Ear Fluttering – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Ranjeet KumarReviewed by Mr. Ranjeet Kumar Sr. Audiologist, Speech Therapist & Cochlear Implant Specialist, BASLP on Jul 25th, 2019 written by Editorial Team

What is Ear Fluttering?

A lot of people might have experienced a rapid movement in the ear. Fluttering in the ear is medically referred to as Tinnitus. Tinnitus is basically the ringing or booming sensation that a person feels, either in one or both the ears.

The fluttering in the ear condition is benign but can be indicative of rather a more serious condition. Hearing a rhythmic fluttering in the ear is a rare form of tinnitus that is often caused by irregular contractions of the ear muscles that are attached to the bones of the ear.

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This occurrence is quite similar to the twitching of the eyelids which may occur occasionally. Most of the forms of tinnitus may lead to hearing loss, but muscular tinnitus usually resolves by itself. However, if the fluttering still persists after a while, then there may be a need to consult a doctor for proper medical intervention.


Why Fluttering Occurs?

The two main muscles that are found inside the ear are the Tensor Tympani and the Stapedius. The Tensor Tympani is usually located inside the ear and is contained in a bony canal above the auditory tube. Its main role is to dampen sounds like the sound that is being produced from chewing.

Tensor Tympani and Stapedius Muscles
Tensor Tympani and Stapedius Muscles

The Stapedius muscle, on the other hand, is only of a millimeter long and is known to be the smallest skeletal muscle in the entire body.

The main function of the Stapedius is to stabilize the stapes (the stirrup-shaped ossicle that transmits sound from the incus to the cochlea), which is the smallest bone found in the ear.

When these 2 muscles spasm, that can result in Middle Ear Myoclonus which is also called as MEM tinnitus. In medical studies, tinnitus is characterized by hearing sounds in the ear, though the intensity of the sound or noise may vary from a flutter to something much louder.

Now let’s move to how fluttering in the ears is caused.


What Causes Ear Fluttering?

The fluttering in the ear may occur without any underlying cause. However, there are also some factors or conditions that may add to the frequency of muscular tinnitus. Among the possible causes of ear flutters are:

1. Ear wax

Ear wax build-up is among the most leading causes of ear flutter. When ear wax becomes dry or covers the eardrum, it can contribute to the fluttering of ears.

Since, the eardrum is a vital part thus, when there is a hard substance such as dry ear wax enveloping the eardrum, it may cause vibration or fluttering sensation in the ear.

2. Myoclonus

Myoclonus is a degenerative disease that causes an abnormal contraction of the muscles, also called as a muscle spasm.

A spasm of the stapedius or the tensor tympani muscle of the ear is associated with the occurrence of muscular tinnitus.

3. Palatal Myoclonus

Palatal Myoclonus is having an abnormal structure within the Guillain-Mollaret triangle in the brain-stream may also contribute to the fluttering sounds in the ears of a person.

The lesions (or abnormal structures) may occur from conditions like encephalitis, cerebrovascular accident, trauma, stroke, and multiple sclerosis.

4. Blood Pressure

Increased blood pressure may induce fluttering sounds in a person’s ear. High blood pressure often lets blood to push weak ear structures and cause sounds.

Also, taking caffeine and alcohol, or too much stress may worsen tinnitus.

5. Sinus Infection

A sinus infection may be caused by bacteria which causes the sinuses pressure in the ear and pain also. Also, the increasing facial pressures may contribute to fluttering sounds in your ears which may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as dizziness, nausea, and headache.

6. Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

When the Eustachian tube fails to function properly, it could cause fluttering sounds in a person’s ears. The Eustachian tube forms a canal which connects the middle ear to the back of the throat and is usually closed.

However, if the Eustachian tube is open, then there may be chances of fluttering in ears, especially when a person is walking, swallowing or chewing.

7. Drugs Or Medication

Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs are capable of damaging the auditory nerve which is responsible for our hearing. They are also known as Ototoxic.

