Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Vascular and Circulatory Disorders Forum

hear my heartbeat in my left ear, blood vessel? (Page 2)


June 8th, 2010
I'm a 24 year old female, and have recently started hearing this pulse-like sound in my left ear. It started after I had a dizzy spell one day a few weeks ago. The dizzy spell was related to stomach pains, and I'm not sure if this is all related! I don't hear it every day, but when I do it's really annoying! I hate going to the doctor, I don't trust him to get it right!
Can anyone help?
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replied June 8th, 2010
paulse sound on left year
pinksox85,

In my case i was told i had an iron deficeincy and that around the time the ringing in my left year started. As i started taking Iron pills the sounds went away. Maybe all you need are vitamins with Iron. If this doesn't help you should try to see a Doctor. Vitamins worked for me, I don't know if it was completely related but it helped me .
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Users who thank erikainal for this post: gingerfish 

replied June 24th, 2010
I had the same thumping in my left ear in '07, was told it was just the blood flow. Found out I was 99% blocked in the carotid artery. Had endarterectomy-no thump in ear now. Then last year I had it intermittently in the right ear- had endarterectomy for the right side on 6-3-10. No thumping now. Ask your Doctors for a Carotid duplex. Not MRI's. or Ask for angiogram with flouroscopy to get a more accurate picture to see if it is related to severe atherosclerosis. I have had a lot of personal experiences with this disease and would not be alive today but for the grace of God and good Doctors. '95 brain anuerysm,'07 left carotid endarterectomy 99% blocked,'10 left carotid stent 99% reblocked,'10 right carotid endarterectomy 80% blocked, about to have graft bypass for 100% blockage for lower extremities. I am 46 years old. GET CHECKED!
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replied October 4th, 2010
Re: hear my heartbeat in my left ear, blood vessel?
Yes, I to have heard my own heart beat and pulse in my left ear. I have just recently seen my ent who found out from doing a MRI with contrast that my jugular vein has a blood clot. I developed this issue about two years ago after a real bad car accident. I walked away with damage that was not seen by the human eye. I get really bad mirgranes along with this noise in my ear. Any way just want to give you guys another way to go are some where to start from.
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replied October 7th, 2010
Heartbeat in left ear
I have MS and of late have the left ear heartbeat thing. Sometimes when I take an antihistamine, it stops. If I press inside the ear canal, it stops momentatily.
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replied October 28th, 2010
Pulsing When Typing...
My left ear has been pulsing - but only when I type....but I type all day at work! It is so frustrating - has been going on for about 6 months. No one can tell me what's wrong with me. My TMJ specialist tells me it's got to have something to do with a nerve in my neck. My ear nose and throat doctor says it must have something to do with my TMJ!!!!! Someone just tell me where to go and how to fix it!!! Sad
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replied October 30th, 2010
Heart Beating in Left Ear
Go back to the doc and get it further checked. Hearing your heart beat in your left ear is often a sign of a neurological/blood supply problem to your brain and can be a symptom of poor condition blood vessels and an increased risk of a stroke. I recently had a brain operation to treat 2 aneurysms. The surgergy was not a success because I ended up bleeding heavily on the operating table. I am not left with speech problems and other brain damage problems and can constantly hear my heart in my left ear.
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replied December 1st, 2010
heart beat in my ear
since may of this year i have had numerouse test done. eeg, ekg, cat scan, mri, lumbar punctures, ultrasounds of the heart, etc. I hear the heart beat in my left ear never thought too much of it. But then i began to faint alot, serious noise bleeds, horrible headaches, and hearing loss.Everytime i tell my doctor they act as if im making it up. Although the noise bleeds have stop. everything else has gotten worst. First comes the headaches (causes me to cry) then the pounding in my ears drains out all the sound, like a movie, and then it goes black. its bad real bad and scary.And i keep getting all these useless medications. i just need HELP!!!
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replied December 15th, 2010
no sleep do to heart beat in ear
i am years old and I have been hearing the nosie for two month, my sleeping is very poor now, and I have so many test done I just wan t it gone so i can sleep..
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replied July 23rd, 2011
I went to an ENT yesterday for the first time yesterday - Dr. Auerbach. He suggested I go and get an MRI and see a vascular surgeon as when I press on my neck the whoosing sound stops. It is really annoying and yes I agree it can make you anxious and worried if you don't know what's causing it.. but best to try and not worry too much get it checked out. I wouldn't recommend Dr. Auerbach though. He was not very sympathetic and very sarcastic multiple times, even referred to God in our consulation. Poor bed side manner indeed.. I felt quite traumatized after I had seen him, because of all his sarcastic comments and lack of empathy.
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replied December 16th, 2011
I also have the whooshing in the left ear, but, only when I lay down or bend over. haven't been to the doctor yet, but, after reading all your comments, I am going to make an appointment, I'll let you know what I find out. God Bless you all and I wish you the best. P.S. I'm a 53 yr old female
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replied January 17th, 2012
I have been having same problem with hearing my heart in my right ear.They say i might have an infection caused by a tooth I had prolonged from taking out because of insurance.Thursday Im headed to get a spinal tap to check for brain infection.
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replied February 17th, 2012
i hear heart beat on left hear and a wind sound on the right ear. had it before my bypass.now its starting back aswell as my bottom lip feeling numb again at same time.i haven't went for an earing test sence 1994 maibie i should go get them chequed this way i can eliminate loosing my earing.
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replied April 12th, 2012
I hear my heart beat beat beating in my ear
for about three years I have been hearing my heart beat in my right ear. I have had an ultra sound done but nothing else, due to transportation issues I have not been able to get to a specialist. I am worried that I could maybe have an Arianism behind my ear. I hear my heart beat aprox 97% of the time. I thought i was the only one who experienced this, it helps to know I am not alone.
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replied May 2nd, 2012
left ear pounding heartbeat sound
I have been dealing with a heartbeat sound in my left ear since christmas doctor said it was sinus infection fluid in ear nope not it havenot been back since. Anyway I tried to push on my neck and it stopped with the pressure of my hand wow how wonderful to hear no noise but as soon as i let off back pounding again. When i am in a busy room it drowns out the pounding when i am quiet or alone its full force hell of a way to live I will tell ya that..
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replied October 6th, 2013
How are u doing? I have had thee exact same thing and it's driving me crazy. Has yours subsided?
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replied May 14th, 2012
Pulsatile tinnitus

