Discussions By Condition: Ears, Nose, Mouth & Throat conditions

Ear popping

  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • January 31, 2007
  • 04:31 PM

In November of 2005, I suddenly came down with an ear infection so severe that the pain almost made me throw up. I went to urgent care, received antibiotics, and was sent on my way.

* After a full course of antibiotics, the ear infection hadn't gone away. They put me on a second one, plus prednisone.

* The ear infection cleared up with the second course. I was left with fluctuating hearing in both ears.

* Fluctuating hearing continued for two months, then my ears started to pop every time I swallowed or yawned or moved my jaw from left to right. It wasn't a single pop--it was more of a Rice Krispies crackling. I told my primary physician, and he said that was e-tube disfunction, and referred me to an allergist.

* I got my hearing tested in May. (Six months after initial infection.) I have low-grade hearing loss, but the tympannogram was totally normal, so there wasn't any fluid behind my ear.

* I started having balance problems and had to give up my yoga practice. The ENT diagnosed Menier's.

* I started having pain behind my ears, along the bone. ENT diagnosed trigeminal neuralgia. I have few TN symptoms, and treatment for TN made no difference.

* Over a year later, I'm starting on maintenance allergy shots, have been through six courses of antibiotics for ONE ear infection, and THREE courses of prednisone. The popping continues, the pain is really intermittant and not made worse by cold, heat, or touching my face, and I'm not dizzy. My primary physician now tells me that it's all in my head, and it's something I will have to live with.

So am I just crazy? How frequently do normal ears pop? I need some help here!

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68 Replies:

