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Gizmookie

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone!  I imagine my problems answers are located somewhere in this site already, but I hate to search for things that may or may not be the same.  Sometimes I think reading all sorts of dooms day info can make a person worse.  But because you all are such knowledgeable people I figured it would be easier just to post my situation.

Last night, I was on my laptop with my earbuds in listening to music when I heard a 'thumping' sound deep in my left ear.  I thought it was my earbuds so I took them out.  Nope.  It continued off an on, a thump every 15 seconds or so.  The only way I can describe this 'thump' is if you put your hand up over your ear, as if to cover it, and then tap your ear lightly... that sound it makes is what I'm hearing only deep inside my ear.   Along with the sound, I'm feeling as though something is twitching at the same time.  I went to bed, had trouble falling asleep of course with thumper in my ear, woke up and went about my day today.  It disappeared for a few hours this morning but then returned only to be more frequent.  Now it thumps (sometimes 2-3 times in a row) every 5 seconds or so before once again disappearing for a while.  

There is NO pain involved, and my hearing is still normal.  The only thing is that after it's been happening a bit, my ear feels a bit tired almost, or maybe a bit swelled inside?  Gah, it's hard to describe.   Annoying is absolute.  Ha ha. 

If this continues a few more days, I plan to see a doctor.  My question is which one to see... an audiologist, ENT, or someone else?  I'm pretty clueless when it comes to ear problems.  

Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

Ear thumping/twitching Darlene

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Debbie

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Darlene,

The 'thumping' is so prevalent on this board. Has been oft considered to be one of the various small middle ear muscles behaving erratically. Often said to be tensor tympani or stapes muscle.
High levels of caffiene or new caffiene habits can be stopped for a week or more to see if this helps, also one person here swore by special ear exercises that are written about in a acupuncture theory/tai-chi type text....I feel strongly that a 'broken speaker' sound (all static as if my ear sound quality was breaking like a burned out speaker) when sounds came in, which I think had to do with middle ear muscles, was reversed through a cranio-sacral therapy treatment.
An oto(ear) neurologist might have some Western Medical ideas.
Personally I have had great results with acupuncture which I have not been able to logistically connect with for my ear but did do in the past. A series of acupuncture tx's with an authentic, thoroughly trained, skilled practitioner reversed years of diagnosed regular, daily tachycardia of my heart......not a life-threatening condition for me at the time but disconcerting and inconvenient.
I had had it for a few years very frequently and intensely prior to the series, and virtually none afterwards and still don't over 15 years later.
Tachycardia has to do with disregulated electrical signals to the heart muscles and disregulated muscle behavior elsewhere seems potentially analagus to me.
It does seem very reasonable to also visit an oto-neurologist. Although I know you are out in the country...right? So maybe inquire with a few ENT's before going? Because few might really know much about this....though I'm not sure.
Not sure what an ENT would do.....please inquire as to their rationale for any suggested tx's to understand whether they are grasping at straws or they truly know what they are doing based on some textbook training or actual experience.

I am fascinated by some x-overs between the symptoms those run into along with hyperacusis and those with misophonia.

I have my own take on how this might come to be but that is another story.

Wishing you well with this,

Sincerely,

Debbie

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marilyn

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Reply with quote  #3 
Aw Giz, I'm sorry to hear that.  I'll be thinking of you.  Let us know.
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Rob

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Reply with quote  #4 

Darlene --

 

Your best bet is to go to an ENT and have him examine you.  The ENT may decide to have an audiologist examine you, but I’d let the ENT make that call. 

 

If the ENT examines the eardrum under magnification, he may be able to determine whether there is a rhythmical contraction of either your stapedius or tensor tympani muscles.  The contraction may cause a fluttering sensation, and that may be the sensation of twitching you're describing.  He may prescribe diazepam or a similar benzo to see if that calms the thumping down, if that is the case. 

 

Or you may be describing Eustachian tube dysfunction, and the treatment for that is generally very effective.  Another possibility is that the thumping will go away by itself over time. 

 

Two less likely possibility are palatal myoclonus, which involves the muscles of the soft palate (these contractions are sometimes visible), and patulous eustachian tube (a very rare condition). 

 

Rob

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Gizmookie

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks guys!  Debbie, I do occasionally drink cherry coke (mmmmm) but I will stop that to see if it helps.  I do live in the country and ENT's are a rare breed and rumor has it the ones in the nearest town aren't the best.  But I am actually going out West to visit my family in 2 weeks where ENT's are every square mile.  ha ha.  So, I'm sure I can find a good one there.  My dad uses one regularly so I may try and see him.

