Includes Expert Content
noise in right ear
avatar
nanf8 posted:
When I chew or yawn, I sometimes hear what sounds like a crackle in right ear. It seems to come and go. I have over the past 12 months been told there is fluid in the ear. This has happened at least 3 or 4 times and have taken steroids to clear it up. Just wondering if there might be fluid trapped in the ear somewhere. Upon examination, my ears look okay.
Reply
 
avatar
Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
Yes, it still can be fluid in the middle ear. When you chew or yawn, you are briefly opening your Eustachian tubes which will allow air to enter the middle ear. Sometimes, those crackles are just air bubbles.

Middle ear fluid can be transient (not always there when you are examined), or be difficult to see depending on your anatomy and the skill of the clinician examining you.
 
avatar
nanf8 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
I have heard that fluid can remain a long time. Is there a test to confirm this either way. I was wondering if a nasolarygoscope might help reveal this. Also, if fluid remains, what is the best way to treat this. Thank you.
 
avatar
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to nanf8's response:
The test is called a tympanometry....and many offices have this device to check for middle ear fluid. Some fluid will resolve in time, but if it lasts months, the only definitive treatment would be to insert PETs - pressure equalization tubes. The fluid will be aspirated out at the time of this procedure, and tubes will be placed to make sure the middle ear remains filled with air, not fluid. The decision on insert tubes should not be taken lightly. This is really the last resort if all conservative methods fail.