  • Sorry you're having so much trouble! I'm a young female adult and my ears don't pop often. They do sometimes, but not even once a month. I guess you do have a serious problem... Let's see what the other users have to say. Doesn't it suck when doctors just flail around looking for a reason? I thought they went to medical school to narrow people's problems down to a single CORRECT problem, not say "It's this. No? Okay, it's this. NO?! Okay, then it's this." untl the person dies or sues...
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 8, 2007
    • 00:10 AM
    • 0
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  • I've had ear infections since I was a little kid. They've died down a lot as I've gotten older. During an infection my ears pop ALOT. I'm actually going through one right now! I did a little research under google and found that the reason why our ears pop is to adjust our ears to the outside pressure. I'm sorry you are having such a hard time with this, trust me I do understand. If you are still have ear pain one thing that helps is a hot water bottle, or something warm/ hot over the hurting ear and also cotton. A small ball of cotten in the ear. I hope this might help! Good luck!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 15, 2007
    • 05:28 PM
    • 0
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  • Me again from above, also try this link, it might give you a little more insight as to what is going on in there.http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/infections/ear/otitis_media.html
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 15, 2007
    • 05:29 PM
    • 0
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  • HI There can be many reasons for ears popping. My story sounds similar to yours except for the pain. My ears always pop now when I swallow. I have been to 2 ENT doctors when I finally was referred to an excellent professor of ENT who is internationally known. He found a tiny lump or tumor in my ear canal. I will only know next week as he wants me to do a CT scan. I am praying it won;t be so complicated but my hearing test shows hearing loss and it also started with infection and a clogged ear. If anyone knows more on this subject I woudl love to know. Thanks. Cherie
    cherie22001 3 Replies
    • February 21, 2007
    • 02:14 PM
    • 0
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  • I have had similar issues. However, I have a poping feeling that goes from the side of my head up to the top when I go to bed. It seems to only happen at night when i turn off the lights. Have you expereinced anything like this.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi..Iv been experencing ear popping ever since april last year.No matter what i do it just wont go away.I went to a number of drs they all put it down to post natal depression,I had my daughter in december 2005.But i just kept getting worse.The back of my head aches so bad and my ears always felt like they stuffy/blocked and my neck and shoulders aches and i get scared to move my neck somedays and my jaw makes the same popping sound everytime i open my mouth.it got that bad that i went and seen another dr and he sent me for a ct scan of the head/brain.All good,so after that he sendt me to an ENT professor who then diginosed me with TMD.iv seen dentists and they all agree with TMD,iv had xrays done and now i got to wait to see another professor in two weeks who specialises in this area.But i feel so down from the popping and im so tired and very sensitive with light and feels as tho my eye sight is failing me but can see perfectly,i feel as tho im ''tipsy'' but know what im doing.i get very confused and think half the time i dont know what im doing.im at my wits end.Im very scared as i feel its so much worse.but iv read alll about tmd and it describes my symptoms,but i cant shake the fear of it being something serious. my mother has brain tumour so i guess that contributs to my fears... i just wanted to tell you all my symptoms and hear back from anyone who's been threw or going threw what i am...But i also want to add that 9 years ago i had a nasty fall and landed chin first on cement and ended up fracturing my jaw.i had no problems threw out the years up until now i always had aches and stiffness of a morning after waking up from sleeping on my jaw but nothing to major like how im feeling now.. would anyone know if all this could be from that fracture from 9 years ago?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • From the little I know and especially after you mentioned your mother having brain tumors I would definitely suggest you ask for a CT scan or mri just to be on the safe side. Good luck. Cherie
    cherie22001 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • hi.just caught this thread while looking on google and felt i had to tell you about my ears popping.:) since i can remember my ears have always popped.i just thought this was normal but obviously its not!they pop when i run,open my mouth,eat,pop for no reason,stay popped when i have a cold.some times they squeak before they pop.also my hearing goes hollow and it sounds like i mumble when i talk.if i sniff quickly it goes or pinch my nose and sniff.but as soon as i open my mouth it comes straight back again.this happens easily over 100 times a day.sometimes one ear sometimes both.i have grown to get used to it but i would love to no if it could be cured as it would make my life so much easier.plus my wife would nt have to keep hearing me sniff every 5 minutes.:D
    tdriver 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • hahahahah I wish I could help you. I am not sure if there is a cure. I have been to 3 different ENT"S and they all said something else although I did have 2 CT"s done which showed alot of fluid behind the ears. I am also used to the popping now but would be so happy if it would pop for the last time. Perhaps we will be lucky and soon find a way to get rid of this. Good luck. Cherie
