Home Ear Ear Noises Fluttering in Ear Meaning, Causes and Treatment for Tinnitus

Fluttering in Ear Meaning, Causes and Treatment for Tinnitus

Fluttering in the ear is a medical condition (tinnitus) that is mainly a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Ear fluttering may not serious in most of the cases, but in some, it can mean a serious medical condition. The condition is characterized by hearing of sound in the ear, though the intensity of the sound may vary from a flutter to a roar in the eardrum or both or one ear. Dizziness may also be felt.

Fluttering in ear meaning

My ear keeps fluttering? What does it mean? A condition that results as a fluttering inside one ear or both ears is called Tinnitus. It can be caused by numerous conditions, and it is usually due to less serious causes, but can be a start of hearing problems and other. In order to prevent any severe medical condition, it is important to inspect the reason behind fluttering.

fluttering in ear
Fluttering sound in ear

The flutter can go from one ear to another and can be different in intensity, so it can be linked with different conditions due to symptom division.

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In addition, it can be a symptom of a more significant problem. Tinnitus is in most cases accompanied by hearing loss. For this to happen, it is most commonly seen associated with a high tone nerve hearing loss. The character of your tinnitus is important in determining the cause of your tinnitus. The quality of sound can vary a great deal.

In other times, this is perceived as a ringing noise, buzzing noise, or roar. Most people go through the noise continuously. However, some people experience intermittent tinnitus. On a wider perspective, tinnitus can be placed in two categories: subjective tinnitus, or objective tinnitus. Most people experience subjective tinnitus that is heard only by the patient. In rare cases, you can experience noise in the head that can be heard by other people.

Most studies indicate the prevalence in adults as falling within the range of 10% to 15%, with a greater prevalence at higher ages, through the sixth or seventh decade of life. Gender distinctions are not consistently reported across studies, but tinnitus prevalence is significantly higher in pregnant than non-pregnant women.

The most common form of tinnitus is subjective tinnitus, which is noise that other people cannot hear. Objective tinnitus can be heard by an examiner positioned close to the ear. This is a rare form of tinnitus, occurring in less than 1% of cases.

Fluttering noise can be extremely upsetting to deal with and to make matters even worse, it can be debilitating. There can be a few symptoms quite noticeable about the condition which includes loss of hearing in the due course and loss of balance.

What causes fluttering in your ear?

There are quite a large number of health related conditions that are linked to the precipitation of tinnitus. The exact cause of this particular condition however is never found because it comes about as a consequence of an already existing condition in the body.

If you are experiencing fluttering in ear, you may be suffering from some type of ear infection or fluid buildup behind the ear drum. While this can be disturbing and annoying, it is rarely dangerous. You may be forced to follow up with an ear, nose, and throat specialist, if the symptom does not go away.

Most tinnitus is associated with damage to the auditory (hearing) system, although it can also be associated with other events or factors: jaw, head, or neck injury; exposure to certain drugs; nerve damage; or vascular (blood-flow) problems.

Blood pressure

This is the most common cause of fluttering sound in your ears. There are also other conditions that can end up in this condition by having an effects on blood pressure such as an aneurysm and other blood vessel problems.

Hypertension and factors that increase blood pressure are likely to increase the likelihoods of getting tinnitus. These episodes include stress, alcohol and even caffeine. They make tinnitus to be very pronounced.

More still, there are other conditions that are related to blood vessels and they are likely to contribute to tinnitus, via their continued effects on the blood pressure. They may include atherosclerosis, turbulent blood flow, malformation of capillaries and the head and neck tumors.

Thyroid

The thyroid gland plays a very crucial role in your body. It is the one in control of how the body burns energy, makes proteins and how sensitive the body is to other hormones. Its dysfunction therefore brings about many complications and organ failures. These may include lowered energy levels, increased sensitivity to pain, weight gain, and depression and for our case tinnitus.

The condition seems to be more pronounced if you have the condition hypothyroidism, which is lower levels of thyroid hormone production. How much the condition affects you correlates directly with the severity of the hypothyroidism.

Sinus infection

Tinnitus, which is a ringing in the ear that can be intermittent or continuous and vary in loudness, affects an estimated 50 million adults in the United States. While the most common cause of the condition is prolonged exposure to loud sounds, in some cases it can result from a sinus infection or sinusitis.

 

In sinusitis, the inner lining of the sinuses swells due to allergies, dust, and exposure to viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Your sinuses, typically filled with air, become filled with fluid. This results in facial pain and pressure, nasal stuffiness and discharge and congestion. The subsequent pressure can make you feel nauseous, dizzy and create headaches. If the sinusitis gets worse, it will completely block airways and lead to sinus-induced ringing in the ears.

