Lifestyle & Human Interest

Woman Says She Can Hear Her Own Heart Beat and Eyes Move Due to Rare Condition


Our bodies are amazing, and they mostly operate without our conscious attention or notice.

That’s partly why any new discovery or symptom can be so concerning. It’s hard not to worry when we experience major changes.

Something as small as a plugged ear is annoying, but generally clears itself up. For Perth, Australia, resident Tenika Nicotra, that was only the beginning of her problems.

The 24-year-old nail technician was reportedly giving a friend a manicure three years ago when she noticed her ear felt plugged.

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“I remember my ear felt blocked and I was speaking to her and I could hear random noises going on,” she told “It was something that had never happened to me before.”

“I went home that night and I realised that what I was hearing was my heartbeat and I was hearing that in my left ear quite loud and it was to the point where I couldn’t sleep.

“It really upset me because it was everyday and there was nothing I could do to stop it. There was nothing that I could do to turn the volume down.”

It seems a small thing, but even something so small can become aggravating. Thankfully, after a while Nicotra was no longer able to hear her heartbeat in her head.

But something else, something even odder, took its place: A rolling noise. Not as constant and consistent as the thudding heartbeat, but insistent all the same.

And then she realized what it was. And it was weird.

“I realised it would grow louder when I moved my eyes around left to right and up and down,” she explained to Daily Mail Australia. “That is when I put two and two together that I could hear my eye balls.”

“It sounds exactly like the sound you would get if you rolled marbles on a wooden floor.”

Nicotra went to doctors, but they all told her she was healthy. She knew how her story sounded, and she entertained the possibility that the issue was with her mind, not her body.

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“I did consider I was insane and was imaging things that were not there and that I might have to go see psychologists. I downloaded apps to try and block it out.”

But after a meeting with a specialist in 2018, Nicotra had an answer at long last: Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome.

“Canal dehiscence refers to an opening (dehiscence) in the bone that covers one of the semicircular canals of the inner ear,” the Cleveland Clinic explains. “It most commonly occurs in the superior semicircular canal of the ear. It can result in symptoms that affect a person’s balance and hearing.”

“The true cause of canal dehiscence syndrome is unknown. The dehiscence may, at least in part, be congenital (present from birth) and may have occurred during the development of the inner ear. It can also be caused from certain infections as well as head trauma.”

“Many believe that it is multifactorial in that there may be a congenitally thin area of bone that is then susceptible to trauma or infections, or may simply thin further with aging.”

Nicotra also learned that it’s a rare condition many have had to learn to live with. There is a surgery available, but it’s invasive brain surgery with no guarantee of success — so she opted to deal with her unique condition.

At least she has an explanation for her symptoms, and she’s using her visibility to encourage people to push for answers when they think something’s wrong.

“It was really frustrating and lonely at the time, but now I know how were they were supposed to diagnose me if they didn’t know,” she said. “You don’t have to feel alone. Push to find a good specialist and get answers.”

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