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Hearing heartbeat in ears. Sometimes heartbeat gets stronger, when it does, first symptom is face gets warm (no fever) and ears become flaming red and very sensitive, then phase 3 is heart seems to work harder and hear whoosh woosh in right ear. Can subside after 8 hrs or less, almost impossible to sleep. Condition goes away for 48 hrs so I know Im not fighting anything. Have had pressure checked ok, all blood tests (male) T3's ok, testosterone 9 ok. Thought it might be food related. When its bearable, and if I sleep flat on back, am awakened 2 hrs later with strong whoosh like heart is really working to clear something. I drink water or walk around, helps. If I sleep with upper torso at 45 degree angle, still get woken up but not as strong beating. Doesnt seem to be heart as such but something commanding the heart to work harder. Any ideas helpful. Dr check ears and rinsed with solution, hearing is perfect..pulsing driving me up a wall!!!!

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You have had the doctors screen your heart, correct? Because if your heart has random stints of noticeably increased beating without any physical activity or anything... I'd be worried. If it happens while you sleep the most often, try finding one of those places where they monitor you while you sleep and hopefully they can catch it. That way, if it happens but your heart is beating within the normal range you can rule out the heart and it might be something to due with your inner ear. 

If the whoosh sound sounds like your ear is plugged or your underwater you might have damage in your inner ear, behind the ear drum.
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The most common cause of an awareness of the heartbeat is anxiety.


You and your doctor might want to ask yourself these questions:


1) Do you have a history of anxiety?

2) Does anxiety or panic disorder run in your family?


Now. Without knowing your age, sex, or anything about your medical history, which would have been valuable information to know when you posted this question, I will say that in my opinion, that "hearing the heartbeat" may be a less important sign to report to your doctor than the fact that you are having "facial flushing" (sudden redness of the face).


1. Do you live in a current area of the country where the climate is cold?
2. If so, what type of heat are you using in your house?
3. Is it possible that you are somehow being exposed to Carbon Monoxide?

Covert Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from gas heaters that burn improperly, or burn in a room that is poorly ventilated, will produce these exact symptoms, classically in medicine we call it "Cherry Red Skin" because the face and ears will become very red. It may take 1-3 days for it to go away after being exposed because CO (carbon monoxide) binds to hemoglobin very tightly in the blood. It will also speed up the heart rate and elevate blood pressure, and make you have "flu-like symptoms" and feel terrible. In high concentrations it can kill you. You should educate yourself on this and be sure you are not being exposed to Carbon Monoxide first and foremost. If you think or realize you are being exposed or have been acutely exposed in the last 2 days or so, you should go straight to the emergency room. The treatment is generally just administration of oxygen for a period of time to remove the carbon monoxide from your blood.


If, after you have ruled out the above, a less common condition, but still worthy of mention is something called: Carcinoid Syndrome.


You might consider going back to your Internal Medicine doctor and talking with him or her about possibly checking you for Carcinoid Syndrome. The test that is usually done to diagnose it is called a: Urine 5-HIAA Level (basically this is a type of urine serotonin level), and sometimes special imaging tests, such as Abdominal Ultrasounds/CAT Scans, and an "Echo" (Echocardiogram) of the heart.


If this is ruled out, and anxiety is ruled out, then you may consider seeing a neurologist and telling him about the "pulsating heartbeat" you hear. He may order some brain imaging studies such as a CTA (CT Angiogram) at that point to look for blood vessel abnormalities in the brain or head area.


But again, most of these disorders are very rare and anxiety is the most common cause of this type of thing.


Do not live your life in fear, just go to your doctor, get your concerns addressed, and be happy.


Remember that F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real.


:-)


I hope this helps.  Please do drop me a line and let me know how this all turns out for you.


God Bless.