Rob, it is sort of like a flutter...a muscle spasm is what it feels like.  It reminds me of the annoying eye twitch... only deep in my ear.  There is no rhyme or reason to it.  One thing I did notice tonight was during a time when it was about to drive me insane, I stuck my pinky finger in my ear and it stopped... until I pulled it out.  Weird.  I'm planning on it just going away, but if not, I will seek out an ENT and take it from there.  Hopefully if I do go it will decide to twitch around and put on a good show for the doctor so he/she can figure out what's going on!  Ha ha.  Thanks for the advice.

Thanks Marilyn (with a capital 'M')... I'll keep you posted if I find out anything!

Darlene

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LynnMcLaren

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Reply with quote  #6 
Hi Debbie, (((( Smiles ))))

I was just read what Dr J posted on it on another thread corresponding involvement and she added tinnitus and the 4s group.
I have noticed cross over symptoms into tinnitus and hyperacusis of corresponding involvement too over the years and also many medical conditions, medication reactions, medical procedures ect can cause hyperacusis and other ear problems as well...
Even hyperacusis can be seen in dystonia..
I've been reading about it and also hyperacusis is common among severly effected patients with CRPS related dystonia.
It can go with alot of conditions and it's not just like all one thing because there are all these causes and relationships and interlinks.
It all connects up links up somehow and not everybody with hyperacusis ect will always have the exact same symptoms either it can vary as well...  
I see the X-overs too and maybe things aren't as disconnected as we think they are we just label and put people into groups based on their simularity of symptoms but the causes hmmmmmmmmm.......((((( Smiles ))))))

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DrJ

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Reply with quote  #7 
Cut out the caffeine and try some jaw relaxation exercises, relax your whole face and then tighten it up, then relax again a few times each hour....those twitchy middle ear muscles can create some anxiety for sure but most often this is a temporary benign condition.

Try to avoid silence when going to sleep...surround yourself with a rich wideband feast of noise, like a big fan...and set your mind on good thoughts for sweet dreams.

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aQuieterBreeze

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hi Darlene,

Hope this gets better soon!

Dr. J mentioned -
Try to avoid silence when going to sleep...surround yourself with a rich wideband feast of noise, like a big fan...and set your mind on good thoughts for sweet dreams.

I assume she mentions that because you do not have hyperacusis, (At least not that you have mentioned in the past) though others happening across this thread may not realize that.

I understand that some with misophonia, who do not have hyperacusis,
may find a fan such as DrJ mentioned  relaxing and tolerable,  for sound enrichment/background sound -and i know some with tinnitus use fans to help them with sleeping -

But for those reading this thread - I want to mention -
Some with a different  sensitivity to sound,  than what Darlene has talked about previously ......(which is not hyperacusis)
Such as those here - With hyperacusis, may not be able to tolerate the sound of a fan for sleeping.

A large fan such as DRJ mentions would probably still leave my hearing /ears quiet a bit more sensitive if i fell asleep to it in close proximity -- fans at one time were really difficult on my ears, but are not AS difficult now. Though the closer it is the more difficult it can be for my ears, and it depends how sensitive my hearing/ears are at the time. Sometimes they can still be quite difficult/too difficult to tolerate - especially at higher speeds. The low speed on the fans i have is quieter.

Darlene - I would try something while i was awake, and see how well it was tolerated for background sound -before using it for background sound to fall asleep with. Especially something that will be running all night.

There are many choices to use for broad band sound ....and some would allow for more volume control than a fan. Though normally the volume MAY not be a concern for You - with the newer symptom you mention -
I'd make sure first..... not that it sounds like hyperacusis - but just to be sure whatever yo choose is tolerable, soothing and relaxing For You.

Some with the condition you have mentioned BEFORE this, talk about being more comfortable around loud sound at times. But even if that is the norm for you, I'd see what is comfortable at this time - to see what may be soothing to you for sound enrichment.

Wishing you the best -- and I hope this fades aways fast!

