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    Crackling/Crunching Noises in my LEFT ear!
    Gunryo posted:
    For the last week and a half-- I have had a swollen boil or cyst in my ear canal, the doctor at the walk-in clinic defined it as a "boil of some kind". She prescribed me seven days worth of Cephalexin to get rid of any infection and the bump in my ear canal, plus she flushed my left ear and checked my eardrum that same day; she told me my eardrum is fine. It took seven days for the bump to go away-- the scab from the boil/cyst/pimple fell out of my ear a day or so ago. I can hear perfectly once again.

    However, I have had problems with from what I can best describe as a crunching/crackling noise when I yawn, move my ear and swallow-- sometimes when I talk it feels like my ear wants to clear it self by popping but it doesn't. Sometimes I can yawn and my ear will pop, I can wake up and I won't hear any crunching/crackling sounds until I start to talk and go about my day. That's when it decides to show up. It's more of an annoyance than anything.

    I have yet to experience any pain in my left ear. I am going on three-four days since I took my last Cephalexin and this crunching/crackling noise came about once the swelling left. I have scoured the Internet in search for the answers and all I have managed to find was people who are experiencing this and they were told to take Sudafed, Mucinex or Claritin-D. Basically a decongestant-- I spoke with my old Pediatrician from when I was younger and he told me that the fluid/discharge in my ear didn't drain properly and is causing me to experience these sounds so he told me to take Claritin and I'll be fine.

    In addition, he also told me to push on my Tragus, I didn't experience any pain so he told me that's a good sign and that it was healing from back when it I experienced the boil/cyst/pimple in my ear that has since gone away.

    From what I read on the net, it seems that the fluid is still lurking behind the ear drum-- which causes these crunching/crackling noises, refusing to drain properly and supposedly these decongestants will cause it to drain. Plus, I also read that Pseudoephedrine can dry it out but it won't drain but the Mucinex will allow it to drain out. What is the best course of action?

    All help is greatly appreciated.

    For the record, when I was experiencing the swelling in my ear canal, I was taking 1000mg's of Ibuprofen every four hours. Not exactly the best idea, but my ear was very sore at the time.

    Also I am aware of Tinnitus, I know I have this because long before I had any of these problems. My ears would hum and feel like it was vibrating from inside at times. I haven't experienced any Tinnitus effects in little over a year, give or take a few months, and I'm not experiencing any of this now. Just the crunching/crackling noises.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
    Middle ear effusion (fluid) is probably the most likely cause of this odd crunching sound, but there are other causes, such as TMJ dysfunction, and myoclonus.

    Decongestants are far from miracle cures and it is controversial whether they help or not. Mucolytics (like Mucinex) are in the same questionable catagory. Antihistamines, like Claritin, are usually not recommended unless you have known allergies. Antihistamines tend to thicken the fluid and make absorption more difficult. Most middle ear effusion will simply reabsorb or drain over time, but it can take weeks and occasionally, months, for this to happen. Persistent fluid over three months may require you to see an ENT.

    I do not approve of taking this excessive dose of ibuprofen. This alone can cause tinnitus and all kinds of gastrointestional problems. The maximum dose is 800mg every 6 to 8 hours. If you need stronger pain medication, get some prescribed for you. This would be safer than over-dosing.
    Gunryo replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Update, Mr. Moser.

    I went back to the Urgent Care GP today to get a check up on my left ear because I have been experiencing the crunching/popping sounds when I yawn or swallow for two weeks now. (Sometimes when I lay on my back, flex my ear drum and/or swallow, both my ears will pop/crackle, but my right ear isn't causing me any problems)

    She checked my ear thoroughly and said my ear drum was fine-- I assume that's a plus, but it's a little red. She then grabbed one of those cotton swabs with the long wooden stems and removed a bunch of yellowish/brown crust from my ear mixed in with some wax. I assumed the crud she removed would allievate the crackling/popping sounds.

    Prior to going back to the Urgent Care GP today, I don't experience any blockage in the affected ear. I can hear fine through both ears-- the GP said that I would be fine and the only time I should come back is if one ear is blocked or I can hear better out of one ear than the other. However, when I drink water and eat, sometimes the crackling and popping stops or if I flex my ear drum a few times-- it will go away but returns once I flex it again. Before I used to be get that echo where I could hear myself in the affected ear, I don't experience that anymore.

