What Might Cause Ear Fluttering / Contracting? I'm Not Sure?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Kris, Mar 4, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Kris

      Kris Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Hi guys

      In addition to the on and off dullness feeling I get in my ears, and the low level humming/buzz I get this odd sensation that I am hoping some of you might be able to help me with.

      When my daughter screams, cries or when people talk loudly the inside of my ear flutters and feels like it is contracting. Sometimes this sensation goes all the way through my head and down my neck. Always on the left side. When I touch the left side of my face, sometimes I also get the flutter feeling.

      I don't get this reaction though around some other loud sounds, like a bang of a dish or the tv loud doesn't effect my ear,neck etc. strange! Seems to be only a certain pitch perhaps? Or is it soemthing psychological? I have been anxious for a while now about my t and ear dullness.

      What are your thoughts?
       
    2. Valentin

      Valentin Member

      Location:
      Thailand
      Tinnitus Since:
      17/08/2013
    3. Kris

      Kris Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Thanks for that, sounds like me.

      What doctor (ENT) do I need to see to be diagnosed with this? Understanding, they prob won't be able to do much to help anyway. I have seen a truckload of docs since get onset of my ear issues. Is this worth following up? Or do you think I should just stand by and see what happens with it?
       
    4. Haru
      Artistic

      Haru Member

      Location:
      Turkey
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Something similar (or the same, I'm not sure) happened to me when I put my mobile on speaker mode and the person I was talking to sounded really loud. It began fluttering inside my ears, I guess I can describe it like that. It was like a machine working rythmically and fast. I freaked out!

      I wonder WHY it happens. It never happened to me before I got T. Does anyone know?!
       
    5. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      I get this as well and was told by a pretty legit audiologist (Ross Dineen) that it was probably Tonic Tensor Tympani Syndrome. It used to be more prominent in my left ear but I would say that it is probably more prominent in my right ear now. There are certain frequencies that seem to trigger it, my left ear spasms when I hear a sharp snare drum or something around the 3khz range, it also used to spasm when I touched my face but that's stopped now. My right ear (more annoying) seems to get set off when someone coughs or sniffles. My mum has had her allergies going off pretty bad the past 8 or so months, and her sniffle will set off a spasm in my ear most of the time, very annoying but sort of funny at the same time.

      It's different for everyone, but I think my TTTS severity is linked to the level of stress and anxiety I am under, it comes and goes for weeks at a time and will get significantly worse if I am very stressed or anxious about something. I have also noted that if I'm somewhere where I'm surrounded by noise (outside, etc) that it almost never happens, however if I hear a trigger noise inside a house where it is relatively quiet, it will set it off.

      I don't mind it too much, it's annoying but I find that if I can control my anxiety/stress through exercise, getting enough hours of sleep, diet and what not, that it becomes much less of an issue.

      Another quick (and probably useless) note is that my TTTS symptoms started (left ear) a good year or so before my actual tinnitus began. I don't know the significance but I probably should've taken it as a warning sign.
       
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    6. I've had "ear flutters" for years. Not sure why, but I assume it was caused by my TMJD. However, who knows? I am the same as you in every aspect of your post.
       
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    7. Haru
      Artistic

      Haru Member

      Location:
      Turkey
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Haha, I laughed at this, I don't know if I should be sorry >.< I studied physiology also, and have a rough idea how much of a silly machine our bodies are. It makes me laugh how part of us got broken and is now making weird things :giggle:...I think it's the same with me, though. If I'm at a silent place and a big noise happens, I feel there's a bigger chance I'll get the flutter.
       
    8. Haru
      Artistic

      Haru Member

      Location:
      Turkey
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Hmm, one more thing: I feel a flutter sometimes when I put my head on the pillow. I feel it more when I squize my jaw! :wideyed:
      I thought maybe it's because of a machine that's working inside of my building or something but now I think it comes from my own ear/head!
       
    9. I have no doubt that my jaw contributes to my TTS symptoms. Mine get way worse after eating or talking, and began long before T and H set in. I know TMJD must of caused this crap.
       
    10. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      Hey just curious but when that happens did you ever get full ears as well or any pain. Or is that prob h? Thanks in advance.

       
    11. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      Yeah I've had a lot of pain over the last 6 to 8 months in my left ear, also get fullness that comes and goes but isn't too bad. The pain has actually settled a bit the past month but I don't want to get too excited. The pain and fullness don't seem to coincide with the fluttering though.
       
    12. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      Thanks. For a while I thought I had pain in my eardrum. I suspect that it is this though. Apparently there is a surgery where they cut the muscle and it stops the contraction and spasms.

       
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    13. Sen
      Caffeine

      Sen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October, 2012.
      I have no idea. I've had the fluttering since before my hyperacusis became an issue. Now it seems to come with pain. I can voluntarily contract my tensor tympani muscle (my neurotologist observed this happening) but when I do it voluntarily there is no pain. There is only pain with noise exposure. The voluntary contraction also makes a different sound than the spasm/fluttering associated with sound exposure.
       
