Could hearing a gunshot sound in head be a stroke symptom?

4 answers | Last updated: Nov 11, 2016
Mskat7777 asked...

Both my Mom and my Sister have told me that while they are in bed at night, they hear a gunshot sound in their head. This has happened on more than one occasion for both. Both have husbands who don't hear the noise, so it is truly internal. Is this a stroke? If not, what could it be? Should they seek help? Both have sworn off of doctors due to all the surgeries and health conditions they've had throughout their lives. Please help.

Expert Answers

James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.

This does not sound like a stroke symptom.  Strokes would not be expected to cause the sensation of a loud noise - unless it was associated with a severe headache - which could indicate a sudden bleed in the head.  I would suggest they be seen by their primary care physicians, and that imaging of the brain be considered.  If their primary care physician thinks this could be a hearing issue (including problems with the middle or inner ear), an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) doctor consultation could be considered.  If imaging of the brain and the vessels of the brain is negative, than their symptoms do not sound Neurological in nature.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

During the time I was on Effexor, one per day, a commonly prescribed medicine for depression, if the medicine got out of my system my head sounded like the guns of duck hunters shooting. It was quite uncomfortable, on the verge of painful. Within and hour after taking the medicine again, this symptom was relieved. I am now taking Prozac, and have no side effects if a dose is missed. I am a 73 year old white female, 5'1" tall, wt. 172.

A fellow caregiver answered...

The sound of a gunshot in the head is actually a rare kind of headache. Suggest a neurology consult.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I had a cerebellar stroke and it started with a deafening noise in my right ear like a slow helicopter blade under water with a lot of bass and reverberation. It was absolutely deafening. I grabbed my ear, fell to the floor and had my stroke within seconds. The sound ended within minutes. I am still trying to find out the link between that noise and my stroke.