 

The pressing of the swollen sinus cavity or the increase of pressure caused as you start to blow your nose can exert pressure on the ear drum, which then reacts through ear ringing. Additionally, when your nasal pathway is blocked, the ear canal also gets blocked, causing a disruption of the flow of sound into the ears. The ear then concentrates on the internal noise, which creates a ringing noise. Some people may hear the blood flowing and heartbeat in their ear.

Yawning

There are chewing muscles that are near to some of the muscles that insert into the middle ear and so may have an effect on hearing, and so may promote tinnitus. Secondly, there can be a direct connection between the ligaments that attach to the jaw and one of the hearing bones that sits in the middle ear.

Thirdly, the nerve supply from the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) has been shown to have connections with the parts of the brain that are involved with both hearing and the interpretation of sound as well as the facilitation of yawning.

Drinking/alcohol

It has been shown that alcohol can cause tinnitus type noises in the ear, but it is not very clear if it leads to chronic tinnitus. Some people are likely to experience audible hallucinations and tinnitus during alcohol withdrawals.

There are so many discussions on whether or not alcohol worsens tinnitus symptoms. One study in 1995 showed that 22% of respondents reported that alcohol worsened their symptoms while 16% claimed that it improved things. It was hence suggested and concluded that drinking alcohol may temporarily relieve the symptoms, but that tinnitus will be worse the next day.

Vertigo

This is a sensation of spinning (a kind of dizziness) in the absence of associated movement, caused by underlying pathology or a disease condition in the ear, brain, or sensory nerve pathways. The rotational dizziness that defines vertigo is brought on by one of two causes – disturbance in either:

  • The balance organs of the inner ear
  • Parts of the brain or sensory nerve pathways.

Vertigo comes about as a symptom of several different conditions. It is good to know that there are two types of vertigo, known as peripheral and central, depending on the underlying cause of the condition.

Severe vertigo is sometimes caused by a rare condition that affects the inner ear, called Ménière’s disease. This can cause vertigo, as well as hearing loss, tinnitus and aural fullness (a feeling of pressure in your ear). Vertigo is a symptom of several different conditions.

Fluttering noise in one ear or left ear

A continuous hissing sound is there in your left ear or one ear is very likely. There was an operation was first performed in the United States in 1956 to that effect. The condition can also affect the malleus, the incus, and the bone that surrounds the inner ear.

You are likely to hear a rhythmic twitching noise or fluttering noise in the ear. This can be caused by an irregular contraction of one of the two ear muscles in the middle ear that are attached to the hearing bones. The condition can be classified into two forms; that is objective fluttering and subjective fluttering.

Both of the above are based on the underlying factors that cause them. Objective fluttering is the most common. It is also referred to as pulsatile tinnitus. It is linked to the irregular blood flow around the ear. The fluttering is heard when the blood flows from the jugular vein via the ear. It coincides with heart beats and it is also rhythmic in nature.

A rare form of objective tinnitus or fluttering is called the muscular tinnitus. It is linked to the irregular contractions of the more muscles of the inner ear which are attached to the hearing bones. On most occasions, muscles in the throat control the opening and closing of the Eustachian tube to cause muscular tinnitus or fluttering.

On the other hand, subjective tinnitus may be brought about due to exposure to very loud noises like gunshots or concert. It is in most cases accompanied by the loss of hearing. There are other causes of the fluttering in the ear and they may include brain disorder that can also bring about seizures or acoustic neuroma.

Dizziness and a fluttering sensation in eardrum

You are at times likely to get rhythmic sensations in the ear drum; common as ear drum fluttering. This comes to be because when the tensor tympani muscle continuously contracts and relaxes, this is bound to occur.

The resultant dizziness is likely to come from the use of drugs that are very poisonous or toxic to the ear. These drugs include the calcium channel blockers and beta blockers. Other symptoms that come hand in hand with these ones are ear pain, hearing loss and even vertigo.

Treatment for fluttering sound in ear

Many cases of tinnitus have no identifiable cause, however, and thus are more difficult to treat. Although your tolerance of tinnitus tends to increase with time, severe cases can be disturbing for many years. In such chronic cases, a variety of treatment approaches are available, including medication, dietary adjustments, counseling, and devices that help mask the sound or desensitize a person to it.

The most effective available treatment for tinnitus is masking. Usually one can drown out the noise their ear makes with other noises by turning on a radio, television, or fan. There are even special devices made for this such as the sleep machine found at Radio Shack.