    Let's fast forward-- during the examination I told her is it a possibility that I could have fluid behind my ear drum and she said that it's a possibility and the body naturally absorbs it over time. So she prescribed me 500mg's of Ciprofloxacin (it has R 27 engraved on the white pills); twice a day for ten days.

    In addition, I have experienced a dizziness, it's not severe where I am falling over or the room is spinning but it's like noticeable to where you know something is off-- like if you get up too fast and you get that wave of instability for a bit, it hasn't effected me on a daily basis. Then again, I only eat once a day-- that being dinner only. My blood pressure is fine.. plus I experienced dizziness off and on way before I had this ear problem so I'm not sure if it attributes to my ear ailment.

    All of this has given me crazy anxiety, I am pretty much scouring the web almost daily trying to see what the problem is, I come across stuff like hearing loss and other crazy symptoms. This stuff is really getting to my head and it's affecting me mentally where I can't function like I used to.

    Pretty scary. I haven't taken any Ibuprofen or anything like that. The only thing I've taken is Drammaine for the slight dizziness.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Gunryo's response:
    I have to tell you that urgent care really isn't the place that should be dealing with your ear problems. Based on the symptoms you have shared, you need to be seen by an ENT specialist. Although I did not examine your ear, I really did not read anything in your posting that would make me think "bacterial infection" --- one that would require Cipro. Having an eardrum that may be a little red or having the feeling that you may have fluid really does not justify antibiotics.

    Your symptoms (including the echo) seem to indicate ETD - eustachian tube dysfunction; a condition that is not that easy to medically-manage. An ENT is more likely to offer you a solution than urgent care. Since you also have dizziness, this is another reason why a specialist should be involved.
    stigmatisert responded:
    The crackeling noise in your ears may come from your eustachian tubes. Normally they opens up and elevate air between the middle-ears and nose/swallow when swallowing and yawning are performed. (The soft palate rise, and the openings of the eustachian tubes should open).

    My eustachian tubes stopped elevate air for 13 months. I just don't understand why, but it gave me terrible swallowing pain(!) When I understood the mechanism I pressed them up with Valsalvas manoevers and cleaning my nose with neti-pot. Ever after, I have this crackeling noise in my ears when I swallow and yawn. Actually, I feel like my tubes are filled with some sticky materie, so I'd rather call it a "sticky" noise.

    I haven't found out what's in my tubes. I just don't understand why the walls suddenly totally stuck together, but I have some hypothesis. The time before it happened:
    1) I had a lot of pressure at work and private combined with a neck-prolaps. Chiroprators say that the openings of the eustachian tubes get in problems when you have a 'subluxation' (out of position) or live a long time in excessive stress and neck tension.
    2) I used tooth-paste in a tooth with temporary filling. I used it 24/7. I've read that the toothpaste-soap may "dry out" the mucus. Maybe the openings to my tubes "dryed out" and hindered them opening.

    Now that I've pressed them open again, I have this crackelig/sticky noise. I just don't understand why they still a kine of "stick" together. Is it fluid from the ears, the tube-walls changed while being closed, water-solution from the neti-pot?

    No ENT understood my swallowing pain. I guess, I'll never get an answer regarding mye tubes crackeling - or any help for them sticking together...
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to stigmatisert's response:
    I am not sure that I am on board with two of the theories that you posted concerning Eustachian tube disorders, so I felt obligated to professionally comment.

    There is absolutely no proven relationship between so-called neck subluxations and the Eustachian tubes, nor is there any proven benefict of chiropractic adjustments in solving this issue. Neck issues can cause referred ear pain, but the neck is not involved in E-tube functioning.

