Venous Hum

Hello everybody, I am a 21 year old female with concerns about a buzzing feeling I can feel in my neck. After googling this, I discovered that it’s called a cervical venous hum. When I touch the left side of my neck from my collarbone up my neck, I can feel vibrating that I cannot feel on the right side. I also get pulsing in my ears when I stand up too quickly and I don’t know if this normal. I’m a massive hypochondriac and I’m wondering if this is something to be worrying myself over. I struggle to make doctors listen to me because of my past Health Anxiety. I noticed that some journal articles accosiated this neck thrill with AVM’s and now I’m terrified. Sometimes I get a headache on the same side of my head too alothough I’m not a big headache person usually. Does anyone have this? I know AVM’s are rare and I hope I don’t offend anybody with this. This worry is just ruining my life and I’m feeling my neck every minute of the day.

Welcome! The world of AVMs is largely variable and often some of the symptoms associated to AVMs are unto themselves benign, much of the time. I’m unfamiliar with cervical venous hum. The pulsing in your ears may be pulsatile tinnitus which has a wide range of possible causes. I would suggest that you see a dr and ensure that he or she pay attention. If at the end it is nothing, good! However when you notice something different, as you have, following up is not indicative of a hypochondriac. It is being "normal’. So follow up and if in a few months you post on here that you’ve done the follow up and its not related to an AVM, 100% will cheer! Welcome and take care, John.



Welcome to the site! I can’t say I’ve ever heard of a venous hum so I’ve just googled it and I see what you mean.

I have a dural arteriovenous fistula, which is a type of AVM that is in the dura mater and (so far as i know) tends to flow into one of the venous sinuses and thence, into the internal jugular vein. Perhaps not surprisingly a good number of us with DAVFs have had a pulsatile tinnitus and a number of us still seem to have a tinnitus or pulsatile tinnitus even after intervention. So… based on the article I found, it makes sense that sometimes a venous hum could be the sound of an AVM or DAVF playing past your internal jugular vein, if you’ve got a bit of compression going on. Does it change depending on whether you are lying down?

Another thing to tell you is that not all AVMs or DAVFs can be treated or need treatment. I read the other day that some DAVFs that flow only into one of the major vessels are not considered necessary to operate and so, while a pulsatile tinnitus is annoying, it is not necessarily an indicator of danger.

If you’re a bit of a hypochondriac, I would definitely stay away from Dr Google, as she serves up the rarest and most dangerous diseases with the same frequency as the common cold. She is not very discerning in that way.

So I agree with John, the only thing to do is to go and see the doc. My advice is that you should definitely not assume the worst. My motto, having been through a definite diagnosis of a DAVF, is that it is better to stay positive until someone tells you otherwise, than to go through life worrying. Your tendency to hypochondria doesn’t help the doctors to take you seriously all the time, so try to tell them what you can hear and feel rather than telling them what you think you’ve got. I’m sure it takes longer that way but I think it is respectful and it means they are at liberty to discard lesser things before getting to the rarer, more dangerous and frankly unlikely things that Dr Google tempts you with from the start!

Hope this helps,



Thank you for such an informative response! I really appreciate it. Dr Google is most definitely a source of very rare conditions and I wasn’t aware of AVM’s at all until I looked.

When I lay down I can’t really feel it much at all. I understand that is stated that sometimes venous hums were normal, but it seemed to mean only on the right side on this is on the left side. I am going back to the doctor next week so hopefully they will listen to my concerns.

Thank you for the warm welcome. I am seeing the doctor again next week so hopefully I will be able to get somewhere. My fingers are crossed and I wish I wouldn’t jump to the worst case scenario!


I’m no expert here but the one article I found suggested that one side was more common than the other, I think, but that gravity is also a factor. Thus, lying “prone” (on your back, face up) often reduces or removes the hum. I would think if it were AVM-driven, that would be less the case.

In my case, pre-operation, my pulsatile tinnitus got worse if I lay down, as the blood pressure in my head went up. Staying upright reduced my symptoms.

So, for the moment, my vote is for a more straightforward hum than one linked to an AVM. But we are not doctors here and for the right answer, you need to talk to a doctor, not me or Google :slight_smile:

All the best,


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I agree - try to get a doc to take you seriously and check it out. And Dr. Google can make you crazy! That being said, I had a whole raft of weird symptoms over the years before my big left hemisphere AVM (4 on Spetzler-Martin scale) bled and got found that in retrospect were completely AVM related. I don’t blame my docs over the years for missing my AVM because these things are rare, and the symptoms were not obvious for AVM. Best of luck with getting checked out!

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