Hollow echo distortion in ear? Scared

Posted by lissas @lissas, Mar 17 6:15am

What is this metallic echo.. hollow in my head?
My ear sounds like there’s a actual hollow in my head. Like it’s a metal bucket. There’s a metallic echo to my own footsteps, tapping teeth, tapping head, male voices, bass sounds.
Anyone else heard of this? It’s really frightening to have this develop after a noise damage. ENT has no clue. Please tell me others experience this or know what it is? Thanks!

Hi. ENT has no clue? That's a surprise (or is it?) Amongst other things i have tinnitus; pain; fullness; numbness around; and off and on echo when i speak or hear. sometimes when blow nose get crackling in ear etc. I am sure during my searches I have seen "echo in ear" listen…maybe do a web search with that question, print and take to EnT/ Just on way out the door so will check back as I am interested in your findings and comments… yes it is frightening… maybe rule out some reasons by having a hearing aid test, but i told her am not wanting a hearing aid would jut like it done and your report so i can show dr if necessary which she did gladly, at a cost.!

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@lissas Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

It makes sense that you feel scared. It must be such an odd sensation and not knowing the cause has to further your anxiety and frustration.

I'm going to add you question to the Hearing Loss group.

In order for me to connect you with members that may be able to offer support, please allow me to ask you some clarifying question.

How old are you and how long ago did this start? Is this metallic sound constant or are there times you do not hear it?

You said that it developed after "noise damage." Would you tell me more about that?

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@erikas

@lissas Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

It makes sense that you feel scared. It must be such an odd sensation and not knowing the cause has to further your anxiety and frustration.

I'm going to add you question to the Hearing Loss group.

In order for me to connect you with members that may be able to offer support, please allow me to ask you some clarifying question.

How old are you and how long ago did this start? Is this metallic sound constant or are there times you do not hear it?

You said that it developed after "noise damage." Would you tell me more about that?

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@lissas-this must be frustrating, as well as the fear around it, which brings more attention to it.

It is not a surprise the ENT has no clue. It’s more that if he/she can not see anything objectively, they are surgeons first and foremost, they will be of no help to your subjective sensations. This is just factual. They are not in the specialty of sensory processing.

A better route would be a Neurologist. Neurologists are equipped to discuss nerves. I am not sure what your noise injury was, but if the nerves were heightened during that stress, they can remain in that state causing an overactive state in the neuro and musculature. They play of each other. Tense nerves, tense muscles. The anxiety then brings more awareness to the situation. The Neuro can explain this and perhaps catch it early on to calm the sensitization.

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@nrd1

@lissas-this must be frustrating, as well as the fear around it, which brings more attention to it.

It is not a surprise the ENT has no clue. It’s more that if he/she can not see anything objectively, they are surgeons first and foremost, they will be of no help to your subjective sensations. This is just factual. They are not in the specialty of sensory processing.

A better route would be a Neurologist. Neurologists are equipped to discuss nerves. I am not sure what your noise injury was, but if the nerves were heightened during that stress, they can remain in that state causing an overactive state in the neuro and musculature. They play of each other. Tense nerves, tense muscles. The anxiety then brings more awareness to the situation. The Neuro can explain this and perhaps catch it early on to calm the sensitization.

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@lissas I think @nrd1 could be onto something. You'll notice that I added your question to the Brain and Nervous System group. I did this so you could hopefully connect with a member that may be able to offer support or suggestions.

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@nrd1

@lissas-this must be frustrating, as well as the fear around it, which brings more attention to it.

It is not a surprise the ENT has no clue. It’s more that if he/she can not see anything objectively, they are surgeons first and foremost, they will be of no help to your subjective sensations. This is just factual. They are not in the specialty of sensory processing.

A better route would be a Neurologist. Neurologists are equipped to discuss nerves. I am not sure what your noise injury was, but if the nerves were heightened during that stress, they can remain in that state causing an overactive state in the neuro and musculature. They play of each other. Tense nerves, tense muscles. The anxiety then brings more awareness to the situation. The Neuro can explain this and perhaps catch it early on to calm the sensitization.

Jump to this post

Yes, the ENT is a neurotologist, which is a subspecialty under ENT.

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@erikas

@lissas Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

It makes sense that you feel scared. It must be such an odd sensation and not knowing the cause has to further your anxiety and frustration.

I'm going to add you question to the Hearing Loss group.

In order for me to connect you with members that may be able to offer support, please allow me to ask you some clarifying question.

How old are you and how long ago did this start? Is this metallic sound constant or are there times you do not hear it?

