Deafness/Hearing Impairment/Vibration Sound In Ear

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Question
Hello Dr. Linton, for almost a week I am hearing a vibration kind of noise that also seems like I "feel" it. The sound/vibration is similar to a car passing by while you are inside your house. At first I thought it was pulsatile tinitus or vascular but It is not on sync with my heart beat and I jog a lot and am in good health. The only thing I remember doing before it started was I did the valsalva maneuver and popped my ears and might have put too much force. I went in to see an Audiologist and he said my eardrum looks fine. I also do not have any blockage and my eustachian tube is working fine. My hearing is also fine. Do you have any idea what this could be or any advice you can give? I don't have any pain but it is waking me up at night and causing anxiety.

Answer
Arnold,

It sounds like you have had all the major things evaluated and they are all normal.  In which case, I have to suspect that when you did the valsalva you may have caused a change in the mobility of one of the other membranes in the inner ear.  The eardrum is the main membrane we assume we are stabilizing when we valsalva but we could be causing movement in the oval window or round window as well.  Although it isn't as common, it could happen.

As your testing reveals, it didn't cause any hearing problems but may have given you a different sensation of sound because it is hitting those membranes in a different way.

This is just a possibility.  There isn't any way to know exactly what is happening.  Our main concern is that you don't have any hearing loss and the Eustachian tube is working properly.  

Thank you for your question.
Kelley Linton, AuD
Doctor of Audiology

Deafness/Hearing Impairment

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Dr. Kelley Linton

Expertise

I'm an audiologist in private practice in Arkansas. I graduated from the University of Florida medical school. I specialize in hearing loss; hearing rehabilitation; hearing aids; noise induced hearing loss; occupational noise exposure; OSHA guidelines and regulations; hearing protection; tinnitis; newborn hearing testing; children and hearing loss and diagnosis and etiology of hearing loss.

Experience

I've been a practicing audiologist for 20 years and have owned a private practice for 14 years. I am also an audiologist in the United States Army where I teach DOD hearing conservation regulations and manage 3000 DOD employees at an army industrial facility.

Organizations
Arkansas Academy of Audiology American Academy of Audiology Academy of Doctors of Audiology American Speech and Hearing Association National Hearing Conservation Association

Publications
Journal of the Academy of Audiology Southwest Times Record, Fort Smith, Arkansas Press Argus Courier, Van Buren, Arkansas

Education/Credentials
Au.D. - Doctor of Audiology, University of Florida American Academy of Audiology fellow member Audiology Board Certification American Speech and Hearing Association certification Arkansas State Audiology license-current CPT United States Army Medical Corps

Awards and Honors
American Speech and Hearing Association "ACE" award x 7 years United States Army Accommodation Award Arkansas Academy of Audiology elected board of director x 3 years Better community award, Fort Smith, AR for volunteer audiology service to free community health clinic

Past/Present Clients
Serving newborn to geriatric ages.....unable to provide specific names.

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