    cherie22001 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • hahahahah I wish I could help you. I am not sure if there is a cure. I have been to 3 different ENT"S and they all said something else although I did have 2 CT"s done which showed alot of fluid behind the ears. I am also used to the popping now but would be so happy if it would pop for the last time. Perhaps we will be lucky and soon find a way to get rid of this. Good luck. CherieIt might be allergies.
    Eatafruit78 960 Replies Flag this Response
  • eatafruit does anyone take u seriously? your answer to everything is allergies and NAET.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • I have had similar issues. However, I have a poping feeling that goes from the side of my head up to the top when I go to bed. It seems to only happen at night when i turn off the lights. Have you expereinced anything like this.I have this problem too! It's been going on for about two years at least. Only happens at night when I'm laying on my side. And this sounds weird, but it does it with the sounds coming from the TV, or anyone in the room that is talking or making noise. It's like it pops with the sound waves in the room. Kind of hard to explain. Additionally, every now and then I get deep earaches, itchy ear, etc. There is no fluid leaking or anything like that. Last time I was convinced I had an ear infection but when I went to the doc he said there was nothing. Have not yet been to an ear specialist, and don't really want to spend the money. I have a feeling they will tell me there is nothing I can do about it anyway.Any suggestions or similar problems?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, I have ear popping only at night and only when i lay on my right side. Had a CT scan - normal. I have been to 2 ENT specialist and they can find nothing wrong. no fluid, no infection. Last specialist inferred it was "all in my mind". I would like him to be woken up 3 or 4 times every night by continuous popping which is only relieved when I stand up or roll over onto my left side. I am currently trying acupuncture and chinese herbs, but no great improvment yet. I get very tired and depressed by this problem so know how you are all feeling. I have been assured there is nothing major wrong.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I don't know if the night occurances are the same deal, but concerning the first posts... I have that **** bad. I can't live ond day withougt feeling discomfort. People thinks it's in my head. And it is, but physically not mentally. It feels like behind my ears inside it's all very swollen and dry. I've tried mucinex to lube my head internally but no it just has to stay there and **** with me. Sometimes I seriously wanna die it hurts so bad. I can't stand loud high pitch sounds either. I'm a metal head and now it hurts to headbang. Sometimes when music is really loud it sounds like the way a speaker does when it's going bad. That scares the **** out of me ya know? Doctors can't do anything for me. I'm sick of popping my ears thoughout every day, it's ruined the left side of jaw. So I know what caused it, and I'm not very proud either. For I have sinned. At first it was ignorance but then I messed up. So I have to ask if any one else with these problems smoked weed when it was damaging there ears over time. I grew allergic and at first I didn't know what was wrong, but come on! Passing out and feeling like my ears are going nuts. Duh? It was from one thing, I'm allergic and retarded. I had trouble coming to terms with this and smoked regardless. Even though I knew it was hurting me. A piece of me has died since I quit, but it's better than to continue killing myself. So, please if anyone went through the same thing let me know so I cannot feel so alone, and maybe get some pointers off you to know what I should do next if you know. And if not we should start a mob and demand a cure as American citizens. I'm fed up with fruitless doctor visits and *****s at the office steping on my shoe like I'm just full of it. Idon't knowhattadoohuhu!
    Feelthy 25 Replies Flag this Response
  • Guys, the summary of my condition and what caused me to FIND THE LINK AT THE VERY BOTTOM OF THIS POST follows. I give you all this in bullet point form to facilitate reading and to give you all context for my condition so you can compare your own. I really hope it helps. I understand how scary and disccomforting it is. Before this incident, and still - for the most part - I've been a fearless type-A, moving forward with my life. This incident gave me some pause.1) recently moved to a new area in the South Eastern US2) a) Upon move, there is/was severe pollen in the area (this is the case in many places nationwide) b) Began taking chloroquine for malari protection in belize (site of dive trip)3) Went scuba diving in belize and had some barotrauma (did not go farther than 50 feet, but did have difficulty clearing and had pain - pretty 'normal' occurence for diving I'm told. -- lieft ear very stuffy -- No vertigo during dive -- Got lightheaded on the boat when I tried to clear my ear tube by blowing hard (WARNING -- guys, do not, do not do this, be really, really really careful with blowing your nose.. be gentle -- its structurs are)4) Came back to said severe pollen area -- noticed ringing in ear (really, really scared me)5) Went to ENT who noticed a bruise on my ear drum, my fiance came with me and saw it; Doc said it would take 1-2 weeks to clear, noticed my throat swelling (I thought it was from my motion sickness during boat travels in belize), and told me to check back in 5-6 weeks -- No hearing loss (at least hearing loss that can be tested for) -- all other standard tests normal6) Ringing continued for 1.5 weeks. got better, got worse. i got scared7) Started theorizing what the problem could be8) Did