Timothy C. Hain, MD. Tinnitus Page Page last modified: November 26, 2011
In pulsatile tinnitus, people hear something resembling their heartbeat in their ear.

Pulsatile tinnitus is usually due to a small blood vessel that is coupled by fluid to your ear drum. It is usually nothing serious and also untreatable.
Rarely pulsatile tinnitus can be caused by more serious problems -- aneurysms, increased pressure in the head (hydrocephalus), and hardening of the arteries. A vascular tumor such as a "glomus" may fill the middle ear, or a vein similar to a varicose vein may make enough noise to be heard.
There are some very large blood vessels -- the carotid artery and the jugular vein -- that are very close to the inner ear (see diagram above). Noise in those blood vessels can be conducted into the inner ear. Accordingly, other possibilities for vascular tinnitus include dehiscence (missing bone) of the jugular bulb -- an area in the skull which contains the jugular vein, and an aberrantly located carotid artery. An enlarged jugular bulb on the involved side is common in persons with venous type pulsatile tinnitus.
Anything that increases blood flow or turbulence such as hyperthyroidism, low blood viscosity (e.g. anemia), or tortuous blood vessels may cause pulsatile tinnitus.

Internal Carotid problems
Aberrant internal carotid artery.

This is a congenital anomaly in which the internal carotid can present as a middle ear mass. If the carotid fails to develop correctly during fetal life, the inferior tympanic artery enlarges to take it's place. It enters the skull through it's own foramen, courses through the medial part of the middle ear, and then rejoins the petrous ICA (Branstetter and Weissman, 2006).

Dehiscent internal carotid.

The ICA may not have a bony covering as it courses through the middle ear.

Stenosed internal carotid

A bruit from a narrowed IC may cause tinnitus.

Aberrent AICA.

Some authors claim that branches of the AICA may abut the 8th nerve and cause tinnitus. We find this idea dubious.

Tinnitus due to AV fistula.

