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tomveil

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello all,

I have looked at previous posts on this group and most people seem to have some serious problems with their ears, fortunately I do not. I say this, beacuse I do not want people to thing that their might be other complications leading to my problem.

My issue is that after jogging or doing sit-ups, for a few days there is a very slight clicking sound in my left ear when I speak. In a sentence of 20 words, I might notice three clicks.

I have tried just mouthing the words and this does not cause the clicking. When I speak quietly, I do not hear the clicking.

I have also noticed that on days when there is some mucus in my nose I do not have this problem. This leads me to think that the problem relates to my eustation tube.

If I cease exercise for a week or so, the problem goes away.

Please advise on what may be the casue of this.

Thank you,

Thomas
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JoeM

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Reply with quote  #2 

Tom,

 

You are on the right track. It could be your tensor tympani muscle/tendon and/or your stapedial along with the e-tube.

 

I have both of the tendons cut in my left ear and I no longer have "clicking" or other noises in my left ear that are induced by talking. It is my best guess that you have myoclonus of the tendons.

 

And exercise increases blood pressure and your ears are highly regulated pressure sensitive machines, so when you exercise, your bp goes up and if your ears are not functioning properly to be able to control the pressure changes like mine, that can cause the tendons inside to act out of whack. (This information was actually explained to me by a respected audiologist).

 

And I have problems with my e-tubes and I actually have less snapping sounds in my ears from them the fuller they are. I started taking Clariton-D for an unrelated allergy and I could feel them open up/clear up and wham! did the sypmtoms of snapping come on strong. Within a couple days of stopping, I had 90% less snapping. That is why I feel when you had the mucus, you felt better.

 

Joe


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tomveil

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hello Joe,

Thank you for your response.

I hope it is not a serious issue as you suggest.

I have had a few other thoughts, after a bicycle ride or a swim I do not get this clicking. I would be exerting myself as much with this as with running. The difference being the impact.

I also noticed that when running on soft running track as opposed to the hard streets, the problem is not evident or less severe.

The clicking sound is the same type sound as when I yawn, do a deep swallow or intentionally open my eustation tubes (I learned to do this when diving, very handy )...when I do one of these actions the click is as expected and is in both ears.

Please let me know if this sheds any further light on my situation.

Thank you,

Thomas

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JoeM

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Reply with quote  #4 

Tom,

 

The situation itself is not serious, (life-threatening), if that indeed is the case, only annoying, as those with it will tell you. But your statements about clicking to your voice, clicking to yawning, etc. does seem to indicate the e-tube and/or the muscle that connects it.

 

This is just my best guess from the knowledge I have acquired from others. Have you made a appt. to see an ENT? Lib is a great source of knowledge on the subject and much of what I know I learned from her.

 

Hopefully for your sake it will go away shortly.

 

Joe


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tomveil

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Joe,

Thanks again. Going to see a family doctor next week, from there I should be able to get an appointment with a specialist.

Was thinking a bit about it during lunch today. I recall this clicking occurring a few years ago too, it went away then, hope it will again.
I was also thinking that because I can easily open the E tubes without yawning, it could be that I have developed some muscle too much? Does this make sense?

I am also very sensitive to changes in air pressure, I would notice a difference if I ascend or descend two floors. And having done this, I would then open the eustation tubes and equalise my ears. So you can see that I open the tubes quite often .

It has also happened on a few occasions that one or other of the tubes remains open after exercise. When this occurs, I can hear my breathing and voice very loud in my ear.