StewieMD
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Thank you very much Stewie. Appreciate it. I am male 67 yrs of age. Have just had all blood tests in June all ok, have had ultrasound for kidnes


and abdominal all ok. Have Co2 det in house wood stove. Doctor having me repeat T3s and 24 hr blood work not for HIAA. At random, face will


get very warm, ears hot and pulsing stronger and heartbeat stronger. Ive been testing things to determine triggers, not caffiene, pepsis, smoking


choclate, coughing even stressful video games. Pulsing is strongest if I sleep flat on back and 2 hrs later I wake up with strong whoosh sound in


head like heart labouring to push more blood, subsides gradually with exercise. Think its some kind of command heart getting from nervous sys

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So this seems to happen primarily in sleep?   And primarily when lying flat?

If so, this you may want to discuss the possible diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) with your doctor.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea, if untreated, can produce symptoms such as you describe.

Do you snore?  Are you overweight?  Do you have a short thick neck?  Although, the literature shows that none of these factors are required to have sleep apnea.

Additionally, as we age, our upper airway tends to become more "floppy" and relax, and sometimes OSA can develop.  OSA is extremely common.  When the airway gets blocked during sleep, usually when laying flat as you describe (because gravity tends to pull the tongue backwards into the throat and block the airway), the oxygen level in the blood drops very low, and the heart begins to "race" in an attempt to deliver oxygen to the tissues.  The person may wake up coughing, or gasping for air, or with a headache, or could, in theory report something like you do, of hearing a "heartbeat in his head" which is actually just due to the elevation of blood pressure and heart rate caused by the drop in oxygen in the blood and racing heart.

OSA could account for red ears and facial flushing as well, in some situations.

Whether it is, or whether it isn't- if one's symptoms are occurring primarily during sleep, I would ask one's doctor about the possibility of obtaining a Sleep Study from a Certified Sleep Lab.   (Be sure to choose a Certified Sleep Lab if possible, and there aren't many of these around, most of them are at the big University Medical Centers).

A sleep study may connect an EKG (heart monitor), a breathing monitor which will monitor airflow in and out of one's nostrils to determine whether or not one stops breathing, and all kinds of electrodes to one's scalp and forehead which will monitor one's brain waves and how one's body responds to these physiological events.   The test also monitors other things, such as leg movements, etc. When the event occurs, it can hopefully be "captured" by the equipment and documented so that the professionals can look at the data. Perhaps it might be best to sleep flat on your back during the study to hopefully reproduce your symptoms.  Nevertheless, talk this over with your doctor, as these are just general suggestions, and not intended to be official medical advice.

Also, with having a wood burning stove, I would again suggest keeping some form of adequate ventilation in your house, such as a small crack in your window, to allow fresh air inside.

When any fire burns for an extended time in a tightly sealed home, it will use up all of the available oxygen in the home and the fire will begin to burn improperly, and instead of releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) as it normally does, it will release carbon monoxide (CO).  When there is adequate oxygen available, this is less likely to occur.  I would also be sure the carbon monoxide detectors are working properly and consider having your doctor check a blood carbon monoxide level on you as well, just to be on the safe side, if there is any doubt.

It might also be a good idea to consider purchasing a home blood pressure monitor, and record your blood pressure and heart rate, morning and night, and as soon as you happen to "wake up" with any such "event" and bring this information in to your doctor, if he or she agrees.

Not all BP monitors are the same, and some are not dependable.  I like the OMRON BP652 wrist model, because it not only measures heart rate, but checks for irregular rhythms of the heart, is very convenient to use, and has several different certifications for accuracy.  It also has a sensor in it that requires you to hold your wrist at the level of your heart, and it will not work properly until in knows when to read the correct measurement, improving accuracy of the unit.

Good luck and God Bless.

Let me know what happens.

StewieMD


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So this seems to happen primarily in sleep?   And primarily when lying flat?

If so, this you may want to discuss the possible diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) with your doctor.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea, if untreated, can produce symptoms such as you describe.

Do you snore?  Are you overweight?  Do you have a short thick neck?  Although, the literature shows that none of these factors are required to have sleep apnea.

