Strange that so many people have this and no one knows why! It seems I'm far from alone in having this happen primarily when reclining (VERY rarely when I'm sitting more or less upright).
I too have scoliosis (about 38 degrees) and also wondered if it was related.
I don't find that it disappears if I concentrate on it, but certainly it is very on and off, seems random. It happens some nights and not others; sometimes I don't hear it for weeks and weeks. It usually starts and stops randomly for a few minutes. Even a slight position change may make it stop temporarily.
Probably one of those things no one will ever get the answer to.... I also have a weird visual thing (vertical ghosting when I read looking down) which I've found many people who have the same thing but NEVER got an explanation from doctors no matter how many years went by. That's just the way it is.
I am sure this clicking must be something benign, as no one has mentioned having symptoms suggestive of heart disease (such as shortness of breath) or any other symptoms associated with the clicking.View Thread
Are you a migraineur? If so (or if you have a family history of migraine), that's definitely one area to explore. Many migraineurs experience dizziness and head pressure.
Stress and weather (barometric-pressure) changes are among many possible migraine triggers. Weather changes can also affect people with Meniere's disease and some other inner-ear problems, although your symptoms don't sound like Meniere's.
Anxiety by itself can definitely cause dizziness. And of course, so can many other things. The good news is that most all causes of dizziness are treatable, and some are curable.
I hope the neurologist can give you a diagnosis. If not, ask the neurologist to refer you to an inner-ear ENT specialist. Good luck!View Thread
Welcome to the Weird, Weird World of Mysterious Ear Symptoms That No Doctor Can Explain!
Sounds like you've been to the right kind of specialists. And stumped 'em.
I have no ideas for you, and there is probably nothing you can do about this--except to just accept it as your friendly neighborhood ear-thumping.
You mentioned stroke; did this start with any temporal relation to your stroke? Could the stroke have damaged a nerve related to your ear?
I've heard a lot of strange symptoms from other people with ear/neuro issues over the years, and I can tell you that there is a LOT the doctors simply can't explain.
OK, if you don't mind, I'll see your weird ear symptom and raise you one. Just by way of illustration that there are other ear-weirdos out there.
First--I occasionally get a fast, staccato clicking in my left ear concurrent with painful, strong pressure-jabs just BEHIND the ear. These episodes last a few seconds to a minute or so. The neurologist who specialized in ears just said "I don't know"--not even a speculation. (I had bigger fish to fry with him--dizziness, hearing loss, etc.)
Second--for about 4 days several years ago, I would get a strong, fast thumping in my right ear--rising and tapering off, similar to what you describe--BUT this was always in conjunction with an episode of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). When I'd tip my head to the left, after a few seconds the ceiling would appear to be jerking up and down (as it does with ordinary BPPV), and the right-ear thumping began, intensified, and ended exactly at the same time as the ceiling-jerking (but not in exact sync with it). Doctors had no clue, no comment. It is NOT a normal part of BPPV. But I cured myself with the Epley maneuver at home. Never any thumping since.
(Well, except recently the right ear started thumping a little when I exert my left hand, as when opening a jar. I guess that makes three weirdnesses...)
I theorize these are short circuits in my brainstem, where your cranial nerves controlling hearing, balance, facial and ear muscles, etc. originate. Nothing showed up on MRI, but my auditory brainstem testing (done after a sudden hearing loss in my left ear) was highly abnormal on both sides.
You might have some kind of short circuit with your nerves, too. The thumping sounds like possibly a stapedial spasm? If you had a stroke, which side was it on (just out of curiosity)? Oh, BTW the best theory for my sudden hearing loss was an inner-ear stroke when I sneezed hard.
I'm not a medical professional, of course, but when the doctors don't have an explanation for us, we have to make one up in order to continue normal life!
Ha ha! Re my 'crown"--you've given me a great idea. I'm going to start asking the nurses if I can fish the earwax clumps out of the basin and save them, and when I have enough, I'll sculpt myself an ear made of--earwax!
And--thanks for the Debrox explanation. Now I understand why my ear plugs up even further after my initial home "treatment" of it before I get it fully cleaned out at the doctor's office.
This is really bizarre. I don't have what you all have described, but I do have some similarly strange "connections" between areas that aren't directly connected by any nerve (that I know of).
For example, pushing just right on the top of my left big toe causes a sharp electric shock in two places in my left arm.
