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Thread: Bumping sound in the ear?

  1. #1 Bumping sound in the ear? 
    Forum Bachelors Degree One beer's Avatar
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    Hi,


    I get this from time to time. I am NOT talking about hearing my ear's blood supply, I recognize that, but this is a random 'bumping sound' in one ear.

    It does not occur all the time, and I can only hear it when in very quiet surroundings. Could it be the ear's volume control muscle* going into spasm?


    *(sorry, I don't know its' biological name).



    Thanks,



    OB


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  3. #2  
    Anti-Crank AlexG's Avatar
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    Back when I had longer hair, I'd occasionally get a hair in my ear which rub against the eardrum, causing that kind of sound.


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  4. #3  
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    No, this is definitely internal, and I don't have long hair anyway.

    Any one else got any thoughts?


    OB
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  5. #4  
    Anti-Crank AlexG's Avatar
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    If it's something rubbing on the ear drum, it would be internal.

    Have you tried washing your ears out?
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  6. #5  
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    Bumping? Could it be "reverse" popping - indicating an issue with wax.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  7. #6  
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    Well it could be. I did have some wax at my last check which has now been cleaned out, and the 'bumping' sound was only in one ear. Could you explain the 'reverse popping' a little more?

    Thanks,


    OB
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  8. #7  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by One beer View Post
    Hi,


    I get this from time to time. I am NOT talking about hearing my ear's blood supply, I recognize that, but this is a random 'bumping sound' in one ear.

    It does not occur all the time, and I can only hear it when in very quiet surroundings. Could it be the ear's volume control muscle* going into spasm?


    *(sorry, I don't know its' biological name).



    Thanks,



    OB
    I get this too. It comes at random, in one ear or the other, and seems to consist of a rapid series of bumps, pops or flutters, as if someone was flexing my eardrum repeatedly. It lasts typically for about 1-2 secs and then stops. It is painless, though I think I can feel a sensation in the eardrum while it is happening. Does this correspond with your experience? To be honest, it doesn't worry me so I've never consulted a doctor. But it does suggest there may indeed be a little muscle somewhere that can flicker, like the nervous twitch of a facial muscle.
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  9. #8  
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    Yep, exchemist, that's exactly it - you've explained it better than I did.

    It does not particularly worry me - as long as it's not indicitive of a brain tumour or something, but I am curious as to what is. Also, my hearing is not brilliant - I cannot tune in to people in noisy pubs as well as I used to - (this might be my age and a degeneration in the hair cells in the cochlea) - but if there was a fault and I could do something about it, that would be great.

    It feels to me as though the 'volume control muscle' - what is that called? - is going into spasm. It may be doing this to dislodge wax? - come to think of it, I haven't had the problem since my ears were de-waxed.


    OB
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  10. #9  
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    I get that on occasion, I liken it to sound of a butterfly fluttering away in my ear. I've never been concerned by it, but I did just do a google of it. Some say it could be tinnitus, others suspect it has to do with the eardrum flexing or a muscle spasm. There is no consensus, it can probably be caused by a number of things. On one health board, a noted trend amongst those who experienced the flutter was that they also clenched their teeth. This led one of the commentators to suggest it's probably muscle spasm, or a flex, as the jaw and the ear are closely connected through muscles and nerves - do you clench/grind your teeth?
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    I get that on occasion, I liken it to sound of a butterfly fluttering away in my ear. I've never been concerned by it, but I did just do a google of it. Some say it could be tinnitus, others suspect it has to do with the eardrum flexing or a muscle spasm. There is no consensus, it can probably be caused by a number of things. On one health board, a noted trend amongst those who experienced the flutter was that they also clenched their teeth. This led one of the commentators to suggest it's probably muscle spasm, or a flex, as the jaw and the ear are closely connected through muscles and nerves - do you clench/grind your teeth?
    Not that I'm aware of, except possibly when dealing with creationists. But sometimes people do this while asleep - grind their teeth, I mean. My wife and son sometimes do, certainly.
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  12. #11  
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    No teeth grinding, clenching or anything like that;

    I am lying in my bed just about to go to sleep. Everywhere is quiet. I can hear/feel a random bumping sound in one ear. It is not the blood flow.

    Are any medical doctors reading this thread? What is the cause of what I can hear?



    OB
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  13. #12  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    I don't know if its the same thing or not but when I was little I used to get water trapped in my ear canal frequently. My ears stick out like taxi cab doors. Do yours?
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  14. #13  
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    No, mine are nicely streamlined, thank you.

    I don't think it's trapped water - I swim a lot, so I know how that goes.

    OB
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  15. #14  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    lol. It was just a guess. Poor you, on the streamlined ears though. I used to hate mine but now I find it much easier to dress up for Halloween. And I almost always get awesome candy... so long as a nerdy guy answers the door.
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  16. #15  
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    And I almost always get awesome candy
    Off topic, I know, but is that a euphemism??!!