Additionally, as we age, our upper airway tends to become more "floppy" and relax, and sometimes OSA can develop.  OSA is extremely common.  When the airway gets blocked during sleep, usually when laying flat as you describe (because gravity tends to pull the tongue backwards into the throat and block the airway), the oxygen level in the blood drops very low, and the heart begins to "race" in an attempt to deliver oxygen to the tissues.  The person may wake up coughing, or gasping for air, or with a headache, or could, in theory report something like you do, of hearing a "heartbeat in his head" which is actually just due to the elevation of blood pressure and heart rate caused by the drop in oxygen in the blood and racing heart.

OSA could account for red ears and facial flushing as well, in some situations.

Whether it is, or whether it isn't- if one's symptoms are occurring primarily during sleep, I would ask one's doctor about the possibility of obtaining a Sleep Study from a Certified Sleep Lab.   (Be sure to choose a Certified Sleep Lab if possible, and there aren't many of these around, most of them are at the big University Medical Centers).

A sleep study may connect an EKG (heart monitor), a breathing monitor which will monitor airflow in and out of one's nostrils to determine whether or not one stops breathing, and all kinds of electrodes to one's scalp and forehead which will monitor one's brain waves and how one's body responds to these physiological events.   The test also monitors other things, such as leg movements, etc. When the event occurs, it can hopefully be "captured" by the equipment and documented so that the professionals can look at the data. Perhaps it might be best to sleep flat on your back during the study to hopefully reproduce your symptoms.  Nevertheless, talk this over with your doctor, as these are just general suggestions, and not intended to be official medical advice.

Also, with having a wood burning stove, I would again suggest keeping some form of adequate ventilation in your house, such as a small crack in your window, to allow fresh air inside.

When any fire burns for an extended time in a tightly sealed home, it will use up all of the available oxygen in the home and the fire will begin to burn improperly, and instead of releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) as it normally does, it will release carbon monoxide (CO).  When there is adequate oxygen available, this is less likely to occur.  I would also be sure the carbon monoxide detectors are working properly and consider having your doctor check a blood carbon monoxide level on you as well, just to be on the safe side, if there is any doubt.

It might also be a good idea to consider purchasing a home blood pressure monitor, and record your blood pressure and heart rate, morning and night, and as soon as you happen to "wake up" with any such "event" and bring this information in to your doctor, if he or she agrees.

Not all BP monitors are the same, and some are not dependable.  I like the OMRON BP652 wrist model, because it not only measures heart rate, but checks for irregular rhythms of the heart, is very convenient to use, and has several different certifications for accuracy.  It also has a sensor in it that requires you to hold your wrist at the level of your heart, and it will not work properly until in knows when to read the correct measurement, improving accuracy of the unit.

God Bless.

Let me know what happens.

StewieMD
Reply

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Thanks very much.Useful guidance here. Sorry to mislead by saying it only occurs during sleep. It can start anytime. Am good weight for 5 ft 91/2 @ 140 lbs. Used to be 160. I can live with pulses in ear very mild, but just like that during the day the head gets hot, then ears red and sensitive and hot and much stronger pulses in ears. My Dr thinks artery is close to auditory nerve and very very tricky to operate.

I notice when Im busy and active during day, it only begins around supper hr but

sometimes it will stay dormant for 4 days!!!! If I dont do much activity during day then it may not occur. Just scary when something tells heart to beat harder or work harder and head heats up and ears and louder pulse. Im trying to eliminate the triggers one by one, but would like to know what tests I can have to measure

the chemicals released that ell heart to work. I just did 24 hr urine test in large bottle. But, during this 24 period, it didnt act up so my guess is it wont show anything. I looked up adrenaline as poss cause but symptoms not same.
Reply

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DAVISAL wrote:

StewieMD wrote:

So this seems to happen primarily in sleep?   And primarily when lying flat?

If so, this you may want to discuss the possible diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) with your doctor.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea, if untreated, can produce symptoms such as you describe.

Do you snore?  Are you overweight?  Do you have a short thick neck?  Although, the literature shows that none of these factors are required to have sleep apnea.