This device has a volume control and a selection of several different noises such as the ocean, a train, the wind, or a running stream. During the course of the day there is a lot going on to occupy the mind, as well as noise around. However, as one is trying to go to sleep, everything is quiet, and the noise in your ear is more noticeable.

In other scenarios masking alone may not be suitable for the remedy. For this case, medications are used. The most effective medication is one that was found by accident. Amitriptyline, which is an old antidepressant, was found to help with tinnitus in some patients that were taking it for depression.

It is believed to work by decreasing the neurotransmitters, or chemicals that transmit nerve impulses, from the inner ear. If it is helpful, often only a small dose is needed. You will probably be asked to take ten milligrams nightly for five nights, and then increase this by ten milligrams every five nights until you are taking fifty milligrams a night. If no response is seen to fifty milligrams, it is unlikely that this medication will be effective for you. This medication can cause dry mouth, constipation, and sleepiness.

There is another good option that works in different way and that is Xanax. This is a medication that decreases anxiety. Essentially, the tinnitus is still there, but you simply do not give it much thought as such. This medication can be quite helpful in severe cases of tinnitus. However, as it can be habit forming, it is not given as a first line of treatment.

In the event that you have very severe hearing loss, hearing aids are very helpful in the treatment of tinnitus. They bring in natural sound so that the noise your ear makes is not heard. In as much, they are not helpful when you are trying to go to sleep because you do not wear your hearing aids to sleep with.

Apart from that, another very helpful device is a tinnitus masker. This looks like a hearing aid but is designed to put noise in your ear at the same frequency but out of phase with the noise your ear makes. This helps to mask out and drown out the noise your ear makes. On the contrary, it compromises your hearing ability because of the device being in your ear. Some people like the tinnitus masker a great deal, while others do not like it at all.

Better still, there is the Biofeedback; which is a method in which you can train your brain to ignore the irregular signal from our ears. This method works well to relieve tinnitus. However, it is expensive and time consuming and requires training by skilled personnel. For this reason, doctors usually recommend this as one of the later treatments. Nevertheless, it is quite effective.

Similarly, you could employ the Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) which is designed to help a person retrain the brain to avoid thinking about the tinnitus. It employs a combination of counseling and a non-masking sound that decreases the contrast between the sound of the tinnitus and the surrounding environment. The main aim is not to eliminate the perception of the tinnitus sound itself, but to retrain your conditioned negative response to it.

There exists other non-medical relate approaches that you could go about and use for tinnitus. These are mainly psychological approaches. They are affordable and can be offered at any time when need arises.

Chronic tinnitus can be annoying, intrusive, and in some cases devastating to your life. From studies, up to 25% of those with chronic tinnitus find it severe enough to seek treatment. It can interfere with a person’s ability to hear, work, and perform daily activities.

One study showed that 33% of persons being treated for tinnitus reported that it disrupted their sleep, with a greater degree of disruption directly related to the perceived loudness or severity of the tinnitus.

You can also be able to permanently get rid of the condition, but before that, you must understand the underlying cause. Exposure to loud noise for long period can lead to fluttering, though it can get cured on its own in the due course.

Nonetheless, if fluttering is a result of any medicine’s side-effect then it will last till the time medicine is been used or withdrawn all together. Some tips which can be really helpful in easing the pain related to fluttering are as follows:

  • You must limit the consumption of aspirin or other antibiotics and over the counter medicines.
  • You should try and include pineapple, garlic, as well as sea vegetables as they can be of great help.
  • It is significant to reduce intake of alcohol to a great extent.
  • You ought to employ de-stressing techniques in order to reduce anxiety can be just the right thing to do.
  • In fact homeopathic drugs like thuja can help ease the pain concerned with fluttering.

Above all, it is very prudent that when you start experiencing a strange sound in your ears like the fluttering sound, consult your doctor or visit the nearest health facility for assistance. Delay would make the condition worse by complicating it or making it detrimental. You should not take chances when it comes to this matter.

References and Sources

  1. https://wealthformyhealth.com/fluttering-sound-in-ear/
  2. https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/tinnitusforum.aspx?g=posts&t=7280
  3. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Tinnitus/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  4. http://athelonwealth.com/what-causes-a-fluttering-noise-in-your-ear/
  5. http://palmbeachsinus.com/sinus-infection-cause-tinnitus/
  6. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Vertigo/Pages/Introduction.aspx

1 COMMENT

  1. Is blacking out a symptom of Fluttering of the left ear? I know getting dizzy is a symptom but I had a feeling of fainting. I experienced this feeling after I thought I actually heard the fluttering in my ear seconds after…..Is this normal? I was laying down at the time.

    Thank you,
    Carol

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