Thomas
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lib

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Reply with quote  #6 

i can tell you that my spasms were caused by my voice as well, along with out side sounds, i could not even clear my throat or cough it got so bad.....i no longer get the spasms in my right ear thank god as both tendons there are severed.....but my one stapedial in the left still does it, but not as bad since the tt in that ear is cut, that proves to me that dr sismanis is right, almost all the time both tendons/muscles are diseased....wish i had whacked that stapedial as well....but its so improved i can tolerate it for now.......but i will chop it if it acts up any more than it is at this point, with out hesitation or a doubt! if the e tube is involved....youll find out soon enough, but if some symptoms are improved it makes life a lot easier....

and for general info.....flew on a plane.....no probs!

good luck! lib

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lib

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Reply with quote  #7 

tom if i can give you advice, do not open you e tubes, the leading e tube dr in the world says this is the absolute worse thing to do as you can cause a lot of problems, like patulous eustachian tube....

on that note, a muscular disorder can cause p e t symptoms, but its from the muscles and not that the tube is patulous....but believe me you do not want to create that problem. i am not sure where you live but dr denis poe in boston is the authority on this, and dr sismanis in richmond is the dr that did my surgery.

hope this helps!

lib

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LynnMcLaren

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Reply with quote  #8 

Hi Lib,

 

Interesting.. I wonder what could cause the tendon or muscles to be diseased.

 

I wonder if it could be caused by a flu or a bad cold or an ear infection..

 

Or for thoses with hyperacusis.. Maybe an acoustic trauma can cause the muscles to go in spasms in there and become flabby lax and stretch.

 

Lots of people with hyperacusis have the tensor syndrome..  

 

 


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tomveil

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hello Lib,

Thank you for this information.

With regard to opening the E tubes - this is a natural process that everyone does when they yawn, chew, swallow, burp, eat, etc, etc.
What would be the advice of the doctor you reffered to?

I know from diving that forcing the E tubes open to equalise pressure can cause problems, especially if there is mucus at the time - inner ear infections and the like.

The click in my ear is not even loud enough to be heard by me unless I actually listen for it. It is something similar to the click of the moving part of a zipper touch off the zip as you walk. At first I had confused the two .

Another thing...if I speak quietly the clicks occur less and I think that if I stopped exercising for a week or so, it would go away...but of course I want to exercies.

One more question -
Is it possible that the impact of running streets could have an affect?



Thomas
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JoeM

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Reply with quote  #10 

Tom,

 

I too have had the hearing of my breathing in my ear. Each time after surgery (I have had 3 surgeries on my left ear), during the healing process, with all of the blood and guts in the middle ear, plus the packing, I could very much hear my own breathing in my left ear. Altough you say you had felt it when your e-tube was open (although mine may have been open, not closed after the surgeries...hard to tell) but had the same effect nonetheless.

 

And I agree with Lib. Don't open your e-tubes intentionally. This can be a bad thing. Also, stop diving. This probably has had some effect on your ears. I believe my fistula (hole on the cochlea, the leaks perilymph (balance fluid)) was due to skydiving (rapid changes in pressure and my ear couldn't handle it).

 

Do you open your jaw wide when you yawn and/or have TMJ?

 

But from your symptoms, it sounds to probably be p.e.t. and maybe minor myoclonus of the tendons in that ear. Lib, what do you think?

 

Tom, does the click ever occur to outside sounds?


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JoeM

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Reply with quote  #11 

Oh, and with running, that is movement (obviuosly), and many times I felt like there were "noises" in my ear (like something rattling around) in conjunction with my movement. So when my foot hit the ground, it happened, but this only occured the few weaks after surgery and then went away. From my above post, not sure if this had to do with my ear being plugged, but it has happened on each occassion, and then gone away.


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lib

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Reply with quote  #12 

hi everyone,

they dont know what causes the muscles to malfunction, a virus is possible because it can damage the nerve.

the dr suggests only normal things like chewing swallowing and such to open the tube but never ever pinching your nose and blowing into the ear its very bad under any circumstance.

i dont know if its p e t for tom, thats hearing your voice and breathing like a megaphone in the ear a lot, blocked tubes cause it too....but if the muscles are in spasm you can get that same sensation, i do not that outside sounds and sounds cause spasms and not p e t.

the louder the sound the more likley the spasm....hence nothing happening with a whisper.

lib

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tomveil

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Reply with quote  #13 
Hi again,

Joe - Hearing my breathing in my ear has probably happened to me no more than three times, the last time being a few years ago. It lasted for a few minutes, then I probably yawned a bit, wiggled my jaw a bit and it was gone.

