Glomus tumors are common, benign tumors located in the middle ear. Glomus bodies are tiny, normal structures in the middle ear which serve as baro receptors. These baro receptors sense and help to regulate the oxygen pressure in the middle ear and mastoid.
Benign tumors of glomus bodies can occur within the middle ear or at other sites: the temporal bone and neck, or within the jugular vein. Glomus tumors of the middle ear are more common than glomus tumors of the jugular vein. They can result from abnormal growth of a single glomus body.Most patients with glomus tumors of the middle ear can hear a pulsing sound in the ear on the side which has the tumor. Pulsatile tinnitus occurs as the tumor enlarges and presses against the bones of hearing. It is the actual pulsation of blood which distorts the movement of the bones of hearing.