P.S. If a fan would not be something YOU would be able to tolerate, maybe something else would be easier on your ears :-)
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Gizmookie

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks Dr. J.  I will do just that.  As soon as I read the 'cut the caffeine' last night that Debbie suggested also, I poured my lovely cherry coke down the drain (while sobbing) Ha ha.   I will try those jaw exercises as well.  I do use a fan at night anyhow because I can't stand it being totally quiet.  That's when my brain searches for sounds I don't want to hear.  I use a fan, and a cd of chirping crickets.  Some people tell me I'm weird on that one. 

aQuieterBreeze:  Thanks!  Yes, I want to be clear that I do NOT have hyperacusis.  I have 4S/Misophonia and my hearing is perfectly normal (actually above normal).   I always use a fan on low at night anyhow so it's ok for me personally.  So far, nothing has caused my ears pain even with this new symptom which is great. 

I made it through the night with less thumping than the first.  Today it's back but so far not quite as bad.  I'm staying positive, not dwelling on it, and planning on it going away.  The CBT has come in handy yet again. 

Darlene

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Rob

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Reply with quote  #10 
Darlene --

If you drink caffeine regularly, then it's a good idea to cut it out entirely for a couple weeks and see if it improves your symptoms.  If you don't drink caffeine regularly, what you're experiencing won't be affected by cutting out caffeine.  A couple years ago, I was having a problem with my tensor tympani muscle that was driving me batty.  I cut out caffeine and the problem resolved.  Now, I drink caffeine but less than before and I'm fine. 

Rob
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aQuieterBreeze

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Reply with quote  #11 
Rob,

There's something I've been wondering about -
In cases where someone is experiencing what Darlene mentions,
IF one  drinks quite a bit of caffeine, or more than just a little  -
do you think is it necessary or more helpful - to cut it out completely without tapering down first?
Do you think  there a benefit to doing so that would not show up otherwise?

Please understand I am not questioning weather eliminating caffeine could be helpful in such a situation --
from what you mention it obviously can be :-)
But I  ask because when I  quit drinking coffee at one time many years ago - just to see if could -
I wound up  some pretty bad headaches for a bit.
And i think tapering down would have helped to avoid them
they eventually faded away, though i can't remember how long it took.Maybe a few days?
Oddly enough when i did that, the book i was reading at the time -
kept talking about different flavors of coffee...

DrJ,

I'm curious what your thoughts are as well.

Thank You!
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aQuieterBreeze

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Reply with quote  #12 
Darlene,

I'm curious - when you were listening over your earbuds to the music - was it at a louder level than you usually listen?
Or was there anything different about  it, than what you normally notice with whatever you listen to?

For some reason i wondered if it may have been extra heavy on the bass or something, but i have no way of knowing what you were listening to, or if it was different in some way than what you usually listen to.

The question ran through my mind though - so i thought i would ask.

Some music seems to be really heavy on percussive bass, and I think it could be more difficult on some peoples ears.

You mentioned -

I made it through the night with less thumping than the first.  Today it's back but so far not quite as bad.  I'm staying positive, not dwelling on it, and planning on it going away.  The CBT has come in handy yet again. 

You have a great attitude!
Sorry to hear the cherry coke wound up down the sink - hope you find some other indulgence for now, and enjoy!
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Rob

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Reply with quote  #13 

IF one  drinks quite a bit of caffeine, or more than just a little  - do you think is it necessary or more helpful - to cut it out completely without tapering down first?  Do you think  there a benefit to doing so that would not show up otherwise?

Hi Breeze.  To avoid a "caffeine headache" I'd taper.  That's what I did when I got off coffee for a few weeks.  It helped, and I was able to eventually start drinking coffee again, just less than I used to. 

Rob

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Gizmookie

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob
Darlene --
If you drink caffeine regularly, then it's a good idea to cut it out entirely for a couple weeks and see if it improves your symptoms.  If you don't drink caffeine regularly, what you're experiencing won't be affected by cutting out caffeine.  A couple years ago, I was having a problem with my tensor tympani muscle that was driving me batty.  I cut out caffeine and the problem resolved.  Now, I drink caffeine but less than before and I'm fine.


Well, I drink about one coke a day, which is less than I used to.  I'm definitely willing to cut it out to see if it works.  I do get headaches often, and sometimes caffeine actually helps me get rid of them.  But, I'll see how it goes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aQuieterBreeze
I'm curious - when you were listening over your earbuds to the music - was it at a louder level than you usually listen?
Or was there anything different about  it, than what you normally notice with whatever you listen to?


Actually, it was much softer than I normally listen to.  Nothing unusual like extra loud bass or anything like that.  I am very careful listening to loud music through my earbuds... I have my iPod on volume control lock so that it can't accidentally be turned up.  I usually don't blast my music, unless I'm in my car flying down my country road with the windows down and the wind in my hair.    I can't help myself. 

