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  • Clicking in the ear while speaking.

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    Old 11-07-2020, 09:06 AM   #1
    OriginalJoe
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    Clicking in the ear while speaking.

    I hesitate to post anything here, because after an exhaustive search, I've found that others have posted very similar concerns without responses. It seems like people are suffering, and doctors are essentially useless and clueless.

    Long story short. I had middle ear myoclonus back in the early 2000's and have since had both of the tendons (not the muscles) in the middle ear of my left and my ears severed. Solved my problem with eardrum fluttering. Was great for nearly 15 years. Then back in August of 2019, it started happening again. Saw a new ENT, and it appeared my left tensor tympani tendon healed and reattached. He did surgery, confirmed it did, and recut it. All good. Fast-forward to August 2020. I started hearing a clicking sound in my ear when I spoke. It also happened if I turned my head in certain ways, but was not always reproducible. I heard the same clicking when I ran. I also heard and felt popping like you do when you pressurize your ears. But it was the clicking when I talked that was infuriating.

    I've scoured the Internet and all I see is people posting "I hear clicking in my ears when I talk or run" and there are no solutions, no theories. Nothing helpful. All of the information leads to "known" diseases like eustachian tube dysfunction or patulous eustachian tube. Neither of these really fit "clicking". I've seen some places where doctors can post to people's questions but their replies are always, "I can't evaluate someone over the Internet". So then why reply?!

    This is clearly a problem and from my own experience and reading the experiences of others, this problem is not something people easily live and deal with. It causes extreme stress and mental agony. It weighs on you constantly and impacts your daily life in everything you do. Yet doctors do not care to investigate. They give you strange looks, refer you to other doctors who do the same, throw a bunch of platitudes at you or give you some stupid remedy like "don't use q-tips".

    Doctors do not want to go outside of their wheelhouse and comfort zone of treating simply sinus problems or providing hearing aides. That's easy. Don't bother them with a new problem that they might actually have to think to solve, or use their supposed high-end medical education to actually do some reasoning and critical thinking. No that would ruin their easy life.

    We obviously have a problem, and many people apparently have it. Any problem has a cause and any cause can ultimately be identified, if one were to apply themselves. It seems like it is up to the patient to do the work, come up with theories, seek out treatment and convince the doctors... That is backwards. But it is what I did with my middle ear myoclonus in the early 2000's. Sad.

     
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    Old 11-07-2020, 11:23 AM   #2
    quincy
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    Re: Clicking in the ear while speaking.

    I can totally understand the anger and frustration of no answers from doctors with many issues. I've only had the symptoms you describe a handful of times, and can attribute it to sinus and/or eustachian tube. I do sinus rinses daily, and when other symptoms of discomfort arise I use Sudafed and Mucinex. Seems to help. I've also started Singulair that's lessened the continual annoying symptoms.

    Is the clicking only audible to you or to others as you're talking?

    I went to an ENT once with my list of symptoms...he said to me, "we dont know what to with patients like you since your symptoms aren't of the extreme, don't meet the clinical criteria of something specific and cannot be pinpointed". Weirdly enough, It actually helped to have that admission. Didn't change the frustration of dealing with continual stuff tho.

    I hope you find the answers so you get relief.
    It's the constant stuff that wears on the psyche so much more than many realise.

    q
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    Old 11-07-2020, 01:04 PM   #3
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    Re: Clicking in the ear while speaking.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quincy View Post
    Is the clicking only audible to you or to others as you're talking?
    I asked my wife if she could hear the click when I spoke. She put hear ear up against mine and I then said the word "Hey" which seems to trigger it consistently. She couldn't hear it. Whether it was because I was talking over it or because it is not perceptible I don't know.

    But I keep researching. I will continue to do so. There are good doctors out there. They are unfortunately in the minority and often take time to find. I've done a bit of research on a newly (2011) FDA treatment called balloonplasty which apparently has a 99.7% success rate for ETD vs a myringotomy, which leaves the eardrum open to the elements and can potentially fall out, or if not cared for properly, can allow bacteria in to the ear.