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    14. here2help

      here2help Member

      Kris, yonkapin, and Haru,

      Ear pain, a fluttering sensation, and ear fullness can be related, in some cases, to a reduced reflex threshold for tensor tympani muscle contraction. Sometimes, the reduced threshold for tensor tympani contraction is due to our beliefs about sound and its impact. For instance, this tiny muscle in the ear can contract in anticipation of, or as a result of, exposure to sound a person considers dangerous or loud. The result can be any of the above symptoms, either in combination or separately. These symptoms can occur to people with tinnitus, hyperacusis, or other forms of decreased sound tolerance.

      Haru, this might explain why you only started to experience ear fluttering after you developed tinnitus.

      Kris, the symptoms you described may be related to the anxiety you feel about the impact you believe some sounds could have on your tinnitus. You mentioned a low level humming/buzz. Does your hearing ever fluctuate? Does the room sometimes feel like it is spinning or do you experience nausea that persists for a few hours? If the answer to each of these questions is “no”, then it could be helpful to look into why you feel certain types of sound can have a negative impact on your tinnitus. Doing so could help you to reduce or completely resolve the ear fluttering. If the answer to these questions is "yes", it would be a good idea to be evaluated for Meniere's Disease.

      Most likely, the anxiety you feel about the impact sound could have on your tinnitus is related to the ear fluttering and the feeling of dullness in your ears.

      here2help
       
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    15. In support of what here2helps says, the fluttering in my ear prior to T ad H, happened over years and was very occasionally. It was also much less pronounced then what I experienced after onset of H. When my anxiety was through the roof, I had the thumping to almost every sound. Now, it's just to loud or high frequency sounds, especially in quiet settings. I can literally feel these little muscles spasm in my ears, after waking up and clenching my jaw at night. I know my jaw plays a role, however, I also know anxiety in relation to sounds does too. Before I knew what H was, the occasional flutter didn't bother me. After I read the horror stories about H, my ears went wild, changed and I've never been the same. I 100% know, anxiety has played a big role, as my anxiety decreased, so did the fluttering. Also, I have seen TMJD linked to TTTS. I possibly have H and T, because of TTTS. I never had "everything sounds loud" symptom. Just could not handle certain noises like dishes or people talking loudly, or women, my girls at normal volume, as it went right through my head. I also had fullness too, that went away. I find symptoms are constantly changing. Also, now, I notice more pain with certain noise too, and odd headaches. I think the whole thing stinks. Clonzaepam helped with the ear spasms.
       
    16. Kris

      Kris Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Here2help

      Can't tell you how much I appreciate your input.

      I've always had a low level buzzing, well for as long as I can remember anyway. The fluttering and dullness/fullness is really what is bothering me the most and I believe you may have it the nail on the head. I believe I have built up some anxiety and am focussing this all into my ears (I know I'm definitely hyper aware of them). What you say makes sense as when I am really busy or feeling happy I forget about my ears altogether and don't notice any symptoms.

      This all started not long after my daughter was born.

      Now if I can just try and get a handle on this anxiety! ;-)
       
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    17. Erlend
      Question it

      Erlend Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Scandinavia
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2013
      @yonkapin

      What I don't get is, if it is like here2help says, that it's got to do with how damaging we IMAGINE sounds are, then why did you get it before T or anything else? If you knew nothing about all these ear conditions, and didn't fear sounds at all, why did you get this fluttering?
       
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    18. I was just thinking that, cause in my case, it was the same..however, mine does get worse with anxiety..no doubt about it..so anxiety/stress play a role , but for ME, not entirely...
       
    19. Erlend
      Question it

      Erlend Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Scandinavia
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2013
      Maybe the mechanism can work subconsciously, so if you've been exposed to really loud noises, your brain and ears start fearing sounds without "you" being aware of it?

      Because it is indeed a prime example of "psychosomatic symptoms" i believe.

      I started my own treatment 10 minutes ago: Listening to music with really sharp drums on headset, and stop giving a f*** about the sounds in my house.

      I've noticed that I "prepare" for all the sounds I know are coming. Opening a door, letting the tap water start running etc. I prepare for all of these sounds. This started because I THOUGHT I had hyperacusis and I've had this huge focus on sounds as I fear my T will get worse etc.

      So I will now just stop giving a shit about this. I will try to live exactly like I did pre T-hell.

      I once saw a NatGeo-show where they took a bunch of sick 80 year olds and put then into a home where all the furniture and music was from their youth. They all got rid of aches and annoyances and some illness. The power of the mind is strong. I've already started listing to the music I listened to before tinnitus, it feels good actually.

      It's hard to "simulate" pre T life, as I got T in the very last week of my entire school life. So until I either start going to university or get a job it's hard.

      My whole body is so tense now from all this ear fear and focus that I have to take deep breaths every minute, and visual input like when a new page on the internet loads starts a startle reflex in my body. When someone opens my door I get very startled.

      But THESE are things I can change. Meditation etc. T isn't. But this is.

      I think I should mention that not giving a fuck as already helped me a lot. Typing on my keyboard used to be HORRIBLY cringe-worhy to my ears. I don't think it was H. It was just tension, fear, I dno... But now that's cool.
       