Joe - Never hear clicks to outside sounds.

Joe - No TMJ, open the jaw a bit wide, not too much.

Have for the past evening been more careful with my swallowing and yawning. Essentially, I'm trying to learn again how to do these without opening the E tubes. Have had some success, the clicking sounds is less frequent. But it has also been almost a week since I jogged and that was the pattern from before.


Lib - you said "never ever pinching your nose and blowing into the ear its very bad under any circumstance", but I know this is one of the recommended methods for divers. The others being swallow deeply while pinching nose, or as I can do, open the E tubes intentionally. Do you mean that people with severe ear problems should never do this and that others should be careful?

Thomas
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lib

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Reply with quote  #14 

really it should never be done, i posted on another board 2 years ago, a diver had developed p e t from opening his tube too much.....i guess if diving is that important people will do it, but is is not a good thing to do at all. i would think swallowing is a safer bet.

i will never do it, and blowing your nose is bad as well, learned that from poe as well.....sniff as he said.

hes in boston if you think he would be worth a trip.

 

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tomveil

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Reply with quote  #15 
Hi Lib,

Thanks for the advice.

But I must say that it seems a bit extreme to say that people should sniff rather than blow. And that while the I very much appreciate the advice I have received here, some of it has done more to scare me than help me. This has been many comments relating to possible surgeries or disease I may have. I feel that there is not too much point in this kind of advice.


The simple pieces of advice that were most useful were avoid opening the E tubes for a while...see how that goes...(it has helped .
Factual things like exercise raises blood pressure so that might be why I have my problem after running...
Other helpful things were questions from Joe that helped rule out some potential problems.

If I had a different type of personality, I might have come away from this discussion afraid to exercise, fly, blow my nose, get in an elevator, go swimming, etc.

I am not in any way trying to attack anyone for their help, as I said I am delighted to be able to receive support from many people. I'm sure it happens that people with mild problems that come and go occasionally will find this message board and have the s**t scared out of them, and I feel that this does not help.

If there are any more comments on my situation, I would be happy to hear them and I will post about my visit to the doctor next week.

Thomas
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lib

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Reply with quote  #16 

and on that note there are very desperate people who come here looking for straight foward answers, if i knew last december what i know today maybe tim would still be here. it is scarey tom but its also real, the advice you chose to take or not of course is up to you and it seems to be helping, but if you were to come here and you were as bad off as i was or say tim and no one offerd any help or we sugar coated it as to not scare you we are not doing you any favors. i have seen over 20 drs in over 2 years, dr poe and sismanis the best of all......and long road trips....if you need more info maybe they can help better than anyone.....im not trying to be rude at all.....but if you ask questions your going to get the answers the truth and nothing less from at least me and i believe joe.

lib

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JoeM

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Reply with quote  #17 
Tom, Lib is right, in no way did we mean to scare you. I wish the 15+ ENTs I had seen before I found Lib and a great neurotologist at Northwestern, would have given it to me straight. But none of them knew, until I found them. I would have saved myself years of total hell. Sometimes it takes those of us who have seen it, to tell it how it is.

Like she says, there are several people who are no longer alive because they did not get support quick enough. I came very close to "putting myself out of commission". So maybe our route of not sugar-coating is a tough one, but we have reasons behind it. And my personal opinion is that I would rather know of something serious to find out it is nothing than to (which this happens too much)...have a doctor tell someone that "it is in their head" and find out it is much more serious than first diagnosed.

Again, I am not attacking you either Tom, just trying to give a rationale explanation of why we ask the tough questions and give the "tough" facts. By God I pray that no one else has to suffer what we suffer. It is horrible. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. But I, along with Lib, have seen alot of people go through similar symptoms that you describe and we have helped people get the relief they need because we have been there and can explain what is going on and how they can be helped with their doctors. But we are by no means, the final authority, or doctors. But we have helped a good number of people and that is all we are trying to do.

The ears are very intricate and sensitive devices and surely we can be wrong. We hope for your sake that this is a minor nuisance and turns out to be nothing, and simply goes away.

