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Clicking Sound in throat-heartbeat
starrynite79 posted:
Hi, I am new to this board, and I was wondering if someone can help me with this weird thing that I have been having in my throat. I am nineteen and I have had it for at least five years. Anyways, whenever I am sitting a certain way, I can hear this clicking sound in my throat that goes along with my heartbeat. When I open my mouth, it only gets louder. My friend was sitting next to me and she could hear it when my mouth was opened. I really don't know if this is more of a heart question or a question for an ear, nose, and throat specialist. The clicking is not painful-I've had it for years and have lived with it just fine-but I'm just starting to become curious. I don't have any heart conditions that I am aware of. I have a regular heartbeat most of the time, and my blood pressure has always been normal. Anyways, if someone could give me some answers, I would really appreciate it!
Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
Sorry...I would really need to hear this first-hand during an examination; obviously, not something that we are going to be able to accomplish over the Internet. If this "clicking" is indeed, synchronous with your heartbeat, then it is vascular....and in the rhelm of a cardiologist. This could be related to the carotid arteries, or the jugular veins (these veins have a pulsation, just like an artery). The vessels are quite close to the surface, and near the throat. I can't say that I have had anyone with this indentical issue in my practice, so I would be curious if you do decide to see a specialist in an effort to find an answer.
CalifKen replied to Rod_Moser_PA_PhD's response:
How very strange that I should go looking on line for this symptom that I have been having -- clicking sound in my throat corresponding to my heart beat -- and find someone else with the same condition! However I am 57 and only recently started having these strange symptoms. But, like starrynite, the condition is not painful, although I do seem to be skipping heartbeats several times a minute and the effect is producing a feeling somewhat like a kind of anxiousness. I was just wondering if I should see a doctor because other that the effects I described it doesn't seem to be causing any harm -- just very curious and hoping that it's a benign symptom (maybe due to my age...?)
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to CalifKen's response:
Don't blame it on you age, and yes, it would be in you best interest to be medically-examined for this. Similar symptoms do not imply identical problems. See a good ENT...
NancyJWT replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Oh, this is weird... I have the same thing! Age 55 and had it for several years. It occurs most often when I'm reclining but sometimes when sitting up in a relaxed position.

It's a kind of hollow clicking or "dripping" noise--at first I kept thinking it was rain dripping from the gutters, or a clock hidden somewhere in my bedroom--took me weeks to realize it was in time with my pulse!

It is very position-dependent and either stops or (rarely) gets much louder if I shift position even slightly. A couple of times I noticed it was louder with my mouth open, but that's not consistent.

I have never mentioned this to a doctor because I've had so many other weird symptoms (sudden hearing loss, dizziness, neuro symptoms) over the past dozen years that I'm afraid they would just think I'm a hypochondriac. Or it would be yet another case of "I don't know and don't worry about it."
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to NancyJWT's response:
Read about PULSATILE TINNITUS.....let me know what you think.
NancyJWT replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you... I have done some reading in the past about tinnitus generally (which I have in my hearing-loss ear, a constant whirring) and also about pulsatile tinnitus. However, I don't THINK the clicking I hear is pulsatile tinnitus, mainly because it is not the swooshing noise (typical?) of pulsatile tinnitus but rather a clicking or "dripping" kind of noise, occasionally a click-smoosh (i.e., on one heartbeat I'll hear two noises in quick succession, the hollow clicking noise and immediately a second, swishy noise).

And it usually only occurs when reclining--begins a minute or so after I lay back in bed (on three pillows), continues on and off for a few minutes at most, then goes away. I've also noticed it happens much more frequently when I go to bed with a full stomach. I haven't heard of these as characteristic of pulsatile tinnitus.

Who knows, I guess it could be a weird form of pulsatile tinnitus. I have never heard anyone describe it like that. And I don't know what would be causing it. I did have an MRA (years before the clicking started) to investigate the dizziness and sudden hearing loss and it did find a small vascular loop on the side of my normal-hearing (right) ear. But I have never had tinnitus in that ear. This clicking is heard equally in both ears, or rather I cannot localize it at all. At first I was CERTAIN I was hearing this noise via air conduction, but then I became not so sure and have not been able to determine this for sure (partly because when I raise my arms to plug my ears, the sound is likely to stop altogether due to the position change, and of course when you plug your ears you create a little noise in them).

Some things will never be explained, I'm sure.
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to NancyJWT's response:
These issues can be very difficult to medically investigate. Another ear condition that you can read about would be myoclonus.....
NancyJWT replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Yes, they are difficult to "medically" investigate... which is why I think time-pressed or suspicious doctors too often end up ascribing these things, implicitly or explicitly, to patients just "paying too much attention" to their symptoms. This is why I no longer ask doctors questions but just try to figure things out myself and only ask (rarely) for help with Rx or PT for things that become real problems.

Re myoclonus, I don't think I've had that except perhaps during a four-day period of left-side BPPV when the episodes of "ceiling-jerking" were accompanied by a strong, fast thumping in my RIGHT ear. That was completely different.

Thanks for your responses, Dr. Moser... I was just amazed to see someone else describe this clicking noise and what brings it on so very similar to mine! I wonder if the original poster ever found anything out.

Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to NancyJWT's response:
I don't know, Nancy....maybe the original poster will read your inquiry, but keep in mind that similar symptoms in two different people may be caused by different things.
An_243685 replied to NancyJWT's response:
Nancy, I have EXACTLY the symptoms that you have described. I have had it for years but only realised last week that it was in time with my pulse. I have read that it could be caused by a trauma to the neck. I was knocked out about 5 years ago and I had terrible whiplash. Have you had any similar injury? I haven't been to a Doctor about it but will certainly mention it next time I visit. BTW I'm a 38 year old male. Glad that I'm not the only one!
NancyJWT replied to An_243685's response:
Hi--No, I have not had any neck or other injuries. I have a very sedate life. I did destroy the hearing in my left ear with a couple of hard sneezes in 1999, but this is unrelated. The clicking started several years later.

Did yours actually start right after the whiplash? I hope you recovered from it.

Please be sure to post and let us know what your doctor says, OK?
Schrenzel replied to An_243685's response:
Same same. Actually JUST noticed it for the 1st time tonight. I'll keep digging around. I suspect it is something unknown, and benign, as there doesn't seem to be many references on the net about it. And I suspect if people were dying from this, we would see some kind of something we could correlate.
JBoyle responded:
I have the same thing! I'm a 24 year old male. It happens when I get into bed at night, rather elevated. I can hear the sound of a 'drop' and a mediately the 'woosh' of my pulse. I'm glad to know I'm not alone lol another side note, I did a seizure about 6 years ago that wretched my neck pretty good. Not sure if its relevant.
Joey4 replied to JBoyle's response:
Hi, same here. 30 y.o. male. The sound is random, it happens (or it is more noticeable) when I'm inclined, or at bed.

'm pretty sure this clicking sound started when I began to read at bed at night with 2 pillows in a really bad position (forcing my neck to be in a bad angle). It's been 2 years, since then I also have another random noise inside my cervicals when I turn my neck that sounds like sand. I have also read about the sand sound and it seems it is vascular, related to neck/cervical trauma because of a bad position!

Watch out your position and if you have had neck traumas on the past. I haven't visited an specialist but should go sooner than later, just to check my cervicals!

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