If they are used incorrectly, the user might experience sudden hearing loss, tinnitus, or disturbing sounds like popping, crunching or Fluttering in the ear.

8. Thyroid Gland

It is an important part of our body that regulates our metabolism. It also helps in hormone regulation. If there is a Complication in the thyroid, it is known as Hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism can lead to low energy levels, increased sensitivity to pain, weight gain, and even tinnitus.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

9. Exposure To Noise

If you are usually exposed to loud noises like explosives or heavy machines/equipment than your chances of developing fluttering and hearing damage are very high.

If the loud noise you are exposed to is temporary like a music concert, then fluttering may be temporary too and can go away within a few hours.

10. Injuries And Tumors

Fluttering can also happen after an accident and trauma to your neck or head. In these types of cases, you must concern a doctor to do an X-Ray which can show you the seriousness of an injury.

When tumors that are located in your head and neck, pressed your blood vessels, it may cause fluttering in the ear.


What are its Symptoms?

Fluttering in the ear may also be referred to as tinnitus and when it occurs, it can be very annoying. When you experience fluttering in the ears, it makes you get fixated on the cause of the hearing sensation.

It may indicate an early sign of a person’s hearing loss.

Some common symptoms of experiencing fluttering in the ear include:

  • Hearing strange sounds in the ear
  • Lack of sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Poor work performance
  • Changes in mood
  • Loss of balance in the ear

When you have a constant fluttering sensation in the ear, your day-to-day activities get disrupted and puts stress on your mental health.

Also, it may make you feel that you cannot get away from the sound. Many people suffering from this condition often use other forms of noise to mask the sound.


Ear Fluttering Remedies & Treatment

Although sometimes, fluttering in the ears usually gets resolved by itself, the persistent ones must be dealt with proper treatment by consulting a doctor.

However, you can decrease the frequency of fluttering by either Home remedies or Medical Treatment that are suggested below.

Home Remedies for Fluttering:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar – It is a common cooking ingredient that has effective anti-inflammatory and antifungal qualities. it is mainly useful when your fluttering is caused by an infection.
  • Garlic – It is usually helpful when the fluttering is caused by weather conditions or change in altitude. It helps in boosting the blood flow and it has effective anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Basil – It has anti-bacterial qualities that help to solve the fluttering problem of the ear if it is caused by a bacterial infection.
  • Saline Solution – Fluttering in the ear might be caused by Sinus infection in which the nasal passages are blocked by the excessive fluid. Saline solution used to clean nasal passages easily and effectively.
  • Onions – It is the most common vegetable which has powerful anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help in getting rid of fluttering in the ears.
  • Steam – It is great therapy for those who experience fluttering in the ear because of sinus congestion. It quickly clears clogged nasal passages which might help in eliminating the problem of Fluttering in the ear.

Medical Treatment for Fluttering:

  • Feedback Therapy – Through this therapy, your auditory system became habitual to the annoying sounds in your ear by starting to accept them naturally. However, the success of the therapy depends on the severity of the problem. The therapy is carried out by a professional who uses a special hearing device to emit white sound into the ears.
  • Sound Therapy – When an annoying sound is masked by a pleasant sound, it is called as sound therapy. White noise, ear maskers and low-level background sounds are some successful methods.
  • Botulinum Toxin – It is a neurotoxin protein that is commonly and widely used in medicines and cosmetics.  There are some cases of fluttering in which botulinum toxin appears to effectively eliminate it. It is injected in the ear muscles.

Conclusion

Understanding the particular cause of your fluttering in the ear will help you to get rid of it easily and quickly. It can be the starting signs of a more serious underlying condition. If left untreated, it can cause great distress.

If are not being able to find a practical solution to get rid of fluttering through home remedies then your next action should be seeing your doctor about your symptoms.

You can purchase the latest hearing aids at a fair price through HearingSol, If  you have a query regarding Ear Fluttering or Hearing Loss, feel free to call us at 1800-121-4408. We are always here to help you.



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