That said, we are only doing our best to help. So please, we hope you take our advice as helpful and not scare-tactics. We hope that any advice we do give will lend you relief in some form or another.

Take care Tom,

Joe

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tomveil

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Reply with quote  #18 
To Lib and Joe,

Your advice has helped me very much. And I feel a significant improvement in the last couple of days, this I owe to both of you. I am much better able to control the opening of the E tubes (thanks again to Lib for that) and I have moderated my exercise plan until I can talk to a specialist (thanks to Joe for that).

I am sorry to hear that you both know of real and potential tragedies. A brother of mine has had tinnitus for the past few years and I know that difficulty and as he described the "torture" it has put him through. I in no way wanted to demean your comments, it could well be just me, but I came away from reading your posts with an almost sick feeling in my stomach from the shock of what your were saying. Of course there is a fine line between telling the truth and not scaring a person.
I was not looking for soft answers, but starting with the worst case scenario is probably not what even a specialist would do.

As I said a few days ago, I will be going to a doctor tomorrow, but think that I will have no symptoms by then. I will request to see a specialist anyway.
And for anyone else who may have similar difficulties to mine here's what I have done so far to help my situation:

My problems -
1. Mainly after exercise (maybe for a week or so) I get a tiny clicking sound in my right ear when I speak.

2. As part of this discussion and a chat with some friends I found out that most people don't hear a clicking in their ears when they swallow food or liquid, I do. It had not bothered me and probably has been going on for a long time without my noticing.

3. I hear clicking when I yawn. Again I though this was natural.

4. Same when I burp.
The clicks associated with 2, 3, 4 are very quiet and did not bother me I allowed them continue, and they have in no way affected my life.
The only one that I considered a minor problem was the one connected with speaking, but since it was intermittent and passed away after few days, I have ignored it until now.


Some things that I have done that help, (I want to put the word solution here, so that if someone has very similar symptoms and searches on Google they may find this thread/post)

1. I used to open the Eustation tubes quite often, I no longer do this. I learned to do this because I used to dive.

2. I try not to yawn, instead I hold it closed or nearly closed and take deep breaths a moment after the feeling to yawn passes. Certainly no wide open yawns.

3. I have learned how to swallow in a different manner so that the E tubes to do not open the same way as before. When I swallow "correctly" I do not hear clicks. The only way I can describe the swallow is - it's a more deep throated swallow, I think a natural way to do it is to drink quickly from a bottle(with the head and bottle pointing to the sky) so that the throat has to swallow in deep gulps. During this swallow, my Adams Apple moves up and down.

4. When I have a burp, I attempt to slow it, so that it is released over a second rather that half a second.

5. I have reduced my exercise plan for now.

6. Having some mucus in my nose has reduced the clicking too. To the best of my knowledge, not an easy one to induce. But maybe someone knows a technique/drug?

I know that "solutions" may seem simple, but they seem to have helped me, perhaps for someone else with a minor problem like mine, they will do the same.


Thomas
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lib

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Reply with quote  #19 

hi tom,

there is a product on the market called patulend, you have to order it from the ear foundation in santa monica, its a nose spray they use for p e t , it swells the tissue and creates more mucous.....it may help you.

lib

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tomveil

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Reply with quote  #20 
Thanks for the info Lib, will check it out that spray.

Seem to have most of the clicking under control.

The only time the clicking occurs now is when swallowing. Sometimes, I can swallow in a particular way so that it does not occur but sometimes it does occur, not fully under my control yet. Any advice?

Thanks,

Thomas
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lib

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Reply with quote  #21 

honestly, no advice on that, i can avoid some but not all symptoms.....its very bothersome, but i have found for myself that now that some of the symptoms are much better, the swallowing is easier to accept, i dont want to accept it.....so i try to ignore it....if that makes sense.

lib

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LynnMcLaren

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Reply with quote  #22 

Hi Everyone,

 

Me too. I can avoid lots of the symptoms by not yawning or burping so much..  Or staying away from firecrackers...

 

The swallowing is a hard one not to do..