Arteriovenous fistulae cause loud noises, synchronous with the pulse, that can often be heard by others with a stethescope, or sometimes by simply putting one's ear next to the person's head. These sorts of fistulae can often be embolized. Extra caution is needed when the fistula is in the posterior circulation (i.e. fed by the vertebral artery), as it is difficult to thread a catheter through these tiny arteries. It is easy to cause a "vertebral dissection", possibly accompanied by a stroke.

It may seem silly to say this, but in our opinion, it is generally not worth taking on a significant risk of having a stroke to attempt to get rid of a noise in one's head with embolization. The US health care system pays interventional radiologists very well to do embolization, and of course, they have some motivation to improve people's lives through their training. Nevertheless, the decision whether to go forward with a dangerous procedure should ideally be made by the patient's treating physician, rather than a radiologists. Decisions should not reasonably be made by the radiologist who is trained to thread a catheter into a patient's head, but has no long term relationship with the patient, and also generally has had no clinical training in otolaryngology or neurology. We suggest getting a 2nd opinion from a non-radiologist expert before proceeding with embolization for tinnitus. To avoid conflicts of interest, the expert should not do this procedure themselves and preferably they should work for another medical insitution.

Dural fistula av fistula
AV fistula associated with pulsitile tinnitus. Courtesy of Dr. Marcello Cherchi. Dural AV fistula of the transverse sinus associated with pulsatile tinnitus. Courtesy of Dr. Dario Yacovino.
Tinnitus due to high jugular bulb and related structures

This is a venous tinnitus, associated with an unusually located jugular vein. A high-riding jugular bulb is a common vascular anomaly, found in 2.4-7% of temporal bones. The jugular bulb is not present at birth, but develops over time. The size and location is somewhat dependent on pneumatization of the mastoid bone. (Friedman et al, 2009).

Another variant of the high jugular bulb is a jugular bulb diverticulum - -an outpouching of the jugular bulb - -into the inner or middle ear. Most commonly the outpouching is into the middle ear. This occurs in 6% of the otherwise normal population. According to Kupfer et al (2011), dehiscence in pediatric patients occurs in 8.6% of pediatric patients undergoing temporal bone CTs (one wonders why they were having temporal bone CT's). In this population, it was concluded that they were "unable to unable to identify any relationship between JBVAD and hearing loss". Of course, this leaves entirely open the question of whether jugular bulb dehiscence contributes to hearing loss in older persons as well as dizziness and tinnitus.

When present, this structure can be associated with bleeding during surgery. When it comes into contact with inner ear structures, it can cause tinnitus, hearing loss, a conductive hyperacusis, and Meniere's disease type symptoms. Tinnitus is attributed to a direct pressure wave from the Jugular. Conductive hyperacusis to increased compliance of the inner ear, in similar way as is seen in superior canal dehiscence and Fenestration surgery patients. Meniere's disease symptoms, due to increased compliance. Considering the high frequency of jugular bulb anomalies (about 5%), and low prevalence of Meniere's disease (about 1/2000 people, or 0.2%), it would seem possible that Meniere's disease might be caused by jugular bulb dehiscence.

The jugular bulb diverticulum is a much rarer anomaly than high riding jugular bulb (Stern and Goldeberg, 1980) . It can be associated with sensorineural hearing loss, tinnitus and vertigo. (Shihada et al, 2008), and may account for some cases of Meniere's disease (Yazawa et al, 1998).

Diagnosis is mainly via MRI/MRA with contrast or similar techniques that show blood flow in relation to the skull. However, MRI is not especially sensitive (Friedman et al, 2009). High-resolution CT-angiography is the method of choice, but because it is associated with some radiation, it is generally not the best choice as a screening procedure. On CT, a jugular bulb diverticulum is characterized by continuity with the jugular bulb, smooth edges, and absence of bony destruction. Some have reported that it can be diagnosed by other maneuvers, such as ultrasonography (e.g. Nakagawa et al, 2008), but we have not seen this done at any institutions that we are aware of in Chicago. VEMPs can be of low threshold on the side of the dehiscence.

No treatment is available for jugular bulb dehiscence.

Abberant sigmoid sinus and stenosed dural sinuses can also cause venous tinnitus.

