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  • Crackling in ear when swallowing (after ruptured ear drum)

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    Old 11-11-2012, 10:14 AM   #1
    midwest guy
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    Crackling in ear when swallowing (after ruptured ear drum)

    I know this is long, but I would appreciate any help/advice. Thank you

    My story starts when I perforated my right ear drum in August while swimming. I went too far down in the swimming pool, attempting to reach the bottom, and it ruptured. I have a history of around 25+ ear infections before the age of 2, and I have had other ruptures in the past, but I have had extremely good hearing for the most part over the past 10 years. I went to the ENT and was given ear drops to keep the ear clean while it healed. Everything was going very well and the hearing was slowly returning, until about a week before I went back to the ENT for a follow-up visit, when my right ear started making a crackling noise every time I swallowed. I went for my follow-up visit, and the doctor told me that the hole was healed.

    I ignored the crackling, but it eventually started in my left ear as well. Now, it has persisted and will not stop. I went back to the ENT once again, and she used the tympanogram for a pressure test. I apparently have 3 out of 4 reflexes on the left side and only 1 out of 4 on the right, but she said that everything appears normal. Her conclusion was that there may still be a pinhole opening from the initial rupture that she can't see and that it may just be trying to heal, since a perforated ear drum may take up to 3-4 months to completely heal (it has already been three months). She also said that she could not see any fluid in my ears, which I'm debating getting a second opinion on.

    The reason that I am on here now is that I am NOT satisfied with this answer. She prescribed me a nasal spray to try and clear up my sinuses, but I don't understand why she did not address the fact that the crackling is happening in both ears. Even if there were still a pinhole opening in my right ear drum, what does that have to do with the crackling occurring in my left ear? Again, it occurs in my right ear about 95% of the time, but there are still occasions when it happens in my left ear as well.

    I really would appreciate any help because it has been keeping me from working out (due to her fear that the pressure problems from lifting heavy weights will cause another rupture, or re-open the initial rupture) and I am trying to prepare for a law enforcement academy. Thank you in advance from anyone that can give me any kind of advice. I can't afford to wait any longer to get this fixed, and I can't stand it.

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    Old 12-29-2014, 07:52 PM   #2
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    Re: Crackling in ear when swallowing (after ruptured ear drum)

    Hello, Midwest guy. I have a very similar problem. 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? What happened in your situation?

    Chris D.
    Austin, TX

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