 

It's more uncomfortable to hold off on a swallow. It's like holding moisture in your mouth.. But I do the same thing as Lib... I try to ignore it..

 

And sometimes I forget I have and it doesn't register on my brain.. The crackling.. Or even the other sounds if I don't think much about it.. It's still there it's just.. I guess my brain excepts it and doesn't focus on it.....  

 

But sometimes I feel like I'm in a catch 22.. I had this myoclonus symptom before hyperacusis and Still have it and I'm 95 percent symptom hyperacusis free..

 

Yet.. I don't know if this mycolonus thing ever had anything to do with my hyperacusis.. Yet I don't know it didn't for sure..

 

That brings me back to the last 5 percent or my vunerabilitys to getting hyperacusis symptoms again. Though I have not had what a person would call a setback since April 04..

 

And I've been around alot of normal sound too....

 

Thought I still have this certain symptoms I haven't had the ear poping or the symptom that goes DA DA DA DA fireing thumping in a row that happened without the yawing or burping but just happened out of the blue for no real reason.... for some time now...

 

So I don't know.. Thats why I don't want to mess with anything in there if I don't have too. Because in my case.. I had sever hyperacusis.. And that was worse then this...  

 

Hyperacusis is just terrible..   


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Lynn
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tomveil

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Reply with quote  #23 
Hi all,

Went to a specialist, she says the problem is due to a deviated septum. I have some spray that I will use for the next couple of weeks. After that, the other option is a surgery.

Will seek a second opinion before doing anything drastic.

Opinions please?


Thomas
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lib

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Reply with quote  #24 

hi tom,

yes.....i had that same diagnosis, after seeing another specialist it was ruled out. i think going straight to the top if possible is your best choice.

if you would like to email me i would be happy to give you dr sismanis email. i was diagnosed with several conditions.....all wrong....until i found poe/sismanis.

it will save you time and trouble.

lib

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tomveil

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Reply with quote  #25 
Thanks for the info Lib,

The doctor is pretty sure...simply because I have a "severe" nasal septum deviation and, at present, an infection in my nose to which has worsened the condition.

Also, the clicking has been more common in the left ear, and the deviation is to the left.

For the next two weeks or so, I have some special spray that has cleard the nostrils very well...this has helped.

My impression from the doctor is the even without the clicking in the ear, I should have the deviation corrected because this deviation can lead to sinus infections and other problems.

As I said, will get at least one other opinion before any surgery, and knowing me, I will probably get two or more.

Not in the US at present, so will have to make do with local doctors for now .

Thomas

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tomveil

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Reply with quote  #26 
Was trying to figure out if the doctor's assessment septum deviation is correct. Think it is.

Last night I tried pulling/pushing my nose up and to the left, to widen the nostril where the deviation is blocking it. When I swallowed while holding the nose like this, the clicking was almost completely gone .

Also, after using the spray to clear nostrils, I have a less clicking for a period of time, until the effects wear off a bit

Both of these have helped me gain confidence that my problem is (relatively easily) solved. As I said, will get a second opinion.

Thanks to all for your advice over the past week or so.

Thomas
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tomveil

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Reply with quote  #27 
Hi All,

Got a second opinion. This doctor says the severe nasal septum deviation is the likely cause. Apparently my left nostril is almost completely blocked! She gave me some drops that go up the nose, and into the E-tubes. Used them for the first time last night, I could swallow without any click or change of pressure in the ears....it was very strange, almost like an old friend had left . But after a while it wore off...so now I'm pretty confident that it's the septum deviation that is the cause.

Will use drops for about ten days and see how that goes, probably have the surgery in about two and half to three weeks.


Thomas
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JoeM

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Reply with quote  #28 
Tom, that's great news! Good luck with the surgery to repair the deviation.
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tomveil

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Reply with quote  #29 
Hi Joe,

Thanks for the best wishes.

Have continued to use the drops and the pattern continues - use the drops the clicking goes away...after a while (the period is lenghtening) it comes back.

But in general it is a lessening. Will have the operation even if it goes away.

Thomas
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