How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Mark Your Own Question
Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Physician / Surgeon
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Surgeon / Neurological Surgery
Type Your Medical Question Here...
Dr. Mark is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Why am I feeling a knocking noise in my head?

This answer was rated:

Why am I experiencing "knocking" noises in my head?

What do you mean exactly?
Is it an actual knocking noise? Is it a whooshing noise? Does it correspond with your heart beat?
Is this in one ear or both?
How long has this been going on?
Do you have any other symptoms?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

It is as if a tiny person was in my head (and I'm not "nuts") banging or knocking, like a hammer sound. It does not correspond to my heartbeat. It's not a noise in my ears, it's in my head. I don't believe that I ever experienced it before my M.R.I, but don't think it's because of that. Other symptoms, No.

Are you still having this knocking noise?
How often does it come on? Every second?
Was this MRI of the brain?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Yes, MRI was on the brain scan. Yes, I still have these sounds, but not daily; perhaps 2-3x/week.

When you have them, are they frequent, like every second for a few minutes?
Is your hearing normal otherwise?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Yes, every few seconds. I am a bit hard of hearing, but don't understand the possible connection.

Ok. Well, it certainly will be impossible to get an answer to the question over the internet.
This, I'm sure, has puzzled your doctors, as the hearing issues do not seem constant (as they would be with blood vessel issues next to the ear, causing periodic noises heard in the ear).
The clean MRI rules out actual issues with the middle ear or inner ear that could contribute to hearing issues.
So, the possibility remains that this could be "auditory hallucinations" -- sounds that you are hearing -- which can range from banging, clanging, music, voices, speech, etc -- that are not really there. Classically, such hallucinations were associated with schizophrenia, but other conditions can cause your brain to be "fooled" into hearing things that aren't really there.
So it may be helpful to discuss these possibilities with your doctor, to see if further evaluation is necessary.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

My mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia at about the age of 45 years. She died at 55 from bone cancer. Is there a possibility that I have some of her symptoms?

Although I must say, I don't have hallucinations, I don't hear people "talking" who are not, and I do not suspect that the government was watching over me, as my mom did.
I just have knocking sounds in my head. I would love to know how to FIX it. Maybe medicines, I don't know. That's why I'm asking.


Well, auditory herniations can run the gamut from hearing weird noises, to actual hearing talking and voices. So if you don't have other symptoms of schizophrenia -- you don't have schizophrenia, and you shouldn't worry about it.
But certainly other neurologic conditions can be associated with it (though rare), so perhaps asking a neurologist about further evaluation could be helpful. Unfortunately, without knowing what is causing it -- it is tough to recommend a treatment.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I totally appreciate your coming back to me. I know it's very difficult to answer specific medical questions without actually seeing a patient. However, I don't feel better, still not knowing.
Perhaps you're correct and I should see a Neurologist.
I do thank you all for your time.

Well, at least you can rest assured that the serious potential causes (blood vessel abnormalities near the middle ear, brain tumors, tumors involving the acoustic nerve) have been ruled out with your studies.
Best of luck.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Would it be possible for your TEAM to recommend a Neurologist for me.
I live in Lake Arrowhead, CA. and do not know of a reputable Dr. in this area. Again thanks for your help.

That's a beautiful area, I've been there a couple of times.
The largest medical centre in your area would be Loma Linda -- and they would have a large neurology department that could possibly help.
Unfortunately, I don't know anyone there personally.

Dr. Mark, Physician / Surgeon
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience: U.S. Surgeon / Neurological Surgery
Dr. Mark and other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi, me again. As I sit here at computer, I am hearing those fairly quiet knocking sounds. It is very difficult to explain, but it does seem to be "heard" mostly in my right ear.
I guess that it may be signs of (upcoming) deafness. My mother was also quite deaf at an early age. She told us (4 kids) that she was hit in the ear by a baseball, as a child. Who knows!
I just don't know what to do to make it STOP. It is not debilitating, just very annoying.
Once again, thanks for your time. Some day I hope to figure this all out.

Clearly, you experience tinnitus. There are numerous causes for tinnitus and one of them is, indeed, age-related hearing loss which it sounds like you may have already. So, if you haven't already had an audiogram (hearing test) I suggest you do to look for high frequency hearing loss associated with ageing. That would help explain the clicking or knocking you hear.
Also, there are two very minute muscles inside the middle ear that attach to the ossicles (little bones) that conduct sound. If either muscle develops a twitch that may come and go (which doctors call myoclonus), it makes these ossicles vibrate. You don't feel the twitch but you hear a very regular, quick, repetitive click or knock.
Sometimes the noises and twitches conducted via Eustachian tube (tube that connects your ear to your pharynx) can produce tinnitus - for instance it can happen if your soft palate twitches frequently.
You can get evaluated by an ENT doc to rule out these problems. And don't forget to get an audiogram.