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    20. Erlend,I completely get where you're coming from and sometimes feel the exact same way. I often wonder had I not read horror stories about h and and also not been in panic mode over T, would I be as messed up as I am now. I truly think my mind brought some of these symptoms on and my anxiety perpetuates it..for almost 3 mths, all I've thought about are my damn ears!! Some days, for me, it seems less complicated, then bad days, like today, i feel pissed and lost again...its exhausting
       
    21. Haru
      Artistic

      Haru Member

      Location:
      Turkey
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      I don't think fluttering is only due to anxiety/psychological reasons. When my ears fluttered, I wasn't excited at all. I didn't fear any sound at all. I was talking on the phone and it was quite an enjoyable phone call. I totally wanted to hear the person on the phone. But the sound came and the fluttering started as an automatic reaction.

      I think doctors explain fluttering as purely due to anxiety as they explain everything else that they do not understand the cause of. They don't understand complications of T.
       
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    22. citigirl13
      Dreaming

      citigirl13 Member

      Location:
      North Yorkshire, England
      Tinnitus Since:
      17/1/14
      My eardrum contracts, but it isn't to do with sound. In fact it's usally strongest at night when I lean on that side - it can feel like a heart beating inside my ear, except it isn't in beat and doesn't cause noise i.e. not PT. Since I have fluid in my ears, I think it is something to do with that and the position I have my head in. Weird :-/ Also, I don't get pain with it. I had a little bit of noise sensitivity when stacking cutlery, but that has stopped now.
       
    23. Kerry H
      Balanced

      Kerry H Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago, IL
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      @citigirl13 - I'm kind of going through something similar too right now. My eardrums (or muscles in my ear) are contracting, but I don't think it has anything to do with sound or anticipating it. At first I thought it could be PT, but it's not lined up with a heart beat and pretty random. I can actually hear and feel the sound, and it sounds like a thump. I also notice when I turn my head to the side or in a weird position it tends to trigger it. I don't have fluid either.

      When you all talk about fluttering, is that the same thing as this thumping sound I am having or is it different? I know at @cullenbohannon mentioned in another post it could be related to TTTS, but could it still be TTTS even though I don't think it's related to sound, or me thinking about it? It just feels like spasms.
       
    24. citigirl13
      Dreaming

      citigirl13 Member

      Location:
      North Yorkshire, England
      Tinnitus Since:
      17/1/14
      I think mine is something to do with pressure. I have just come out of the shower and it is contracting like mad, though usually subsides. Also if I put a warm pad under or on my ear and can cause it. It is mainly one ear that is affected, though sometimes it occurs in the other ear too
       
    25. just1morething
      Benevolent

      just1morething Member Benefactor

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma from airplane descent, noise exposure? ETD? TMJD?
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/cervical-spondylosis-tinnitus.3787/#post-39009
       
    26. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      Yea from my experience ttts does not have to be related to sound. It can be agitated by it though. I had the thumping contacting and fluttering and figured it was my
      eardrum but the doc said the only reason
      that would happen to am eardrum is if you have water behind the ear. Sleeping on that side even poking or pulling the outside of my ear sets it off. I still think it's ttts because mine was tthe same. I had it diagnosed by a ent with experience with t. Ofcourse I can't tell for sure about others but I know a lot of docs don't really know much about it hopefully that's helpful

       
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    27. Kerry H
      Balanced

      Kerry H Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago, IL
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      @cullenbohannon Yeah, I'm thinking I should make another appointment to the doc to see what they think. But so far I've been to the doctors more times in the last 3 months than I've been in my entire life previously. Hopefully I can get some explanation.
       
    28. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      @Kerry H Do some research before hand, find some one experienced with T.Im sure there are some in Chicago. It took me a ton of doctor visits before finding an ent with experience treating t. After I did i was so relieved even though I knew my t would still be there. My first ent, When i told him i was really anxious about T he rolled his eyes and said whats wrong with men these days. I left feeling worse and with more questions then when i walked in. Dont waste your time with any doctor, find the right one.
       
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    29. JayJay

      JayJay Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      I have fluttering, fullness, dullness, crashing waves, pressure, pain etc... and sometimes my head feels like there's a giant hole through it. Many times this is brought on by exposure to loud noise and sometimes it's emotional stress. And then, sometimes it just is...

      Like many of you, I've seen too many doctors... Most of which don't know anything about the kind of problems we face. I especially love how some of them will look at you like you're crazy, because physically you look fine. One doctor told me I was going to make a full recovery from my head-cold... smh
       
    30. SueR
      Disappointed

      SueR Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Boston, MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ear infection
      I have a hard time describing what I am sensing/feeling in my ear. In the very beginning, I felt a fluttering in my right ear. That was at doorway of H. I don't feel the fluttering anymore, but I do get this static sound now (low tone T, I guess). It gets louder when I'm in a louder environment - it's there in the quiet, louder when I have a conversation or watch TV or listen to the radio, or even my sound generators. Low pitches (men's voices, for instance) makes that sound worst... I have a hard time hearing conversations with people with deep voices.

      I also still hear stuff as a piercing noise at the higher pitches, especially music.

      This crap is pissing me off!
       
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