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Old 1st Dec 2008, 09:25   #1 (permalink)
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hear my heartbeat from my right ear!

For the past 5 weeks I have been able to hear my heartbeat in my right ear, Its more prominent at night or when in quiet locations...it is more a whooshing sound than a thud but a little irritating when trying to sleep.But as my sympaththetic mate said 'at least I know I'm still alive' Ha Ha!
No pain but feel slight pressure there sometimes,I otherwise feel healthy.
has anybody had similar experiences? thanks in advance, Pudd.
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Old 1st Dec 2008, 10:42   #2 (permalink)
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I get that just about the whole time..... perhaps congenital, plus some age-induced tinnitus.
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Old 1st Dec 2008, 11:11   #3 (permalink)
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Go and get your ears unblocked, should cure it.
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Old 1st Dec 2008, 13:39   #4 (permalink)
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It sounds like you have a classic case of Pulsatile Tinnitus, aka 'Somato Sounds'. The feeling of 'pressure' is a giveaway.

Having tinnitus does not mean you have hearing damage, and it can be caused by a million different things.

Have you taken a holiday recently? Have you been under any stress lately?

I would recommend seeing an Otoneurologist or ENT specialist who knows about tinnitus soon.

Whatever you do, make sure to remember that searching Google will paint a bleak picture for these types of condition. This is a condition where searching the 'web will distort your outlook - unlike many other conditions where the 'web will inform you (don't ask why this is - every quack and his dog thinks he has a cure, and the people who tend to discuss tinnitus in groups tend to be acute sufferers).

Tinnitus is a very broad banner, applying to many different types of tones / pulses etc. There is a very good chance that your issue will go away in good time. The best policy is not to think about it (although do get a specialist's opinion + audiogram + tympanometry) and relax.

Tinnitus isn't the end of the world, and it often goes away after a while. You aren't classified as being a 'tinnitus sufferer' until you've had it for 6 months - there's a clue in this. You may just have a very mild case of temporary tinnitus. Remember that somewhere around 9/10 people will report some kind of tinnitus if left in an anechoic chamber.
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Old 1st Dec 2008, 23:49   #5 (permalink)
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I have expereinced exactly the same sound and I too thought I was hearing my heart beat. Mine is only in the right ear too.

Sadly mine is a type of tinnitus, it gets louder with stress.

It is of course very possible you only hear the sound because your ear need syringing.

Like yours mine at first italso sounded like water running under pressure if I put a finger in my ear. I saw an ENTconsultant who performed an in depth test and he confirmed it is a type of tinnitus. Fortunately it does not affect my hearing at all nor sleeping and is fairly mild. If you have got what I have got one gets used to it and hardly notices it after a while. The only thing that makes mine louder is stress. I try and ignore it and am not constantly aware of it. I am very careful with noise though. If you are a pilot never do the walk around without ear protection, the APU noise or passing aircraft nearby could make it worse.

I have been told by my consultant it might eventually go away or could get worse if I am exposed to loud sounds.

I am almost 51 and have had the problem for 6 years.

Tinnitus is not always the ringing hissing sound, some people hear, some tinnitus sounds like machinery or even music.

I have been flying for almost 30 years but do not hear it when flying or driving a car, the external sounds inside both an aircraft or a car drown the sound. I have not suffered any hearing loss at all. My last test revealed my hearing was above average for my age.

Best of luck I hope a syringe-out gets ride of the sound, it might go anyway in time.

I hope your's is only wax building up.
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Old 2nd Dec 2008, 05:11   #6 (permalink)
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My wife has the exact symptoms of the original poster.

Years into this, she mentioned something about her ear and I took a look inside the outer ear. ( I think I picked an old otoscope? at a yard sale, can't remember, but it works quite well, )

I looked in the affected ear and all looked normal. For the same reason that I have toys like this, I carried on looking for the next few minutes...just because it's interesting, then suddenly, I got the clearest view of a mass of blood vessels growing from the side onto the 'drum'.

I spent some time comparing with the 'good' ear. Nothing like that whatsoever.

I spent some years with an interest in microscopy, and I know just how hard it is to get a clear image sometimes. Ages fiddling, then presto! you see something stunning that just didn't show up before. This is significant, because when she went to her GP, he took about 5 seconds to pronounce 'Both ears normal'.