References:

Branstetter BF, Weissman JL. The radiologic evaluation of tinnitus. Eur Radiol (2006) 2792-2802
Friedmann D; Thuy Le B, Pramanik BK; Lalwani AK. Clinical Spectrum of Patients with Erosion of the Inner Ear by Jugular Bulb Abnormalities. Laryngoscope, 120:365-372, 2010
Kupfer RA, Hoesli RC, Green GE, Thorne MC. The Relationship between Jugular Bulb-Vestibular Aqueduct Dehiscence and Hearing Loss in Pediatric Patients. .Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011 Nov 23. [Epub ahead of print]
Nakagawa et al. a convenient sonographic technique for diagnosis of pulsatile tinnitus induced by a high jugular bulb. J. Ultrasound Med 2008;27:139-140.
Shihada R and others. Endovascular embolization of a hemorrhagic jugular bulb diverticulum. Int J. Ped Otorhinolaryngology (2008) 72, 1445-1448
Stern J, Goldenberg M. Jugular bulb diverticula in medial petrous bulb. AJR 134:959-961, 1980
Yazawa et al, 2009. Surgical observations on the endolymphatic sac in Meniere's disease. Am J. Otol 19:71-75, 1998
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replied July 31st, 2012
Thank you so much for your post. Do you know if you can receive Social Security Disability for Pulsatile tinnitus. It is getting increasingly harder to go to work, I have trouble hearing in meetings, and by the end of the day I have severe headaches. I feel like I am slowly going crazy and it affects how I perform at work.
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replied July 31st, 2012
Can you receive Social Security Disability due to Pulsative Tinn
Can you get social security disability for this Pulsative Tinntinitus condition? It is hard for me to work with this noise in my ears all the time, and I feel like I am slowly going crazy. Also, it is hard to hear in meetings. If gets worse by the day and by the end of the day I have severe headaches.
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replied August 16th, 2012
heartbeat sound in my left ear
I asked 3 different cardiologists why do I hear my heart beat in my left ear? I got 3 different answers. 1) the vein is close to the ear, 2) the blood flow is rapid coming down from the brain and you actually hear a pulse, not a heartbeat, and 3) its nothing. You are just in tuned with your body and that is good. Nothing to worry about.
So none of the responses were considered "dangerous" or "alarming". I found that I chew (suggarless) gum every day and the sound is going away. Maybe Im moving around the vein that makes the sound apparent.
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replied October 3rd, 2012
hearing heartbeat/pulse in my ear
im 30, i have had this same problem with my left ear for over 2 yrs now, it 1st started when i ruptured my eardrum from a q-tip, has not stopped since then, went to dr several times, went to the ENT,and told me i was thinking i was hearing things, and im like no seriously i feel my heartbeat/pulse in my ear, he said you could never hear or feel anything like that in your ear.my family dr told me i had fluid behind my eardrum, and he called my dr a liar, there was nothing behind my eardrum and he was a complete pile, told me it was cuz i was overweight, called him out a bullshitter which he didnt like, said to him sorry i have been over weight for 15 yrs since i gave birth to my 1st child, so next excuse please was my next responce...wanted to do a hearing test, i was like why would i waste my time if im just making this stuff up? he just looked at me like what?? so i got up flipped him off and walked out of his office!! my b/p is low, but i seriously think that this has to do with rupturing my eardrum, i didnt even know that i had done that, it didnt hurt or anything, just started hearing me heartbeat like 2 mths later, and its seriously annoying, i feel like taking a needle and putting it in my ear to see if it stops.It never goes away, cant sleep at night.
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replied October 15th, 2012
Hearing my heartbeat in my ear
I have the same issue with hearing my heartbeat in my left ear. I was suffering from vertigo for about 6 months and then it went away. I also have an issue with autophony (hearing everything from within me really loud in both ears). I have had the autophony intermittently for many years. I went to an ENT and after many tests I was diagnosed with Patulous Eustachian Tube (a rare condition where the Eustachian tubes open intermittently instead of just when swallowing) and Superior Canal Dehiscence (an opening in the bone that covers the superior canal in the inner ear which can cause the patient to heart their heartbeat, suffer from vertigo and balance issues). Im saying all this because while all this is extremely annoying, it is all benign. Unless you have balance issuses that can cause harm to you from a fall (in which surgery could then be an option to repair the opening in the bone), the conditions I explained are benign. As other people have posted, there can be other conditions as well that are more serious in nature and should be checked out by a doctor. I just thought I would share my experience. Good luck and God bless to all.
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