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Right ear pressure fluttering
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JoePrimo posted:
29 Year old male smoker. Tech Support Guy on phone all day, headset on Right Ear only. Last night started to have right ear issue before I went to sleep continuing into all day today. Ear drum or air tubes in there will go lub dub for about 30 seconds at a time stop for a few seconds then continue to go lub dub erratically, sometimes fast sometimes slow sometimes stops for a few minutes but picks back up again, throughout the entire day. it is doing it right now..not too painfull but it is going so fast at times, it is very concerning, best way to descibe the pattern would be fluttering I guess, not constant. The feeling is pressure in both directions but is not the same as a normal pop (depressurize), It is much more intense. Feels like my entire ear is moving with an inward and outward lub dub. It is not my heartbeat. And it occurs while I am popping my ears as well, feels like it is in a different spot in my ear than the normal "popping place." But is very close so it could be same thing doing it...

The thudding feels pressure related, but it is not same kind of pop (compared to how you pop your ear: to depressurize it by breathing out or adding pressure by breathing in.). Example of what I mean by pressure going two different ways. This is somewhat hard to explain.... When I depressurize my ears by popping (with the muscles behind my Jaw) it feels as thought the pressure is going in one direction(This is simply the muscles behind my jaw are flexed while I am breathing out, this is how most everyone "pops"their ears). The other "direction of the pressure" I would compare to is, when depressurizing ear and flexing the muscle behind the jaw and you breath really fast in through nose, the pressure goes in the opposite direction since you are breathing in not out.. When you do this your hearing gets a little foggy or muffled. Simply pop your ears again and it goes back to normal. This feels like a filling a balloon in your head with air, the pop releases the air. The thudding still occurs if I am holding the "balloon of air pressure or if i am breathing out for the normal depres pop and it feels as though it is not occurring in the exact same area but it is close to the "pop" thing.

The sound is almost like a heart beat, lub dub lub dub. But it is not my heart beat I am hearing, the timing in the thuds is not the same as my heart beat.

When it occurs I feel my entire ear have pressure like it someone is pushing and pulling on a drum. First inward then outward. Similar to any diafram model in health class with a balloon stretched over a glass cylinder to example the lung diafram. I only remove wax from my ears every two-three weeks when it begins to effect my hearing. The location of the lub dub pressure sensation and sound in my ear feels like it is in a different spot than the normal pop your ears place. But i don't know it could be the same thing doing it... It continues to go lub dub when I am in the middle of popping my ears in either pressure direction.

After writing all this I tried popping my ear again while it is occurring and it still occurs to flutter erratically when pressure is held in both directions..out/in..yawning or any other method. The lub dub pressure feeling DOES stop momentarily if I plug my noise and breath out very hard. But starts right back again when I stop. This is the only way I have found to make it stop even for just a couple seconds, but this can't be good on the sinuses especially when you start to feel air going through your tear glands. Ear history: Only major thing i can think of was my hearing in my right ear is a little less than my left due to a firecracker thrown and exploded about 4-8 inches way from my ear. I don't think it is related because this happened about 4 years ago but just as a side note. I guess I would like to know if this sounds like a normal middle ear infection. Wax related or other type thingy. Should I make appointment for my primary Dr or
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Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
...or an ENT? Yes, the ENT, Joe, unless this spontaneously resolves (and it may, depending on the underlying cause).

I commend you on your effort to try and explain what is happening. I know it is difficult to do, but your explanation is helpful.

There can be many causes to consider, one being ETD - Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. Since you are a headset user, you would be a prime candidate for this. Another cause would be Myoclonus.

Those three tiny ear bones in your middle ear (the area on the other side of your eardrum) have muscles (the stapedial and tensor tympani muscle) that are attached to them. Like any muscle, they can go into spasm and rapidly twitch (myoclonus). Then this happens in the ear, it will cause the eardrum to vibrate like a drum, resulting in a clicking, fluttering, or even a machine-like sound. The muscles in the throat and palate (the tensor veli palatini muscle) can also be contributory.

Finding a specific cause is going to take the expertise of a good ENT. If you do have myoclonus, this may not be an easy problem to medically fix, but please keep in mind that the body often heals itself. I have no way of knowing if you will improve spontaneously since I don't have a way of knowing a specific cause based solely on a description, but stay optimistic. Make that ENT appointment, but if it suddenly improves....just like it suddenly started, I would suggest that you still keep this appointment.

Hang in there....


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