The thumping disappeared for about 8 hours today and then it's back right now full force.   We have a very strong storm system moving though tonight and also the last few nights.  High humidity, potent storms.  I'm curious as to if that could have anything to do with it?  Of course, I should stay in my house where I'm somewhat safe but what do I do?  I grab my camera and go shoot some lightning.  That's when the thumping started again.  Aw well... got some good shots!

Darlene
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aQuieterBreeze

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Reply with quote  #15 
Hi Rob,

Thank you for your reply and the helpful information!
It's nice to know that when eliminating caffeine,
for something such as you mentioned -that tapering down would be still be OK.
And if someone would notice the beneficial effects - they would still notice them, without having to quit all at one time  :-)
(I wondered if it would have to be a sudden stop - so to speak to get the desired results, or to get an indication of if it would be helpful ....and I'm glad to hear it would not have to be - for the reason mentioned above.)
Thanks!
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aQuieterBreeze

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Reply with quote  #16 
Hi Darlene,

Thanks for your reply.


You mentioned-
The thumping disappeared for about 8 hours today and then it's back right now full force.  

Hope that has calmed back down again -

and you also mentioned-

We have a very strong storm system moving though tonight and also the last few nights.  High humidity, potent storms.  I'm curious as to if that could have anything to do with it?  Of course, I should stay in my house where I'm somewhat safe but what do I do?  I grab my camera and go shoot some lightning.  That's when the thumping started again.  Aw well... got some good shots!

What you mention makes me wonder how loud the thunder was when you were outside?
Photographing lightening  sounds really challenging
Congratulations on the good pictures,  but be careful - caution during lightening storms is a good idea, for good reasons!

Though  of course you make me wonder what settings one would use to photograph something like that ....
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Gizmookie

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Reply with quote  #17 
Hi aQuieterBreeze,

The thumping was about the same again today.  On for a hour, off for 6 or 7, back on for an hour.  I am focusing on the time it's off and realize that when it's on, it mostly likely will go off again.  Actually, I'm handling it ok unless I'm trying to sleep... then it annoys me, which anything annoys you when its interrupting your sleep.  Ha ha.

Lightning is tough to photograph and I'm no professional... just passionate about it.  I've learned through trial and error.  I use a digital simply because you get more shots without lightning than with, and film is expensive.   I like to film after dark... I still haven't perfected daytime lightning yet.  I use 'manual mode' and set my ISO at 80.  I use an aperture of f/8.  I keep my shutter open for 15 seconds.   You really need the perfect storm... lots of strikes, little or no rain.   This was one of those strange storms where the lightning spiders across the sky, which is my favorite kind of storm.  

As far as the thunder goes... there was hardly any.  Another strange thing with these type of storms.   Don't worry, I'm careful.    I don't stand out in the middle of our field with my tripod or anything.  I drive down our road where the view is endless and stay in my car with the tripod outside of it.  I understand there is risk involved anyhow, but I've been chasing wild weather since I was a kid... its in my blood.  Now I just need to get a tornado on film


Darlene
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aQuieterBreeze

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Reply with quote  #18 
Hi Darlene,

Thanks for your reply and the tips about the settings - I've never tried to photograph lightening , though i used to, and still do - like to watch it ......
(and to be able to enjoy storms at All again is wonderful)
Though thunder can still be difficult / too difficult  (too loud/ low pitch ) for my ears,
 to be able to tolerate even  a distant storm without muffs -  from indoors, or while driving if the storm is not too loud -
is something i thought I'd probably never be able to do again, at one time.
And to be able to enjoy it - is wonderful -  though I do cover my ears at times when necessary.


About those settings -  it never would have occurred to me to leave the shutter open that long .....
Thanks :-)  Though if I try it, it will probably be from indoors
And yes, digital cameras have some advantages -
I like using manual settings as well.
Funny it would never have occurred to me to try to photograph lightening during the day.
The contrast at night must make for some beautiful photos.

Hope your ear is doing better today. ... and you are able to get a good night's sleep!
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marilyn

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Reply with quote  #19 
Hi Gizmookie,
Update, please?  Hope you're better.

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Gizmookie

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marilyn

Update, please?  Hope you're better.


I am happy to report that I had NO thumping Monday.  And as of 2am Tuesday... still no thumping.  I'm a happy camper.   Who knows what caused that to come out of the blue and leave just the same, but I'll take it!  Thanks Marilyn.


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marilyn

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Reply with quote  #21 

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