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Participant

Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1

Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/05/2010 5:27 AM

Can we hear our own blood flow? My bio teacher said that the human ear is sensitive enough to hear the sound of our own blood flowing in our veins and arteries but that the brain does not "interpret" these sounds and that nobody knows why it is like that. And since i have to double check everything she says - i thought that this would be the right place.

Thanks in advance.

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Guru

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#1

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/05/2010 8:08 AM

Yes, some people can. Here's a link.

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Guru

Join Date: Dec 2008
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#2

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/05/2010 8:21 AM

Absolutely, some people can hear their own blood flow.

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#3

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/05/2010 10:37 AM
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#4

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/05/2010 12:00 PM

Sure - that's the "sea" you hear when you put your ear to a seashell.

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Guru

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#5

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/05/2010 12:08 PM

I thought everyone could hear their blood circulating and their heart beating as well?

I have always assumed that was a normal thing.

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Guru

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#6

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/05/2010 2:04 PM

Yes but it has to be real quiet around you

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#7

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/05/2010 5:28 PM

I have tinitis, ear damage. I hear a constant tone or ring, but it is modulated by my heartbeat, so I have 'washing machine charlie' with me all the time. Thanks to years in a welding shop running a large hand grinder without proper protection. My own fault, the boss would have given me anything I wanted. Folks are warned about loud noise at concerts, guns, even mp3 players. The damage is permanent.

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#8

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/05/2010 10:29 PM

If you put your fingers in your ears, you can hear a background "static". That's your blood flowing in your finger and in your ear.

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#17
In reply to #8

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/07/2010 11:49 PM

When I put fingers to ears, it sounds like uniform/constant amplitude . However as you pointed in your latter post (no.15), it should be repetitive at a frequncy, somwhere around 60-80Hz (pulse rate in most individuals). Could it be that sound amplitude changing at this frequency is perceived as sound of constant amplitude (like we have the limitation to eye, whereby 16 or more frames/sec is seen as continuous/motion picture) or simply that the sensitivity to recognise the repetitiveness of this sound varies with individuals?

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#9

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/05/2010 10:50 PM

I have a problem with heart and circulatory disease. I can hear my blood rushing to my head when either I forgot my blood pressure pills or am suffering from Atrial Fibrillation. I don't notice it otherwise. I think our brain can tell when we are in trouble and tells us in many ways. Sometimes it is more than sound.

I don't know if others have the same experience but you get to really know your body language and if it is the sound of blood or pain of migraines, angina pain, aches or whatever we are in tune with our bodies whether we like it or not. It can be a good language to listen to as it may save your life.

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#10

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/05/2010 11:30 PM

Absolutely. We have an anechoic chamber at work for testing antennae. It not only suppresses RF energy, it does a bang up job of killing anything in the audio spectrum. When I step in there and virtually all exterior sounds are gone, I can most certainly hear the blood rush through my ears.

Cheers

Martin

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/06/2010 1:45 AM

I've been in an anechoic chamber before. It's so quiet it almost is painful. I was busy on a project so didn't have time to listen for blood flow.

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#12

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/06/2010 9:25 AM

I have 3 boys under 12 and there are times when I can hear the blood circulating in my body, or should I say pounding in my head!

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#13

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/06/2010 9:40 AM

I think our brains certainly do recognise the sounds our bodies make but perhaps the conscious portion is so distracted by day to day life that we don't notice.

In a manner this makes sense as I'm sure you'd rather be paying closer attention to that car that just jumped the curb and is heading straight toward you than your own heart beat.

I'm just as sure you'll notice your heart beat after that near miss too.

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#14

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/06/2010 2:40 PM

Why must the flow sounds in any way? freq.? If Bhankhiii or Harryburst are wright, at first i believed them, why the heart beating is not heard when you do what they say?.-

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/06/2010 2:55 PM

Blood flow is not uniform; it pulses with your heartbeat. It also flows through various size vessels from the aorta (garden hose size) to capillaries (blood cells in single file). These set up vibrations that can be heard under the right circumstances.

