Q:

Why can I hear my heart beating?

A:

Quick Answer

There are a number of reasons why a person might hear his own heartbeat according to the American Hearing Research Foundation, all caused by pulsatile tinnitus. Approximately 36 million Americans suffer from tinnitus, which is a condition where noise is heard yet not caused by the environment.

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Full Answer

According to the website Ask Doctor K, tinnitus is one of the most common reasons for hearing a heartbeat in the ear, and approximately 50 million people in the United States suffer from the condition. Though tinnitus is fairly common, there are a number of reasons people will develop symptoms.

First, hearing loss can be a reason for chronic tinnitus, specifically conductive hearing loss, according to Ask Doctor K. This type of hearing loss can intensify the internal sounds of the body. Another reason for chronic tinnitus is carotid artery disease. This disease causes plaque to build up in the arteries and can slow the flow of blood. This causes a pulsing sound in the ears. High blood pressure is also a cause of hearing the beating of the heart as is any number of blood vessel disorders. Finally, ear muscle disorders can also cause someone to hear their heartbeat internally. Tinnitus is normally nothing to worry about, but a medical provider can provide more details for those with concerns.

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