    I've found a doctor at Rush University who specializes in ETD and innovative e-tube surgeries and taught at Yale. I just hate driving to the city. It takes forever, there is no parking, there is always construction, and who knows if there is still rioting going to be happening that day. But I will not settle for living with this.

     
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    Old 11-08-2020, 12:21 PM   #4
    quincy
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    Re: Clicking in the ear while speaking.

    Question...does it happen if you mouth HEY and not voice it, and does it happen when eating?

    Definitely worth a visit to a specialist and presenting your symptoms and research for the procedure.

    In the meantime, I do suggest you try the basics of home treatment for ETD and see if they help in any way.

    I totally relate to the frustration of a symptom that's continual and interfering in your daily functioning.

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    Old 11-08-2020, 04:56 PM   #5
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    Re: Clicking in the ear while speaking.

    It does not happen while I'm eating, nor if I mouth a word. Also, last week was a better week. I thought maybe the Mucinex-D, Flonase, Benadryl and ibuprofren was working. I also do use a netti pot. Then on Friday it came screaming back.

    I personally believe that it is my e-tubes sticking together. I have the tell-tale pop of my ears pressurizing and last night I could even feel the air being pushed out... but also the fullness of the ear, sometimes dizziness, sometimes dull and sometimes acute ear pain, increased tinnitus and slight loss of hearing. All signs of e-tube dysfunction.

    I went most of the weekend going without talking again. It's killing me. I can't say anything to my wife and kids, and when the neighbors want to talk (who I like), I have to just try and bear it and I try and cut the conversation short.

     
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    Old 11-09-2020, 11:45 AM   #6
    quincy
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    Re: Clicking in the ear while speaking.

    Seems you're doing all the normal at home treatments for ETD...helpful but not lasting. Still worth doing them for various reasons.

    While I dont suffer from the same affliction and can only imagine your anguish , I do think that it would be worth to pursue an appointment with specialists who could do the surgery you seek. Can you set it up for someone to drive you so you don't have that distress of city driving and parking?

    q
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    Old 11-09-2020, 01:24 PM   #7
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    Re: Clicking in the ear while speaking.

    I stopped using the Flonase and Mucinex. Flonase has always made me dizzy and my stomach upset, but I told myself that if it continued to work, I'd take that over the ETD. But it stopped, so I stopped. Now I'm recovering from 10 days of ingesting massive doses of inhaled steroids and horse-sized decongestants. I will continue to use the Netti pot, as I've always done.

    I do have to correct one point I made above. The balloonplasty does not have a 99.7% success rate, but a 99.7% access rate. Meaning, it's an easy procedure given the device and anatomy.

    I'm kicking myself for not taking the available appointment downtown today. Work is slow and weather is nice. Now I have to wait a week. I do sincerely hope he will offer up some innovative solution, as his bio suggests. Rush Hospital is supposed to be on the forefront of medicine. If not, my current ENT has agreed to do the myrongotomy, which I will use as a last resort. Obviously with a tube in my ear, it means I can never get water in my ear. A trade off worth not hearing a click when I speak provided it works, but still annoying none-the-less.

    My wife told me that her friend had an issue similar to mine and the tubes worked. I've also read of two others similar to me, with positive successful results. So that's encouraging.

    I'm wondering if all of this is related to an infection that happened, and is now gone, but I'm left with inflammation and / or permanent nerve or muscle or tissue damage?

     
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    Old 11-09-2020, 10:59 PM   #8
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    Re: Clicking in the ear while speaking.

    Hi...definitely worth asking regarding viral infection and its relation to your symptoms. It's possible a short course of systemic steroids could help...I'm only basing that on a few people I know who have had viral infections affecting their ears and post symptoms. I dont know its effect on ETD.

    From what your options are...seems totally worth trying.
    Ear plugs before showers or during swimming etc would be a fair trade-off. Nothing to lose to see a specialist to find out if it's a warranted procedure for you.

    q
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