Now we were left with three possibilities:

1 The cloud of blood vessels is making a direct pulse and rushing noise via the usual mechanical route to the inner ear.

2 The thing I noticed is not significant, and the noise is coming from a slightly altered vessel in the neck. (She has high blood pressure)

3 Something else.

The thing is, she can relieve the noise for a brief time by holding her nose and blowing. This makes me think that the first possibility is perhaps the one. You might try this at home. Gently! If it should relieve the symptoms, make sure that the outer ear inspection is very thorough. Good luck on that one.
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Old 2nd Dec 2008, 09:34   #7 (permalink)
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Got to be quick, but remember this, it's important:

The brain receptors can be quite 'malleable' - this is known as neuroplasticity. In times of danger (or stress) the brain is able to detect minute details that it might not otherwise be bothered about. Once 'tuned' into these details it's difficult to 'detune' it. In the case of tinnitus, this 'detuning' is known as TRT (Google it). View your auditory mechanism as a UHF radio - as well as what you want to pick up, it's capable of detecting a load of cr*p as well.

Advice here is no substitute for a good ENT / Otoneurologist, but until you get to one, try to relax and 'detune' the tinnitus. Don't be scared of it - the chances are that it's nothing to do with your physical health at all. Also remember that tinnitus does not always suggest hearing damage, as the stereotype suggests.
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Old 2nd Dec 2008, 13:30   #8 (permalink)

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Red face all down to blood flow . . . . . .

I have been able to hear my heartbeat in my right ear
As many people have already said, this phenomenon is quite common. I'm a little surprised, however, that it's not been said yet that it's largely dependent on the type of flow in the large vessels near the business part of the ear.

I hoped I might be able to find a good anatomical diagram of the ear to post here, but I haven't so far. Suffice to say that on each side one of the large carotid arteries passes extremely close to the hearing mechanism on its way to supply the brain with oxygenated blood.

Blood flow in a healthy heart and in most healthy arteries is laminar.
This means it does not generate sound. If there is a disruption to this for any reason at all the flow can become turbulent. Often this type of flow generates sounds ( eg: it is how the doctor hears "murmurs" with his stethoscope).

I agree with most of the reassurance that has been given here hitherto, but would advise an expert medical opinion to be safe, and especially if the OP is in middle-age or greater ! That is the age group in whom turbulent arterial flow due to atherosclerotic deposits would be most likely.
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Old 2nd Dec 2008, 16:55   #9 (permalink)
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Business part of the ear?

The ear is made up as follows:

Outer Ear- ear Flap, ear canal,ear drum, middle ear and inner ear called the Cochlea-from this there is a nerve called the auditory nerve that leads to the brain which carries the information received in the cochlea. Each ear has its own independant auditory nerve (they are not connected in any way)

If blood turbulence flowing through arteries could be heard it is likely the turbulent flow would be in all arteries near both the ears and if it was possible to hear that turbulence it would be heard in both ears not just one.

Tinnitus can be the result of damage in the cochlea where the fine hairs are moved in accordance with the sound transmitted from the inner ear. That type of tinnitus is the result of damage caused to the fine hairs in the cochlea which sometimes become traumatised through excessive sound or when they wear out due to age.

I hope that explains roughly how sound arrives at the brain from the ear flaps.

Tinnitus is also caused by many other factors, very high blood pressure and rotten teeth are just two other possible causes, there are many more.

It can be no co-incidence that many tinnitus sufferers have tinnitus due to being associated with high sound over a long period of time. Additionally a significant amount of elderly people also have tinnitus.
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Old 2nd Dec 2008, 20:24   #10 (permalink)
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Look at it as simple audible warning that you are still alive. Believe it or not, there is a pulse in the earlobe! So my GP tells me..
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Old 2nd Dec 2008, 21:07   #11 (permalink)
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You are correct the best method of taking a pulse is with a small monitor that clips on to the ear lobe.

I am married to a medic whom has just informed me they have been taking pulses in hospitals for many years that way. I am also told it is highly unlikely if not impossible that the pulse felt on the earlobe could be heard because a pulse is silent and is the expansion of the artery that one feels when taking a pulse.