Additionally, as we age, our upper airway tends to become more "floppy" and relax, and sometimes OSA can develop.  OSA is extremely common.  When the airway gets blocked during sleep, usually when laying flat as you describe (because gravity tends to pull the tongue backwards into the throat and block the airway), the oxygen level in the blood drops very low, and the heart begins to "race" in an attempt to deliver oxygen to the tissues.  The person may wake up coughing, or gasping for air, or with a headache, or could, in theory report something like you do, of hearing a "heartbeat in his head" which is actually just due to the elevation of blood pressure and heart rate caused by the drop in oxygen in the blood and racing heart.

OSA could account for red ears and facial flushing as well, in some situations.

Whether it is, or whether it isn't- if one's symptoms are occurring primarily during sleep, I would ask one's doctor about the possibility of obtaining a Sleep Study from a Certified Sleep Lab.   (Be sure to choose a Certified Sleep Lab if possible, and there aren't many of these around, most of them are at the big University Medical Centers).

A sleep study may connect an EKG (heart monitor), a breathing monitor which will monitor airflow in and out of one's nostrils to determine whether or not one stops breathing, and all kinds of electrodes to one's scalp and forehead which will monitor one's brain waves and how one's body responds to these physiological events.   The test also monitors other things, such as leg movements, etc. When the event occurs, it can hopefully be "captured" by the equipment and documented so that the professionals can look at the data. Perhaps it might be best to sleep flat on your back during the study to hopefully reproduce your symptoms.  Nevertheless, talk this over with your doctor, as these are just general suggestions, and not intended to be official medical advice.

Also, with having a wood burning stove, I would again suggest keeping some form of adequate ventilation in your house, such as a small crack in your window, to allow fresh air inside.

When any fire burns for an extended time in a tightly sealed home, it will use up all of the available oxygen in the home and the fire will begin to burn improperly, and instead of releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) as it normally does, it will release carbon monoxide (CO).  When there is adequate oxygen available, this is less likely to occur.  I would also be sure the carbon monoxide detectors are working properly and consider having your doctor check a blood carbon monoxide level on you as well, just to be on the safe side, if there is any doubt.

It might also be a good idea to consider purchasing a home blood pressure monitor, and record your blood pressure and heart rate, morning and night, and as soon as you happen to "wake up" with any such "event" and bring this information in to your doctor, if he or she agrees.

Not all BP monitors are the same, and some are not dependable.  I like the OMRON BP652 wrist model, because it not only measures heart rate, but checks for irregular rhythms of the heart, is very convenient to use, and has several different certifications for accuracy.  It also has a sensor in it that requires you to hold your wrist at the level of your heart, and it will not work properly until in knows when to read the correct measurement, improving accuracy of the unit.

God Bless.

Let me know what happens.

StewieMD


Thanks very much.Useful guidance here. Sorry to mislead by saying it only occurs during sleep. It can start anytime. Am good weight for 5 ft 91/2 @ 140 lbs. Used to be 160. I can live with pulses in ear very mild, but just like that during the day the head gets hot, then ears red and sensitive and hot and much stronger pulses in ears. My Dr thinks artery is close to auditory nerve and very very tricky to operate.
I notice when Im busy and active during day, it only begins around supper hr but
sometimes it will stay dormant for 4 days!!!! If I dont do much activity during day then it may not occur. Just scary when something tells heart to beat harder or work harder and head heats up and ears and louder pulse. Im trying to eliminate the triggers one by one, but would like to know what tests I can have to measure
the chemicals released that ell heart to work. I just did 24 hr urine test in large bottle. But, during this 24 period, it didnt act up so my guess is it wont show anything. I looked up adrenaline as poss cause but symptoms not same.


Not true regarding the test not being accurate because your symptoms did not act up during the time you did the 24-hour urine.

That won't matter. The levels will be high regardless, if that is the problem, because it is measuring the breakdown products of Adrenalin (VMA and catecholamines, etc.) that are made from the adrenal gland.

He was testing you for a condition called Pheochromocytoma, I assume. That is a rare disorder however, and I would be surprised if that is your problem- and in that condition, one would typically have profuse sweating and hypertension, as the primary symptoms, with panic attacks.

Very simply, I would stop trying to diagnose yourself, and let your doctor do his job.

Continue to report your symptoms to your doctor. Let him do his job.

