What Do Fluttering Sounds in the Ear Mean?
Though it may sound odd, it’s not uncommon for some people to experience fluttering sounds in the ear. It’s been described as akin to having butterfly wings flap in your ear, or in other cases, more comparable to helicopter blades. While it can be a bit disconcerting, it’s rarely a sign of any serious health condition.
Let’s take a look at a few potential causes of fluttering in the ear as well as when to seek treatment.
Common Causes of Fluttering Sounds in The Ear
- Tinnitus is most commonly described as a ringing in the ear, but you may experience a clicking, buzzing, whooshing, thumping, or even fluttering sound. Tinnitus is a symptom of another condition and can be experienced acutely, coming and going for a few days, or can be chronic with symptoms lasting for months and even years.
- Middle ear myoclonus is a condition that causes dysfunctional contractions in the muscles of the middle ear and leads to fluttering. According to the National Institutes of Health, “the term middle ear myoclonus (MEM) has been invoked to explain symptoms of tinnitus presumably caused by the dysfunctional movement of either of the two muscles that insert in the middle ear: tensor tympani and stapedius.”
- Eustachian tube dysfunction happens when the tube that connects from the back of the nose to the middle ear is swollen or struggles to open and close properly. In addition to fluttering, this can lead to symptoms such as a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear, tinnitus, muffled hearing and temporary hearing loss.
- Earwax buildup occurs when too much earwax blocks the ear canal. It may happen due to an overproduction of earwax or improper cleaning with a cotton swab that leads to impaction. You may experience a clogged ear, trouble hearing, or discharge from the ear, and it could potentially lead to an ear infection.
Should I See a Doctor?
If you have an isolated experience of fluttering in the ears, you probably don’t need to take any additional action. However, if it becomes persistent or chronic, schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider. In addition to the conditions mentioned above, fluttering can sometimes be a sign of high blood pressure or hypothyroidism. Getting to the root cause can help you find relief and get treatment for any underlying conditions as well.
Additionally, just because the condition isn’t usually a sign of anything harmful doesn’t mean that it can’t interfere with your life and distract you while at work or out with loved ones at Altoona Family Restaurant.
To learn more about fluttering in the ear or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, call DeFatta Health today.