For a long time, any twinge or sudden pain in my right ankle would cause an intense wave of tingling on the left side of my head. Many other examples.
Something I have always had (as long as I can remember) which might be similar in sensation to the 'tickle' you describe is that if I concentrate on a particular spot at the top of my right forehead, an irresistably strong "pulling" sensation starts repeatedly running from that spot backward across my head, eventually getting so strong that my head involuntarily jerks backward unless I work really hard to control it! The feeling could indeed be described as a kind of extremely strong "tickle," perhaps. The longer I concentrate on that forehead spot, the stronger the sensation becomes. I can stop it by pushing on the spot, though it takes awhile until the whole thing settles down. As I've gotten older it never happens spontaneously, but I can still cause it to happen by thinking about that particular forehead spot.
After my ear/neuro problems (hearing loss, increased dizziness, facial shocks, etc.) began in 1999, I also started getting a strange, very intense sensation that would spread down the left side of my face and behind my ear. It was not that "pulling, tickling" sensation but similar in being VERY intensely felt. It would start spontaneously, but I could make it last and spread farther by thinking about it.
I think that probably many people have a few 'crossed wires" in their brain/nervous system that they're either born with or that 'short circuit" occurs as they age, and they get these kind of individualized strange sensations and "connections.' Neurologists are never able to explain them. I have not even told doctors about these except for the left-arm shocks triggered by pushing on the toe. The foot doctor and the neurologist just gave me a big "hmmm!" when I described that.
As for the back tickle caused by sounds in one ear, I can only guess that the soft sounds are stimulating some nerve pathway affecting the back. This is the wildest of ideas by a nonscientific person, but could the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) be involved? I know there is a kind of vestibular test called vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP) in which sound stimulates the SCM muscle. Is it possible that sound in turn could stimulate (in the individuals posting above) a 'tickle' via the SCM muscle and on down the back? Like I said, a very wild guess! This link describes the VEMP test and the pathway from the ear to the SCM muscle: http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com/testing/vemp.htmlView Thread
Thank you, Dr. Moser... I am, after all, the Earwax Queen! I've learned how to avoid the epic battles my poor doctors used to have with my earwax plugs. The key is, soften it up at home for a day or two with oil, lie patiently on your side a long time and shift your head a bit until you feel that oil trickling and tickling deep into the ear...then get it professionally syringed out, and enjoy all the newly restored rustling noises, scaring yourself when you flush the toilet the first couple of days, and once again being able to understand speech in noisy or open environments.View Thread
Did you get a bulb syringe with the Debrox? I get in the shower (or lean over the sink), fill a plastic cup with fairly hot water (to help loosen the wax), and syringe out the ear. NOT putting the syringe IN the ear, just at the entrance to the ear canal and squeeze hard. Repeat until the ear unplugs.
It may not unplug at all until you get it cleaned out professionally. Your doctor's office can do it. That's the best way anyway.
My previous doctor's office told me NOT to use Debrox, as it just dries out the ear or something, and makes it worse. They told me to put regular cooking oil or baby oil in my ear in the evening, lie on my side for 10-15 minutes, then stick cotton in your ear and let the oil sit overnight. Do this two nights in a row and then come into the office for the big cleanout.
I usually have to syringe my ears out in the morning to get the oil out (and probably a little of the wax too), but I can never get it completely clean without professional help. I have to have it done 2-3 times a year now.
Hi--No, I have not had any neck or other injuries. I have a very sedate life. I did destroy the hearing in my left ear with a couple of hard sneezes in 1999, but this is unrelated. The clicking started several years later.
Did yours actually start right after the whiplash? I hope you recovered from it.
Please be sure to post and let us know what your doctor says, OK?View Thread
Yes, they are difficult to "medically" investigate... which is why I think time-pressed or suspicious doctors too often end up ascribing these things, implicitly or explicitly, to patients just "paying too much attention" to their symptoms. This is why I no longer ask doctors questions but just try to figure things out myself and only ask (rarely) for help with Rx or PT for things that become real problems.
Re myoclonus, I don't think I've had that except perhaps during a four-day period of left-side BPPV when the episodes of "ceiling-jerking" were accompanied by a strong, fast thumping in my RIGHT ear. That was completely different.
Thanks for your responses, Dr. Moser... I was just amazed to see someone else describe this clicking noise and what brings it on so very similar to mine! I wonder if the original poster ever found anything out.