Ear Barotrauma from Swallowing the Wrong Way

Discussion in 'Support' started by Lauren Morse, Jun 30, 2016.

    1. Lauren Morse

      Lauren Morse Member

      Salt Lake City
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma/Migraines
      Around the middle of May I had a number of problems which may have signaled the onset of a TMJ disorder, although I don't really know.
      One of the troubles I began having were minor difficulties in swallowing, and realized that I was swallowing much harder than before and too rapidly. What was worse was that my swallowing seemed to be sending too much air up my eustachian tubes and causing, well, ear barotrauma. Already having a bit of ETD, I suppose I was predisposed to this kind of problem developing. I have had too many occasions where I swallowed and heard a *BANG* in my middle ears, where I felt like my eardrum was going to rupture. Often I experience ear pain, tinnitus, ear fullness, and hearing loss. On some occasions even vertigo, which to me meant a shockwave must have gone through my inner ear.
      I have been told that I do not swallow properly, but even following attempts to swallow properly leads to the same problem.

      I am terrified because of how dangerous and unusual problem this is. Has anyone heard of this or know how to correct it? I realize that a lot of people hear a crackling sound in their ear upon swallowing; this is similar but at a much greater magnitude and with terrible consequences.
    2. Jack Barnes

      Jack Barnes Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      @Lauren Morse I know this thread is kinda old but do you have any updates on your condition?

      I've been having a similar problem for the past couple months. Whenever I swallow without intentionally trying to swallow gently, I hear a MASSIVE popping/explosion sound. Afterwards I usually get ear/jaw pain, facial warmth, increased ear/jaw fullness, changes in tinnitus, and some fluid moving around. It's insanely loud and it happens half a dozen or more times a day. It's difficult to combat because swallowing is an automatic function and sometimes I just can't be prepared for it.

      I thought for a while it was caused by partially patulous eustachian tubes just based on some of my symptoms, e.g., occasional autophony, popping and clicking sounds with mouth/tongue movement, and a cold feeling in ears when breathing sometimes. I've mentioned it to my ENT and they think ETD is the culprit, not PET.

      My advice to anyone with this problem is to try to limit your swallowing to only when eating and drinking, and to intentionally swallow gently. It's too hard to explain my personal method on how to swallow gently, but I will say it takes some focus and creativity. It also doesn't work 100% of the time for me but it's better than nothing.


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