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    Twitching eardrum?
    kittykatjenn posted:
    Ok, so for the last cuple of months I have had this....snesation like my eardrum is twitching! It doesn't hurt, but all of a sudden I will hear a noise and feel like a thud. It sounds/feels like my eardrum or something in there is twitching! Am I nuts or is this possible? And if possible, how do I make it stop?
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
    lthough there can be many different causes, one possibility for clicking or twitching (as you call it) in the ears is a condition called 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 or even a machine-like sound. The muscles in the throat and palate (the tensor veli palatini muscle) can also be contributory.

    You will need to see an ENT specialist so that you can be properly examined, diagnosed, and treated.
    Ashinchains replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    I havE ms and I experience the ear spasms. My neurologist is dismissive of my questions so I am referring to this page for guidance. I am on Rebif & am also having clear mucus in my stool. I have 55 of 75 Lyme symptoms & I'm so unsure. (once was on precautionary Lyme antibiotics). What should I do?
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Ashinchains's response:
    I would suggest that you see an ENT so that you can have your "ear spasms" properly assessed.

    For your other symptoms (the mucoid stools, and Lyme symptoms), you will need to see your primary care medical provider. These things cannot be adequately evaluated blindly over the Internet, so you need to see a medical provider who is familiar with you and your medical history.
    healthadvise responded:
    Are you still having these symptoms? I have had the same problem for over 30 years (!) and have been to doctors, all of whom scratch their heads and have no clue what I'm talking about. I have found the ONLY thing that consistently works is to put on earphones with white noise, which 99% of the time stops the spasms within a minute or less.
    What usually triggers your spasms? Mine start after I have dropped of to sleep, either at night or a daytime nap. Not sure why that would be the trigger, but it is.
    Please respond, especially if you have had success or some sort of cure. Anyone else reading this who can relate please respond.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to healthadvise's response:
    Have you investigated MYOCLONUS?

    Although there can be many different causes, one possibility for clicking in the ears is a condition called 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 or even a machine-like sound. The muscles in the throat and palate (the tensor veli palatini muscle) can also be contributory.

    If you, indeed, are diagnosed with myoclonus, this may not an easy problem to fix. Surgery is sometimes performed to cut those muscles, or the muscle-paralyzing botulism toxin (Botox) is injected into them in an effort to correct more serious cases. An ENT sub-specialist (a neurotologist) is the best person to evaluate and manage this difficult-to-treat disorder.
    mica65 replied to healthadvise's response:
    Hi- I am just like you. I have had this for 25 years, and it is so annoying. Just like you, it hits mostly when I try to go to sleep at night or when I take a nap. As soon as I lie down and close my eyes and begin to relax, the thumping starts in my left ear. For years I have had to go to sleep with a finger in my ear to help stop the spasms. its horrible. I went to a doctor only once about this. He was an ENT specialist who shook his head and said he had never heard of this. He kept looking in my ear waiting for a spasm, but of course it wasn't going to happen because I wasn't going to sleep. He gave me muscle relaxers which did nothing and I threw them away. The only thing he seemed to be competent at was sending the bill.

    Lately the problem has gotten worse for some reason. My left eardrum, and occasionally my right one, has been spasming all through the day. Sometimes I just want to stick something in my ear to make it stop before it drives me crazy. I'm not going to ,of course, but the impulse is there. I really want to find a solution.

    How come we have all heard of this, but ear specialists haven't?!
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to mica65's response:
    You have seen ONE ear specialist.....just because one clinician is not able to diagnose the problem does not mean the entire profession is ignorant or uncaring. See someone else.....