    Toothpaste, no matter how much you use, will not likely make it up the back of your throat where the pharyngeal opening of the Eustachian tubes are. Pharyngeal inflammation can, indeed, be involved, but it is not likely you could get toothpaste up this high without some considerable gagging. Toothpaste has no relationship to drying out mucous or the E-tubes.
    kieren responded:
    have the same problem when swallowing i hear cracking noise in my ears was just the right ear now its both help
    kieren replied to stigmatisert's response:
    same here i have tmj could it be that
    piano0011 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Hello! I am currently having the same symptoms. I have seen 3 ENTs and all of them told me that I do not have any ear wax but I can feel the crackling sound been so close to the eyes. The strange thing is that when I spray those ear wax cleaner product, I can feel something fuzzing in my ear but I do not know why they can't see the wax! I am just wondering if this crackling sound is an ear, nose or eye problem? Thanks for your advice.
    sam_rouse responded:
    I had the same thing just a couple of days ago that pimple thingy and I have the same problems"026"026"026"026I have been looking over the net and I really haven't found anything that helps yet except for this.
    michelle1268 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Dr. Moser , I have the Crackling noices coming from my ear but It sounds like its all over my head too, Shortly after that starts my ear will start hurting . I went to the ENT 2 days ago and he examined my ears and cleaned them out and saw some scaring in my right ear but said he didnt see any reason to do a x - ray . The problem is I forgot to tell him about the Crackling Noises that I hear in the head shortly before my ear starts to hurt . Any ideas on what it could be ?
    circulogi responded:
    Last year I had this same thing and I'm having it again today so I figured I would post what has helped so it might help out others having the same problems. I have developed daily airborne allergies from living in an area with terrible air quality for 20 years ( E TENN ) and what seems to be happening is I get fluid in my sinuses and for one reason or another the canals that go from my ears down to my nose and throat get blocked and the fluid can't drain normally. This cause me to get this cracking sound, get dizzy spells, and generally feel pretty bad. Taking a daily allergy med has been the only thing that helps keep it at bay but certain times of year where the weather goes from warm to cold or wet to dry it always seems to flare up even while on the allergy meds. The blocked fluid can get infected as well which caused sinus infections or worse. Using a netti pot can help also as the problem seems to be the canals are "drying" and then sticking together causing the fluid not to drain properly. Mucinex can help but it also dries you out so that can make things worse so if you take Mucinex also use the netti pot and also figure out what is the root case as well or you will continue to just treat the symptoms and not the cause and never solve the problem. Hope this makes sense and helps someone. It took me 3 DR visits t get this diagnosed properly and fixed.
    chezstewart replied to circulogi's response:
    My right ear also has that crinkling sound, like cellophane being crunched together. Having my ear wax removed had no effect and a hearing test showed no recent change in hearing. It is not Tinnitus which I sometimes notice when not wearing my hearing aids. I'm in remission for a Vasculitis attack back in 2001-2 when I had taken large amounts of Prednisone. My crinkling sound has become constant...keeping me awake nights. Dryness mentioned earlier may be related as our house humidity has dropped to the teens this winter. Hope to see an ENT soon; will post any change.
    chezstewart replied to chezstewart's response:
    I may have stumbled on a solution to my right-ear continuous crinkling sound. While reading the hundreds of posts on the web, I tried the various physical ear suggestions to no avail. Noticing that most of the posts were from October, November, December, January (Early Winter Months=EWM), I thought that home dryness may be playing a role. This prompted me to apply some nasal ointment (Bactroban Nasal) and the noise stopped.

    Still worried the crinkling noise would return and ruin another night's sleep, I took Nyquil instead of my usual Aleve-Nighttime. Nyquil is not for frequent use, a better solution would be to locate my old TMJ mouthguard. TMJ was mentioned by others and may be the reason the crinkling problem is only in my right ear. My right side was more affected by nightly teeth grinding. TMJ coincides with periods of stress which may explain the Early Winter Month timing.

    While some nasal ointment and some TMJ relief may not be the ultimate remedy, maybe it will help us find a solution to this debilitating non-stop crinkling noise.

    earnoise replied to chezstewart's response:
    Hello, Michelle1268 and others. I have a very similar problem and have posted on other threads. I ruptured my right eardrum a few months ago (4-mm traumatic rupture that took two months to spontaneously close) and now I hear crackling/popping/clicking in that ear every time I swallow. I mean EVERY TIME!!! It has caused me a lot of depression and anxiety since I have to listen to it ALL DAY every day. My first two ENT doctors thought I was exaggerating, but I'm telling you that this crackling can get REALLY LOUD - as if a broken speaker was next to my right ear every time I swallow. I know that it's probably just Eustachian tube congestion heightened by the loss of the lamina propria (middle fibrous layer of the eardrum). My third ENT doc says the new tissue needs time to build some tensile strength so that it's not so flexible (more vibrations = more sound) ... Your thoughts? Can you update me on your situation?

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