I hear my heart beating in my right ear like a reader reported in the May/June 2008 issue. An ENT doctor diagnosed my condition as tinnitus due to the closeness of the carotid artery to the ear. Perhaps this could be a consideration for that reader. My question: Would you suggest I see a heart specialist?
Since the first reader wrote in about hearing a heartbeat, I have been paying special attention to listening for my own. I hear it beating equally well when I lie down on my right or left side and have my head and neck on my pillow, but not when I am standing. So, I think hearing a heartbeat in your ear while lying down is a normal finding. Tinnitus refers to hearing a sound in your ear without an external sound causing it. It can be a ringing, buzzing, hissing, or something similar. Because it is often a subjective symptom, it can be difficult to track down. Common causes can be wax buildup in the ear, infections, and allergies. Aspirin can produce tinnitus. I can’t really say whether you should see a heart doctor based on the information in your letter. However, if you are concerned, such a checkup would be a reasonable thing to do.