    Since you have had this undiagnosed thumping for 25 years now, I suspect you are not a a big hurry, so seeing a specialist associated with a large, university-based medical center would be your best bet. The collaborative resources at these large research and teaching institutions are the best place for difficult-to-diagnose conditions. Please keep in mind that this is not a is NOT an easy problem to diagnose, or to treat for that matter. I does not surprise me when one clinician dismisses your concerns when it may be beyond his or her clincial ability to solve it.
    healthadvise replied to mica65's response:
    Hello..I just now (Christmas Day 2012) discovered that you had responded to my post of 6 months ago! You didn't comment on my solution of using white noise, which 99% of the time STOPS the spasm. Have you tried it, or have you had any success with stopping the spasms any other way? I would be very interested to hear from you. It took me years of looking online to even find someone with these symptoms!
    johnweeks responded:
    I have had this problem for a short time and it goes on 24/7. I'm glad I came here to learn of Myoclonus so I can be a better patient when I go to an ENT soon.
    This could and probably will make me mad. This is like listening to a dog barking or fingernails on a chalkboard for me.
    spacecadet80 responded:
    I had been suffering from these inner ear spasms for about a year. I noticed when I consumed caffeine and/or was deprived of sleep, it occurred more frequently. I have found that the combined benefits of relaxation techniques such as guided meditation, biofeedback devices, and yoga, as well as limiting my coffee intake, taking a good multi-vitamin, and getting a good nights sleep, have all played a role in putting an end to these annoying spasms. It has been two months since I have heard the thumping/twitching. It may seem like a lot of work, but it was definitely cheaper than any doctor or surgery. Not to mention the added health benefits of just being happier and less stressed.
    skiptomylulu responded:
    I too have the twitching in my ear and I also get twitches of my eye. Its enough to put someone in the funny-farm. My neurologist put me on Propranolol and the twitches stopped! Yay! Every time I try to stop the medication, hoping the twitches will stay away, they always come back so ill stay on the medication! Hope this helps.
    itguysf replied to skiptomylulu's response:
    Up all night with the same eardrum spasms - thumping like a machine gun. Happens once a week or so, and usually when I go to bed late. Only starts when I lie down. Finger in the ear does mask it. Sitting up, it will stop after a few hours. The hard part is trying to fall asleep while sitting up. I'm under a lot of stress lately dealing with a divorce and being unemployed. Could that be a contributing factor? Interestingly, I didn't develop this ear problem until after I started taking Propranolol for migraines. I was wondering whether that drug may somehow be what triggered it. Or, do I need a stronger dose? I know that for me it does contribute to increased anxiety "026which makes the drumming seem worse. Just discovered that putting pressure behind the ear stops the sensation, but not the drumming. Might be able to fall asleep like that.
    itguysf replied to itguysf's response:
    Update: I found the solution to the problem! After a second night of sleeping upright after the previous post and yet still starting to get the spasms, I tried an experiment: taking a deep breath, I exhaled strongly with my mouth closed and nose pinched shut to create pressure in my mouth/sinuses. The goal was to ensure that my eustachian tubes were not blocked. After three attempts of creating pressure, my left ear cracked as the tube opened. However, nothing happened with the problem ear. On the sixth attempt, I felt the right ear crackle and pressure increase inside it. At that point, both ears were hurting so I stopped. Being exhausted from lack of sleep, I decided to lie down anyway and just put up with the drumming I expected to start any second. But it never did. Opening the eustachian tube must have allowed excess pressure to diminish in the ear. Always just before the spasms would start, it had felt like the inner ear was under increased pressure. This pressure apparently led to the spasms. Lying down must somehow increase pressure. Also, during the nights that I experienced these spasms, I noticed a slight pain in my eustachian tube of that ear. Seems like I have chronic congestion and perhaps even a slight infection that creates the blockage (due to see a doctor). Before going to sleep, I now pressurize my mouth until I feel my tubes open (blowing up a thick balloon would have the same affect). I then have no problems with my ear and can sleep comfortably all night. We'll see if this solution continues to work. What a welcome relief!
    itguysf replied to itguysf's response:
    Update 3/4: Well the eustachian tube blockage was a false alarm as the primary trigger. In the end, it appears that stress and anxiety are the main factors. Had ears/hearing checked out and all is totally normal. What I did come across not mentioned by anyone before is the possibility of a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is critical for proper nerve and muscle function amongst many other things. Stress and anxiety leads to increased magnesium depletion in the body. It wasn't until supplementing my diet with daily magnesium that the spasms started to diminish in frequency and duration, along with muscle spasms in other parts of my body. While it is not exactly known what started all this and why the right ear, properly dealing with stress/anxiety and ensuring adequate magnesium intake seems to be the best way to address the problem. Drugs for anxiety and sleeping are a short term help. Nice to know that in extreme cases, surgery for cutting the tensor tympani muscle (if that's the culprit) is always a viable option.

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