Here's my current theory for *myself*, I don't know if this will prove helpful for anyone. Most of this is speculation based on a formidable amount of internet research-- no ENT has helped.
I think my clickings (which are a lot like what the original poster describes) are the opening-and-closing of my Eustachian Tubes. I don't think I have "Patulous Eustachian Tube" (google it if you're not familiar with this) but I've realized that all of the things that provide some relief for P.E.T. sufferers also are helpful for me, making me believe that if my ET stays closed, my clicks and pops won't happen. (These things are: lying on my back, leaning forward, "collapsing" my neck, getting a cold (!), pressing on certain points on the sides of my head/neck, and "snorting" salty and/or chlorinated water to irritate the openings of the ETs and swell them shut.) None of these things is a lasting solution, of course, and I'm now investigating other ways of treating P.E.T. to see if they can help.
As for the cause, I suspect that it's either (1) because my ETs don't have enough "fatty tissue" at the openings to stay shut all the time (but not so little as to be open all the time, as with PET), or (2) because there's some problem with one of the muscles connecting the ETs to the soft palate, such as the Levator Veli Palatini or Tensor Veli Palatini-- perhaps a weird tic or other spasm (not myoclonus) or maybe it's too tense, or even too short! I'm thinking this might be a condition that's even rarer than PET, rare enough to not even have a name yet or be recognized in the literature, but pretty damn real (it seems like a few of us have it.)
Doctors on WebMD, interested researchers, patients, sufferers... let's figure out how to end this thing. All contributions to the online dialogue are super appreciated. Keep the conversation going!View Thread
would be very interested to hear how this condition is progressing for you and whether you're finding some relief. please give an update (for the sake of all folks desperately searching the internet for those with similar conditions!)View Thread
Yep, still looking for a solution! Interestingly, yes_please, I had that exact same "theory" regarding my clicks/snaps at one point-- however, when I look at the (rare) moments that I get relief, I'm now thinking that, in my case, it might come from the exact opposite: i.e., my relief may come from the area being lubricated by mucus. Specifically: when I get a cold, flu or otherwise congested, my clicking pretty much entirely stops-- and, more interestingly, stays away until a week *after* all my other symptoms have subsided. So I get one week of awesome, heavenly relief after being sick-- and then the clicks slowly, but surely return. I'm now trying to find out for me (this may not be your case yes_please, but maybe somebody else can relate?)-- whether it is possible to replicate or stimulate the post-congestion conditions: more mucus(!) though, not so much as to cause more congestion/irritation/sneezing/sick-sounding voice etc. It wouldn't address the ultimate cause of my clicks, but it sure as heck might treat my symptoms. Any thoughts on this, anyone?View Thread
Hi mushi: I'm in a very similar situation to the one you were in when you posted this message. I am wondering whether over the last year you have had any success in either figuring out exactly what's going on, and/or how to fix it or at least find some relief. Any thoughts would be highly appreciated. Best of luck, PeterView Thread
Hi LincolnH-- I just posted at the bottom of the discussion describing my condition (similar to all who have written so far) but wanted to contact you specifically because I am an aspiring voice actor and wanted to hear whether you were finding ways of making it "work" with this condition (editing software, etc.) I'd be very interested/grateful to trade experiences with you. Feel free to email me at deadanddying at hotmail, if you want to have a private conversation. Best of luck, PeterView Thread
AUUGHH! Dear all who are still following this discussion-- It's very relieving to hear that I'm not the only one with this sort of problem--- though also rather frustrating that most of you all have also had no luck with diagnosing it.
Like some of you, my clicking happens usually at the end of breaths or phrases when my soft palate relaxes. However, nearly every open-mouthed sound will cause it (not just 'k','p','t', etc) and it occasionally happens in the middle of the phrase-- and it's audible to others, so I wouldn't need to hold it against myself to record it, I could just speak into a mic. This is bad for me because--like LincolnH-- I am an aspiring voice actor, and I'm afraid this will spell doom for my career. (LincolnH, would you be up for a private conversation about this?) It feels/sounds like it's in the back of the throat, sometimes on the right side, the left, or both, sometimes in single clicks, sometimes in groups of 2-3 per 'phrase'.
Like some of you, the problem (mostly) goes away when lying down. I've also found out that if I'm hunched over forwards, while sitting cross legged, it also goes away. I'm also experimenting with other positions that seem to reduce the clicking (I'll keep you posted.)
I don't have any pain or previous injury or condition. I've consulted 2 voice coaches and an ENT, to no avail. Nothing I've tried works! (Ladymint: the nose trick didn't work for me, unfortunately.) And yes, like some of you, I'm feeling self-conscious and don't feel like talking much anymore.
Let's keep the discussion going, shall we? Cheers, (click) Peter (click)View Thread
Hello: I have loud/audible clicks coming from one or both sides of my my throat when speaking or breathing through my mouth. It appears to happen when my soft palate relaxes at the end of a breath or phrase (though occasionally it happens at the start or in the middle). It's greatly reduced or absent when lying on my back or very hunched over, or if I hold my jaw out to keep throat open; there are no clicks when swallowing or sleeping (I tend to breathe through my nose.) No pain, no previous injury, not on meds, don't smoke.
Not a major health concern, but definitely a severe annoyance, and I'm an aspiring voice actor, so this could fatally limit my career. I've consulted 2 voice coaches, 1 ENT, and lots of peers; none have had any idea what's going on or what to recommend.
The closest condition I've found in my own research is "essential palatal myoclonus", but it seems most of the time-- though not always(?)-- this tends to be regular/rhythmic and totally uncontrollable; I can "control" my clicks to a certain extent, just not during normal conversation in normal positions.
If anyone has any suggestions for what this might be or how to stop or mitigate it-- or just any personal experiences to share-- I'd be eternally grateful. Thanks, Peter View Thread