Middle Ear Myoclonus (MEM) vs. Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD) — What Are the Differences?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Clerkp, Dec 7, 2021.

    1. Clerkp

      Clerkp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      Middle ear myoclonus experts, I am struggling to figure out what's going on and having a hard time understanding exactly what symptoms middle ear myoclonus has versus Eustachian tube dysfunction. I will try to describe what is going on as best I can.

      About 10 days ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with what sounded like a "wet popping" sound in my right ear. I had done a very long intense exercise in my basement that night. I sweat a lot and I also tend to accumulate ear wax so my immediate impression was I have wet wax crackling in my ear.

      I have since seen 2 ENTs and had my ears cleaned but this sensation has not gone away. It ranges from a pop sensation consistent with an Eustachian tube dysfunction to a very very quiet click or tap. It is absolutely objective and it can be accompanied by my eardrum moving. It is intermittent and involuntary. This is not a situation where it is only heard when I chew or open my mouth or move. It can be every 5 seconds, or every minute or something in between. It can go virtually silent to just a very short pulse sensation to something audible. It will disappear for hours on end only to return. In fact, I had three "good" days where it only appeared for a couple of hours and I thought it was going away. However, last night it returned. At night, it's impossible not to become fixated on the sensation and it kept me up all night even though it is barely audible. I tried a louder fan and even tried using my earbuds to mask it. The earbuds mask a lot of it but I'm not crazy about using them all night due to my regular tinnitus. My right ear tends to pop more than my left generally and it can have a sensation of pressure from time to time but it is very slight. No pain.

      I have watched some videos of middle ear myoclonus and the examples seem much louder and much more rapid. Mine is all over the place in terms of duration and frequency between pops as well as the fact that it can range from an inaudible sensation of my eardrum fluttering to a pop to a click. As I type this now, it is gone.

      First ENT said to try Flonase for 2 weeks. Second ENT thought it could be TMJ related (although I have not been diagnosed with this). I could live with it but for nighttime symptoms. When it is not present at night, I can sleep. But if it's going on at bedtime or fires up at night, it is over.

      My only other thought is that my right ear is more sensitive to sound than my left. Certain louder noises with a rumble like road noise, industrial fans or deep bass music, will cause my right ear drum to flutter. It has been that way for a long time and doesn't really bother me. It's a sensation rather than a sound. My be connected. Only other thing is that I've become extremely nervous about my ears due to a tinnitus spike and am suffering from more anxiety than usual. However, these symptoms are not triggered by loud noise and can be present in complete silence.

      Sorry for the long post. Just trying to identify whether this is more likely an Eustachian tube issue or middle ear myoclonus. Thoughts are appreciated.
      • Like Like x 3
    2. Lchops

      Lchops Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hello - I know you wrote this quite some time ago but I am trying to figure out the same thing for myself.

      Have you gotten and answers since? Any treatments that have helped you?


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