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The Doctors Lounge - Primary Care Answers

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Forum Name: Ear Nose and Throat

Question: left ear hears heart


knila3 - Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:46 pm

For the past few months I have been hearing my heartbeat in my left. I've notice the sound appears mostly when I wake up in the morning or when I'm sitting down sometimes. I can silence the noise by slighty pressing the left side of my neck about an inch and half below my ear. I also notice, sometime when I go from sitting to a standing position I can feel slight pressure on the left side of my neck and the back of my head near the left ear. I went to the ENT specialist and several test were done. the doctor check my ear drum by looking thru some microscope device; eardrum normal. He also ran a special test to see if fluid was behind the eardrum, that was normal too. He also check to see if I had hearing loss, that too was ok. He concluded that I may have a blood vessel running very close to my ear drum therefore causing me to hear pulsating noises. No treatment have been done. Should I be concerned or will this problem eventually go away? Thanks for you time!

Sincerely,
Tasha
Dr. Tino Anthony Solomon - Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:21 pm

Hello there,

Your symptoms are odd, however there may be some possible explanations. First of all we need to establish your overall medical condition. How old are you? Do you or have you suffered from any medical or surgical problems? Are you experiencing any other symptoms apart from those described? The most important causes to rule out are cardiovascular. If the arteries that exit your heart and run up the left side of your neck are under pressure due to narrowing or stiffness you may experience abnormal pulsations or waveforms into the arterial circulation on that side. This may translate into audible sounds in the left ear due to transmission of pulsations into arteries supplying that area. However it is important to note that your symptoms may be entirely benign and therefore you should not worry too much about it as you will find yourself focusing on it and feeling worse. I suggest you visit your doctor for a full cardiovascular examination and if needs be either he or your ENT surgeon may decide to arrange imaging of the arteries, normally carried out in the form of a MRA(Magnetic Resonance Angiogram) which carries no risk of radiation exposure and allows identification of any vascular malformation. I am not familiar with a case like yours but ruling out any pathological causes will be reassuring. Please let me know of any progress.

Kind Regards,

Dr Tino Solomon
BSc(Hons) MBBS
Senior House Officer in Surgery

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