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#16

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/07/2010 4:19 PM

Your teacher is correct, however, the common reason you do not hear blood flow is because nearly all background noises from within the body, especially breathing, cancels out vascular flow sounds. Here is more info.

Many people notice annoying noises in their ears, especially as they grow older. The conditions medical name is tinnitus, which affects people mostly in the age range of 40 to 70 years. About 37 million to 40 million Americans have tinnitus. The majority of people are not bothered by it when surrounded by background noise; however, some are incapacitated so severely that they cannot get sufficient sleep and find it difficult to talk with others or to work.

If you hear voices speaking to you or music, the cause may be an auditory hallucination, which is similar to a visual hallucination, except you are fooled into thinking that the noises are real. Hearing voices or music could be a medical emergency, so you should see a physician immediately. The physician will know the next step to take to have the problem diagnosed.

What Kind of Sounds Does Tinnitus Make?

The sounds of tinnitus are most often described as "ringing." However, this is not usually the sound of a bell ringing but is most often a steady tone present in one or both ears. Some patients say the tone is coming from the head instead of the ears or from outside of the head. Tinnitus can sound like hissing, sizzling, buzzing, roaring, whistling, chirping, clicking, beating, humming, banging, blowing, clanging, whooshing, rumbling, or shrieking noises, as well as sounds of rushing water, radio static, breaking glass, bells ringing, owls hooting, or chainsaws running.

What Causes Tinnitus?

There are many causes of tinnitus, but some of the most common are hearing loss, exposure to loud noise, medications, or other health problems (allergies, tumors, problems with the heart, blood vessels, head, neck, or kidneys).

What Should I Do First?

Tinnitus has many possible causes, and some are so serious that they are considered medical emergencies (such as tumors). For this reason, a physician or an audiologist (hearing specialist) should check any case of tinnitus as a first step.

Can Tinnitus Be Treated?

There is no cure for most cases of tinnitus. However, several interventions may help. If the tinnitus sufferer also has hearing loss, hearing aids can help in making it easier to hear others. Hearing others more clearly makes the tinnitus less troublesome.

Tinnitus masking has become increasingly popular. Tinnitus maskers are special devices that create sounds to help you ignore the tinnitus. Some of the maskers work so well that the tinnitus is barely noticeable, even when the masker is not worn. A less expensive type of masking can be obtained when you turn the television or radio on to a channel that only makes static. Even an attic fan or humidifier can produce a constant masking noise to help the tinnitus.

You should also avoid smoking, alcohol, and loud noises. All can worsen tinnitus. If your daily activities or job require exposure to loud noise (e.g., construction, shooting), wear hearing protectors to prevent the tinnitus from worsening.

Advisory: Check any case of tinnitus with a physician.

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Anonymous Poster
#18

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/08/2010 8:34 AM

Sure

The sound you hear when you were a kid holding a shell up to you ear is the blood flowing through you ear. At least thats what we always were told.

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#19

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/10/2010 4:50 PM

If you hear a rushing sound or squirting sound that pulses with your heartbeat you should consult your doctor immediately as this could be a sign of occlusion of the carotid artery.

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Anonymous Poster
#20

Re: Can We Hear Our Own Blood Flow?

03/31/2010 9:24 AM

I don't really understand the mechanics of all of this--but I've been listening to an audiobook called Perfect Mess and there is a topic that he hits on a lot called stochastic resonance, wherein *adding* random noise makes it easier to hear. It's added back in on cell phones, and is used to help people who are hard of hearing as well. The author later references a study on leopard frogs that showed that the auditory cilia, which convert mechanical energy to electrical impulses to be interpreted as sound, were influenced by Brownian movement in the auditory fluid; as well as by stochastic resonance. The theory is that the brain may actually produce its own noise in order to hear better. I'm not sure how this all fits in, but I have a feeling that this link between noise, stochastic resonance, and Brownian movement also is involved at least on some level on the inability of many of us to hear many of our body's functions. Any thoughts?

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