 4/10 4:32am

I am not sure

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By sammejia, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/15/12, First Published: 07/04/08