He will find out what is wrong with you.

It is not your job to figure this out. It is complex, and will probably turn out to be something very benign and very treatable.

Whatever it is, it not likely to kill you.

Relax.

Yes. It is annoying. Try to put up with it for now, until you have an answer.

And in the end, remember, FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.

Do not worry.

Live your life.

Be happy.

Please keep me posted on what you find out.

God Bless.
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It is easy to advise to let the Drs do the work, however, in the real world, this is not always the case. I went to the local Hospital emergency to ask to be admitted for overnight stay and testing as fearing thes strong pulses may cause a brain aneurism. Hospial on a weekeday had 85% of

emergency room full, 2 ambulances outside and only 1 Dr on duty! People were waiting 6+hrs to be seen. Ridiculous! Also walk in clinics dont take you if your family Dr doesnt work in that clinic. Walk ins are breeding grounds for catching viral diseases from everyone in confined spaces, coughing sneezing etc., and with internet, the medical information, symptoms, and remedies are out there en masse. Sorry to say but family Dr

orders tests and looks at the results, or prescribes pills. Realize a problem of my nature is complex, but there are logical signs. As far as medical condition update is, the last 5 nights sleeping upright on a couch, I get up a few times with not too bad head pulses, which subside in 20 mins after pacing. However, last night I tried sleeping in bad with pillows on headboard and at upper torso to elevate upper torso similar to couch. No go! Awake at 1:30 am strong heartbeat and stronger pulse in head,couldnt sleep till 7 am and still there, so its back to higher angle couch! Something casusing this to trigger after only 90 mins lying in bed. Never this severe during day. All bllod tests done in JUne 100% normal. Dont believe its sleep disorder, as dont have symptoms gasping for breath headaches etc. Or gravity. Remains a mystery.

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Update: When the stronger pulse triggers in the evening, the beats lasts for hours! It varies, sometimes is loud whoosh sound in ears with hot red ears and warm face, other times, no hot ears hot face and heartbeat normal 70 b.p.s but pulse "heard" in center of head instead of ears. Something is triggering this to stay for hours on end before subsiding, but need to find a way to switch it off..so far, mild exercise seems to help. Not caused by carbon monoxide as have fresh air all the time. Have rules out foods salts, sugars, sweets, even cigarettes dont trigger. The key is to find out what causes heart to work hard randomly and to stop it. As it does not do this all the time it becomes difficult to measure the underlying cause until the effect occurs.

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I've had a similar problem for quite some time and, when you mentioned anxiety, I started thinking about the possibilities. I noticed that this pulsating sound only occurs in my right ear and first started happening when my father would be talking to me (often the subject of conversation was, by nature, filled with constructive criticism). Now, I feel it happening whenever I'm trying to intently listen to someone (I get very distracted sometimes). Is this anxiety of trying to really listen to someone causing my heart or my pulse to fluctuate and cause this thumping sound in my ear? It's very bothersome and only serves as more of a distraction when I'm really trying to listen.
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Doctor says its auditory nerve that is close to the cortoids, and auditiry nerve picking up the pulses amplifying it. Ive lost a ton of weight and fat, and this fat loss in brain may have left an opening between ear nerve and cartoid. Dont have to take pulse, just a stopwatch and listen to it. Its there all the time 24/7..sometimes stronger sometimes weaker. if strong in ear ear will get hot
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Are u on any meds? As low blood pressure is the cause of this symptom. I am experiencing the same. And when I lie down it is worse. Postural changes can effect bp. And u may suffer postural hypertension (I think its called) I have pots (heart) but since they placed me on meds to sort that out, my bp has been up/down as a result. Nd now I have postural intolerances with bp. Hope this helps
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I too have the same symptoms of hearing the pulse in but one ear (my left). It only lasts for a dozen or so beats and is not associated with any other symptoms...Have been on a regiment of meds to control BP, HDL, Diabetes and an Aspirin a day to prevent another stroke. I will keep you updated as to any further development and or seriousness of this condition...good part is don't need to used my finger to throat to count my heartbeat...lol

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sorry...LDL...had to look at the bottle...
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