a ton of online research and got even more scared ** (see below for some recommendations based on my limited research of things to do/not to do to protect your precious and important ears)9) Went out to dinner in loud, smoky restaurants 3 nights in a row, 2nd night used tissue to block the sound, 3rd night used ear plug10) Visited my brother this past weekend who has suffered with allergies/asthma his whole life11) Now 2 weeks after my incident, I happened to open my mouth and look into the bathroom mirror -- my uvula (little dangly thing was literally 3-4 times the size of my brothers)12) Also noticed that the soft tissues inside my mouth looked red and inflamed13) Began to theorize that, hmm, maybe its allergies (I've had them my whole life but never really was that affected by them) causing the ringing .. and that I need to limit the drinking and detox by drinking ample water to let my body try to heal itself14) So far, my research indicates that this is indeed possible - stuffiness and ringing from allergies15) Did the "neti" pot (sinus irrigation) at my brothers twice this weekend16) Felt 'free' and 'relaxed' after the first neti session -- my bro helped me and said "dang" you've got a lot of goodness coming out17) Ear felt 75% better18) Brothers new apartment dust, etc was irrititaing both he and I -- we both complained of feeling head "full" in the living room19) Took some homeopathic medicines (Dad is a naturopath)20) Did the second neti poth21) Took some more homeopathic remedies22) Began taking claritin/alavert -- did not help day 1 -- am still taking itAt this point, yesterday made 2 weeks and 1 day since the SCUBA diving incident and the time the doc said it would take to clear. Here are the results:1) the ringing is noticeably better. I only notice it when I focus on it, but its still there -- an annoyance and still scary to be sure. 2) My inner mouth strcutures are not as swollen, but uvula an inner lining soft tissues are still looking inflamed3) On a couple of occasions, I've noticed airflow coming out of my left nostril to be much less "strong" than that coming out of my right nostril.4) As I type this, both don't feel as "strong" in terms of airflow; the ringing is there, but not as bad as last weekOkay, all that being said, I've had a friend have bed spins and major headaches form working out and be prescribe claritin - it helped him. He indicated that he started using mucinex and its really helped him. Great, terrific. I've now been trying to research mucinex (really trying to figure out if it would somehow make the ringing/tinnitus worse ** again, see below for why I was being cautious about it). So from all that, I've found the following non-medicative, non-surgical procedure based on the very kind blogging of a gentleman from California. I do not have a clue if this is going to help me even more, but i wanted to share it with you guys in case it helps you all. LINKS:* The gentleman's blog who led me to post this here for all sufferers http://spatula.net/blog/archive/2007_01_01_spatula_archive.html* The resulting resource and the 'procedure' describedhttp://www.healing.org/only-6.html** Things not to do: - Overly forceful valsava maneuvers - Take short-acting decongestants while SCUBA diving - Go high-diving - Stick foreign objects in your ear (i've seen people stick paperclips in their ears) - Expose yourself to loud machinery and music without ear plugs; protech yourself - Seriously consider avoiding SCUBA diving if you are a "phlegmy" type (My career is over as my fiance and family are too important to me to risk some of the brutal injuries that can occur.)** Things to do: - Check on the otoxicity (level to which a medication can cause hearing loss and/or tinnitus) of medications prescribed to you by your doctor. Get a reference, keep it. Make sure you and your family check it before taking medication (OTC or prescription)I could not find a free, complete online list so I post this one here:http://www.hearinglosshelp.com/products/ototoxicdrugbook.htm -- chloroquine which I was taking for the trip is ototoxic (effects are usually reversible, but some medications are not, and why would you put anything in your body that is not reversible) - Respond to a cold/sinus headache with swift, practical and complete treatment; but don't overdo the drugs - Learn to love Neti - Learn that your body is a wholistic machine. While many western physicians want to scientifically "isolate" individual cause-effect problems, the body (like the earth) is a complex system. Yours is different than mine. Listen to it, understand how interconnected your ears, sinus passages, eustachian tube, balance, wellness, depression, anxiety all are interconnected - Get tested for allergies! I've had them my whole life but have felt that they are not a big deal and can generally *deal* with them. its okay to deal, but figure out what you're *dealing with* so you can have a fighting chance regarding what to avoid/embrace** Other trivia - It is said that all the particlesthat form a human body change during a period of seven years 7, 14, 21, 35 (I'm 35), 42, etc .. perhaps your body is changing -- listen to itHope this sincerely helps you all. I'll keep you guys posted on my progress. Godspeed to you all.
    spanman 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have problems with ear popping too. It happened out of nowhere. No infection, sinusitis, etc... It progressed to the point it was happening daily lasting sometimes most the the day. I made an appt with an ENT. By the time I got in to see him it was winter. The problem had subsided. He examined my ears. My hearing was fine, but he did notice weak spots in my ear drums which he referred to as barotitis media. This usually occurs when one flys in a plane. Well I was grounded, so why me? It didn't bother me all winter until spring hit. Then POP! It started all over again. During one epidsode when my face, head, and jaw pained along with my ear I went to a emergency clinic to catch the problem while it was full blown. The doctor did say he found air bubbles and fluid behind my ear drum but that there was no treatment for it other than nose spray, antihistimines, and laying on the opposite ear to allow the fluid to drain out of the ear and into the throat. What good are ENT doctors if all they can say is "I dunno".
