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Ear Crackling/Clicking Noise when I move my jaw

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Old 01-15-2009, 12:26 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: CA, USA
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coral08 HB User
Ear Crackling/Clicking Noise when I move my jaw

Hi, just earlier today I was eating and all of a sudden i heard a crackling/clicking sound in my right ear. Whenever I open my jaw I hear it. The sound makes me cringe, like nails on a chalkboard, and I cant feel some sort of weird movement. It kinda feels like maybe two things rubbing/crunching up against eachother. I've done a lot of research and have found a few possibilities: eustachian tube disfunction, tmj, or a hair on my eardrum. I can't seem to narrow it down though. What do you think it is? What can I do for it? And will it affect my ability to fly? I'm a college student and I'm flying back to school from break in a few days. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. I would consider seeing an ENT doctor but I live in a fairly rural area where there aren't many specialists around. Thank you for your time!

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Old 01-18-2009, 10:15 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 43
cally1 HB User
Re: Ear Crackling/Clicking Noise when I move my jaw

Certainly sounds like a TMJ issue - and the noise you hear is the cartilage rubbing together. If your hearing seems OK then unlikely to be Eustachian tube involvement. Most people carry stress in their jaw and donít even realize the extent to which the clench their teeth (bruxism) at night. College exams can certainly contribute to the stress!!

Recommendation would be to try applying moist heat to the area (water bottle covered with a thin cloth to avoid burning) for 20 minutes 3 X a day. Also recommend a Night Guard - you can pick one up at CVS. No gum chewing, eat only soft foods and chew on non-impacted side. Ibuprofen (Nuprin) every 4 hours should also help. If not cleared in a week or so you might want to see an orthodontist and he/she can give you an Rx for a muscle relaxer at night.

If Eustachian tubes are not affected then you shouldn't have problem flying..As a precaution you can take 2 Sudafed and two sprays of Afrin in each nostril 30 minutes before you lift off which will open up your sinuses and lessen the chance of any problems landing. If the flight is more than 2 hours repeat Afrin 45 minutes before scheduled landing time.

Hope this helps!


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