    OB
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by One beer View Post
    And I almost always get awesome candy
    Off topic, I know, but is that a euphemism??!!



    OB
    lol no i literally get better candy than what they are giving the kids. In my old neighborhood before I moved 1000 miles away, people were used to me. More often than not they would have king size candy bars for me while they gave traditional snack size to the kids. Otherwise they'd just give me a bigger handful.

    Though I don't doubt that some of the men handing me those king size Mars bars weren't trying to imply something. But I didn't care, I just wanted the sugar. I burn though sugar like a fly.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by One beer View Post
    Could it be the ear's volume control muscle going into spasm?
    I think I experience what you describe, and I think you're right about the muscle spasms.

    There are two muscles the tensor tympani muscle and the stapedius muscle.

    Here's a description of the middle ear muscles from How stuff works.

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  19. #18  
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    Thank you.

    So we just need to find out why the muscle spasms. Is it a reaction to try to dislodge wax I wonder?


    OB
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  20. #19  
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    Are there any medical folk out there who can answer this ?Thanks,OB
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  21. #20  
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    Ear bumping can also occur when you are experiencing withdrawal from a medication or drug. I was on zoloft (an SSRI antidepressant). I stopped it cold turkey and had ear bumping for well over a month. It was quite irritating.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    Ear bumping can also occur when you are experiencing withdrawal from a medication or drug. I was on zoloft (an SSRI antidepressant). I stopped it cold turkey and had ear bumping for well over a month. It was quite irritating.
    That was your sanity trying to get away again.
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    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    Ear bumping can also occur when you are experiencing withdrawal from a medication or drug. I was on zoloft (an SSRI antidepressant). I stopped it cold turkey and had ear bumping for well over a month. It was quite irritating.
    That was your sanity trying to get away again.
    No worries, it escaped a long time ago lol
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    Ear bumping can also occur when you are experiencing withdrawal from a medication or drug. I was on zoloft (an SSRI antidepressant). I stopped it cold turkey and had ear bumping for well over a month. It was quite irritating.
    That was your sanity trying to get away again.
    No worries, it escaped a long time ago lol
    I have a restraining/no contact order against mine.
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    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  25. #24  
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    sounds like pulsatile tinnitus. see your local GP and they will probably want to get an x-ray of it. it's most likely to do with the constriction of the blood vessels.

    how old are you and what kind of diet do you have?
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  26. #25  
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    Ah, a reply from someone who has medical knowledge, at last ! Thank you bio.

    Am past middle age and try to have a very healthy diet and lifestyle, involving low body fat, proper balanced food, (no hidden sugars) and plenty of regular exercise. Not much junk food apart from occasional curry and pizza.
    Blood pressure and heart rate are all low, (I have annual medicals because I am an airline pilot).

    The ear bumping hasn't happened for a while now. What is physically happening in my ear when it does occur, and can it be caused by stress?

    Thanks again.


    OB
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  27. #26  
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    yes it can be caused by stress, also your job as a pilot can also be the cause of it. i'd go to a doctor to be on the safe side if i were you it can be easily fixed with drugs, exercise and a healthy diet
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  28. #27  
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    Thanks, will do.

    What is physically happening in my ear when it happens?


    OB
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by One beer View Post
    Thanks, will do.

    What is physically happening in my ear when it happens?


    OB
    the blood flow in the blood vessels around your ear gets altered. this could be an increase in blood flow (this would cause more noise than blood that is moving slowly). or it could be localised in a single blood vessel, or a blood vessel group around the ear. again i'm not 100% sure, but it could also be a build up of wax around the ear or some sort of foreign item in your ear.


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  30. #29  
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    Is it similar to the sound in your ears when you yawn, especially with a closed mouth?
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  31. #30  
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    I'm not sure - I don't think I get an 'ear noise' when I yawn.

    My 'ear bumping' sounds as though a very tiny person is gently, randomly tapping on my eardrum.

    My personal - uninformed - theory, and from what bio says, is that there may have been wax in my ear and this was an automatic response by my body; trying to dislodge it away from the eardrum to restore unimpeded hearing?

    OB
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  32. #31  
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    The sound may also be caused by spasm of the tensor tympani muscle. See Tensor tympani muscle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .

    Clarissa
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  33. #32  
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogLady View Post
    The sound may also be caused by spasm of the tensor tympani muscle. See Tensor tympani muscle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .

    Clarissa
    it's more likely to do with the blood vessels imo
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  34. #33  
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    I can cause noises in my ear drums by changing the pressure behind them... Happens when I yawn, but not necessarily because I yawn... I probably learned the technique to assist in dealing with pressure changes underwater or in airplanes.
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