You can however hear a heart beat fairly easily by listening in the chest area.
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Old 2nd Dec 2008, 21:33   #12 (permalink)

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Red face

Business part of the ear?
Yes, precisely that. The part of the ear which carries out its "business" which is the sense of hearing. In your brief listing this is the Cochlea. Your listing appears not to include the semi-circular canal system, which, of course, is also of absolutely fundamental importance in aviation.

If blood turbulence flowing through arteries could be heard it is likely the turbulent flow would be in all arteries near both the ears and if it was possible to hear that turbulence it would be heard in both ears not just one
Simply not true, I'm afraid. Firstly, the sound of turbulent flow is not transmitted very far. But, more importantly, atherosclerotic deposits are not likely to be laid down regularly and smoothly in arterial walls. There can be areas where there is significant narrowing over only a very short distance (just as in coronary arteries). The turbulence (and therefore the sound) will be only where the flow is restricted.
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 06:32   #13 (permalink)
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surely would you not have other side effects i.e. dizziness etc due to restricted blood flow if you had atherosclerotic deposits in that area? thanks for the very detailed and interesting replies,many thanks, Pudd.
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 16:25   #14 (permalink)
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There is a drug called Betahistine which supposedly increases blood flow within the inner ear. It's been available for many years and some patients reckon it improves their tinnitus. However, the professional surgeons I have spoken with do not believe it works - period. They attribute people reporting improvements due to the placebo effect being notoriously strong in tinnitus cases. If the drug did work, why isn't it promoted as a miracle cure?

Get a pro opinion, Pud - and get a current audiogram. In all honesty, I suspect that amelioration is unlikely to come from drugs - would you say it's a coincidence that the tinnitus has emerged during / after a stressful period?
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 17:47   #15 (permalink)
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C 172 Hawk,

The semi circular canal has nothing to do with sound or hearing that is why I did not include it in my posting, it's function relates to spatial awareness (balance).
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 23:09   #16 (permalink)
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I did unfortunately look on the internet ref the problem and boy was I shocked by reports ranging from strokes,brain tumours etc etc,
Yes, it can be a dangerous thing, the internet. It doesn't always do well to medicalise what could be regarded as normal.

From what you've reported so far, it sounds like there is not a lot to worry about.

I'd suggest talking through your concerns with your GP. A listen to your symptoms and an examination is likely to allay your concerns.
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Old 5th Dec 2008, 12:54   #17 (permalink)
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Hi, I'll definately pop to the GP when I'm back in blighty. Noise is stíll there but hardly notice it day to day and I manage to ignore it before sleeping. I'm on vacation for the next week, I'll be taking things nice and easy, if the noise disappears then it was probably stress related,ear infection or blockage.
Being honest I don't really think its stress probably just coincidence, really appreciate the replies, let you know the outcome after visiting the specialist, Pudd
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 08:01   #18 (permalink)
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Hello, sorry been a while but I was waiting to see if things cleared up naturally,it didn't so I went to an ENT spescialist who reckons it's most probably pulsative Tinnitus!
I still get the pulse in the right ear albeit its a little fainter ( I put a fan on when trying to sleep) but the feeling of pressure in and around the ear is a little annoying at times.
As a precaution the doc recommended a CT scan of both ears and neck area with contrast to make sure there isn't anything more sinister causing the problem.
I get results in 4 days so will keep you all posted, Pudd.
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 14:18   #19 (permalink)
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Hey pudd! I saw this post and just had to reply on it. A good friend of mine had the EXACT same symthoms as you describe.. It turned out to be smal "tunnels" in the brain, I dont know the exact name of it it, and I know it sounds alot worse then it actually is. They did one operation on him where they sealed those "tunnels" and now he is back to normal.

I might be wrong, but that sounds just about what he had. He now lives a life without any tinnitus or pulsive sounds..

If I where you I would check up with the doctors and maby question them about this, they might have some answers/ideas about it.
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Old 4th Mar 2009, 06:41   #20 (permalink)
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Hi Shantiw,let's hope it's not so serious, thanks for the reply, let you know the outcome in a couple of days, Pudd
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