ISHPEMING — Sometimes when we feel high emotions we can feel our heart beating through our chest, but could you imagine hearing it in your ears? One person could hear that, hear her neck muscles move and hear her eyes move because of a rare condition. ABC Ten’s Sarah Mac has more on this woman’s journey through this rare condition.
Most of us wouldn’t think twice about everyday tasks like snacking, turning our heads or even blinking, but to Rachel Pyne these tasks became almost unbearable. Rachel suffered from a unique condition called superior semicircular canal dehiscence or SSCD. According to Rachel’s surgeon, the condition is cause by a hole that develops in your middle ear between the ear and the brain.
Ear Surgeon Dr. Quinton Gopen says, “You hear your own heartbeat, you hear your own voice, you hear your own eyeballs move – and I know that sounds strange, but it’s very common for these patients. They’ll come in and say, ‘I can hear my neck muscles move,’ and people will look at them and go, ‘That’s not possible,’ and yet they do hear this.”
Even though the holes were tiny, they cause her huge problems. The condition often made her dizzy and lose her balance, and also hear things that even some doctors would believe impossible.
Pyne says, “I can hear my heart beating and it’s like, ‘thump, thump,’ and my whole ear goes out, and it feels like my whole ear is beating with my heart. I could hear just little sounds, here and there. People’s change moving, people cell phones ringing, like at the restaurant people clanking their dishes, like all this different stuff, and I couldn’t listen to my music anymore, I couldn’t watch TV anymore.”
Now thanks to a procedure at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Rachel feels a whole lot better. The procedure only takes 90 minutes and has instantaneous results.
Pyne says, “When I woke up I just thought, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s gone!'”