Ear Fluttering

Discussion in 'Dr. Stephen Nagler (MD)' started by Tenna, Jun 8, 2014.

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    1. Tenna

      Tenna Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hello Mr. Nagler :)

      Most ENTs shake their heads of tinnitus, and this following symptom many of them never heard of.
      Since start January my left ear (start t ear) started to flutter, right after a sentence would be spoken by me or someone near, I would get a "poof" in the left ear drum mostly. The feeling of someone tapping your ear's insides with a finger once, at first I thought it was a beetle mooving around, none of the many t and ear experts I consulted knew what it was. If I put my finger into the left ear, and take it out again, the poof appears. Same if I put it into the right, the poof appears in left. By yawning, or using the yawn muscle's without actually yawning, I can 'get a hold' of the muscles and mostly cause those muscles to contract and make a similar sound.
      It started upon spending a lot of time with some kids in the family, one which is loud. In January I had quite some ear pain which has lessened, however some weeks ago this kid slept over, and immediatly the pain began again eventhough there was nothing loud going on. As a sidenote my mother and I have voices which easily cut through an entire room, and whenever she talks, I have to withdraw my head as she's almost yelling at a normal conversation distance. Add to that surprise sneezes and yawns attached with a 'yell' in the end..
      In January I think at the same point as earflutter start, I started experiencing a slight distortion, it's a bit on and off, however I suspect it might have to do with this earfluttering and general tension of whatever is going on in there.
      The fluttering is now at a point where upon moving my ear on the pillow it rumbles inside my ears - lesser but same effect as sticking finger into it, just a slower fluttering.
      It wakes me up, in the morning when someone is talking it seems most prevalent and reactive due to a long night of no sleep I guess.
      Many claimed experts says it's normal so get some ear fluttering once in a while, but this is after every sentence.
      I've been starting to alter my voice pitch, the way I speak and limit how much I speak because of this issue.
      So.. I don't know what to do

    2. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member Clinician Benefactor

      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi @Tenna -

      "Ear fluttering" is sort of an imprecise term. It is not tinnitus, but I agree that at times it can be very aggravating.

      Without examining you myself, it would be difficult to determine the exact cause of the fluttering. (Even with a thorough examination, it can be challenging to make a precise diagnosis.) Possibilities include things like tonic tensor tympani syndrome, stapedius muscle spasm, and palatal myoclonus - just to name three.

      As I see it, how far you should pursue the diagnosis and what you should do about it depends on how much it actually bothers you.

      The simplest thing to do would be to totally give up caffeine and chocolate for three weeks. If that makes a difference, your problem is solved. (If the fluttering continues, there would be no reason not to resume drinking coffee and tea ... and eating chocolate!)

      If the caffeine/chocolate thingie does not work and you are significantly troubled by the fluttering, then instead of seeing a regular ENT, I'd make an appointment with an otologist or neurotologist. These are ENTs who have obtained additional training specifically in disorders involving the ear and closely related structures.

      Hope this helps.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler

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