You said that it developed after "noise damage." Would you tell me more about that?

Jump to this post

40s. Blast noise caused symptoms over a year ago. Metallic echo is activated consistently by my own footsteps, tapping teeth, chewing, tapping head, male voices, bass sounds. Thank you for your help in finding answers.

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Sounds suspiciously like my own, self-diagnosed diplacusis.The ENT community seems to have no way to independently diagnose it, much less treat it.
John

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@cus

Sounds suspiciously like my own, self-diagnosed diplacusis.The ENT community seems to have no way to independently diagnose it, much less treat it.
John

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HI @cus and all… yes, so "why" is it with so many people having hearing issues apart from loss of hearing; and apparently involving the brain, there is in 2021 no way to diagnose the many people who are suffering from various such problems… is it because the drs/medical feel there is no complete cure; or not affecting the majority; or ?? We have made great strides in the medical field over the years and not everything has a cure of course but why are many things so hard to diagnose?

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Hello, Lissas! I'm so sorry! I have outer hair cell damage in my left cochlea and all four ENTs thought I just had regular Meniere's disease. A neurosurgeon figured this out by squirting steroids through my eardrum directly into my inner ear which fixed my hearing 100% for a few days. He also did an MRI of my head with ear contrasts to rule out a tumor. And his audiologist did a 90-minute battery of vestibular tests on my ears and eyes which ruled out everything but outer hair cell damage. I wonder if these tests would help you figure out what condition you have. I wish you the best!

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@danr

Hello, Lissas! I'm so sorry! I have outer hair cell damage in my left cochlea and all four ENTs thought I just had regular Meniere's disease. A neurosurgeon figured this out by squirting steroids through my eardrum directly into my inner ear which fixed my hearing 100% for a few days. He also did an MRI of my head with ear contrasts to rule out a tumor. And his audiologist did a 90-minute battery of vestibular tests on my ears and eyes which ruled out everything but outer hair cell damage. I wonder if these tests would help you figure out what condition you have. I wish you the best!

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The steroids only helped you for a few days? How long after the hair cell damage did you receive the injection? Do you get this hollow echo distortion now? Yes, I've had the hearing tests which came out normal. otologist had no insight for my symptoms.

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Yes the steroids helped only a few days because, as I understand it, steroids are anti inflammatory. So my distortion is likely caused by too much pressure in my cochlea. The steroids reduced inflammation, pressure came down, my hearing returned to normal. But steroids, like aspirin, wear off after a while and the pressure returned. So I’m trying to figure out what’s causing the excessive pressure. I got the steroid treatment about two months after this started. I do have the distortion now, and I can feel fullness or pressure in my ear. It doesn’t sound like a hollow echo to me, but it’s similar. The fact that steroids fixed my hearing also gives me naive hope that the hair cells aren’t dead, just stuck in a pressure chamber in my cochlea. Have you tried the transtympanic steroids yet? It’s a little risky because they make a hole in your eardrum which usually heals fine but in rare cases does not. If steroids into your inner ear help, it might give you insight to what’s happening.

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@danr

Yes the steroids helped only a few days because, as I understand it, steroids are anti inflammatory. So my distortion is likely caused by too much pressure in my cochlea. The steroids reduced inflammation, pressure came down, my hearing returned to normal. But steroids, like aspirin, wear off after a while and the pressure returned. So I’m trying to figure out what’s causing the excessive pressure. I got the steroid treatment about two months after this started. I do have the distortion now, and I can feel fullness or pressure in my ear. It doesn’t sound like a hollow echo to me, but it’s similar. The fact that steroids fixed my hearing also gives me naive hope that the hair cells aren’t dead, just stuck in a pressure chamber in my cochlea. Have you tried the transtympanic steroids yet? It’s a little risky because they make a hole in your eardrum which usually heals fine but in rare cases does not. If steroids into your inner ear help, it might give you insight to what’s happening.

Jump to this post

Can sympathize to an extend; had tinnitus years ago but wasnt as bad, gradually got worse along with pain in both rears mainly right; sometimes echo when i speak or hear, but mainly speak, pressure lie ears/head in a vice, along with clear stringy mucous from right nose! Could bear it more if not so many other illnesses. Just a quick internet search i think i saw that echo or hearing out of sync can happen… all i can figure out about the pressure is the eustachian tubes and am sure i spelled that wrong. anyway ENT doing a PHONE INTERIVIEW next week, hope has a diagnosis if not cure but would of course like it all to go away! Slight hearing loss but make up for it by turning tv up etc., but can also hear a pin drop a mile away

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