    suzieq16 9 Replies Flag this Response
  • suzieq16 -- sounds about right; ENT's who are not very competent. FWIW, I tried 3 ENTs before I found a terrific, open-minded and patient one in Washington, DC. He's world renowned. At any rate, some of my symptoms:Ear popping, Ringing with no apparent allergy, sinus infection can be caused by something the doctor called Cochlear Hydrops (pressure, popping, fluid in ear). I've not searched it on the Internet as I don't want to overly stress out. He prescribed some diuretics which have helped to some degree. I would encourage you to a) look for another ENT b) talk to your general practitioner about cochlear hydrops.Fundamenally, I believe that the majority of my tinnitus is caused by anxiety/stress. While many doctors will tell you that the stress cause is "unlikely," I've found very encouraging/informative information online from a Psychiatrist who has performed a lot of research and believes that the tinnitus is indeed precipitated by what he calls SPADes (Stress, panic, anxiety, and depression)http://www.kevinhogan.com/FAQ.htmGood luck.
    spanman 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • I might hv a solution 4 u. I'm 25yrs old & hv had tubes put in both ears, I've had tubes in my ears forever. The tube in left ear came out in maybe '98 & I didn't hv anothr one put in. The past 2-3yrs my left ear had been popping & felt stuffed up constently! U kno how your ears feel when u fly? It was like that all the time - it got worse when I yawned, sneezd, blew my nose, swallowed. My ENT Dr could see the pressure in my ear ws messd up but had no idea wht was causn this, allergy test showd I don't hv any allergies. I thought maybe it ws cz I didn't hv tube in tht ear anymore cz right ear still had a tube & I didn't hv probs wth the right ear. Jan of this year I had surgery - had tube put bk into left ear, replaced tube in right ear, & had a deviated septum fixd (all in the same surgery). I hvnt had probs with my left ear at all since my surgery!! I'm 100% sure tht putn tube in my ear again is wht evened out the pressure in my ear & cured this! I dnt kno if any of you have ever had tubes in your ears before. U shld definately see an ear,nose & throat dr. Dnt kno wht thy'll suggest since my dr had no idea wht ws causing the prob - It ws MY idea to put a tube bk into my ear, not my dr's. Before the surgery I had even tried takn over the counter allergy pills & I thought thy helpd a little, but maybe I was just desperate for a solution. U cld try tht & see if it gives u a temporary solution. It's such a relief to hv my ear normal again!! I hope this helps!
    trixxay 4 Replies
    • September 19, 2007
    • 06:06 AM
    • 0
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  • I have this problem too! It's been going on for about two years at least. Only happens at night when I'm laying on my side. And this sounds weird, but it does it with the sounds coming from the TV, or anyone in the room that is talking or making noise. It's like it pops with the sound waves in the room. Kind of hard to explain. Additionally, every now and then I get deep earaches, itchy ear, etc. There is no fluid leaking or anything like that. Last time I was convinced I had an ear infection but when I went to the doc he said there was nothing. Have not yet been to an ear specialist, and don't really want to spend the money. I have a feeling they will tell me there is nothing I can do about it anyway.Any suggestions or similar problems?I have the same exact thing. Feel's like I'm going crazy or deaf. It also happens when I cough. The ENT says I have no wax or infection. I had bad earaches and scar tissue in the left ear as a child and have TMJ for many years.Have you found a solution, traetment or answer yet?LJG
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 27, 2007
    • 06:04 PM
    • 0
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  • Im so glad to 'hear' that others are experiencing problems too! My ears have felt blocked with the feeling like when you get water trapped for about 8 months now and it's starting to get irritating. They definately pop every time I swallow but not if I move my jaw or similar smaller movements. I feel like there is something running out of my ears most of the time and that some fluid should come out but it never does i just feel and hear a bit of spitting and nothing happens. Sometimes I can really feel the pressure from the inside, like when your on a plane, but when i hold my nose and blow my ears pop but the pressure/blocked feeling is still there. I have been to gp three times firstly being advised to clear my ears with olive oil, second to use decongestants and third to keep using decongestants and if its not working to go for a hearing test and take along to him for my fourth appointment. I have also spoken to a pharmacist about the issue and they have suggested it may be a form of hayfever due to the time of year I ave been affected so I am currently taking an anti-histamine in conjunction with decongestants to try and rectify the problem.This does seem different to a lot of the syptoms i have read on here as I have no pain at all just sometimes i too feel a bit tipsy but i know what im doing and can just feel wierd in general with it. Has anyone had any experience of this? am i wasting time with the anti-histamines & decongestants ?Thanks
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 1, 2007
    • 06:20 PM
    • 0
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