Thumping in right ear, only triggered by sound

Posted by mdrake2020 @mdrake2020, Jan 11, 2020

This is a strange problem and difficult to explain so please bear with me here. This has been happening for almost 2 years now.

If both of my ears are completely exposed, 90% of the time I have no issues. Hearing is even on both ears. The other 10% of the time, certain midrange frequencies cause my right ear to thump along with the sound and usually only when they're pretty loud.

Now the main issue is that 100% of the time, if my right ear is partially covered for whatever reason (let's say I'm laying down on my side and part of it is covered, if I wear a hooded shirt over my head, or even if I put my hand over my right ear slightly), the thumping happens along with the sound. So let's say someone speaks a 4 syllable word, I'll get a thump with each syllable. Or if I'm hearing footsteps, each footstep causes a thump. This seems to happen along all frequencies (except maybe the very high ones). The weird thing is the thumping doesn't happen if I completely seal my LEFT ear. It'll only happen if my left ear is completely exposed and my right ear partially covered. It doesn't even have to be covered all the way. I can put my hand about 5 inches away from my ear and it'll trigger this problem.

I unfortunately can't afford to go to a ENT right now so I'm hoping someone has an idea about what's going on here. One thing probably worth mentioning is I've had acid reflux for 4 years. I actually went to an ENT because of pain all on my right side….my ear, throat, neck and head. He did an endoscopy but said he didn't see anything there to worry about, and thought acid reflux is causing my pain so he prescribed me some Ranitidine which I've been taking since then (just stopped a few months ago though). It did definitely help the ear pain when I began taking it but I did still have reflux episodes probably once a month throughout the 4 years. I'm thinking maybe this has caused some ear damage but I'm really not sure.

I appreciate any help I can get.

Liked by bobbypaulk

Hi @mdrake2020, welcome to Connect. The thumping sound you're experiencing does sound challenging to describe. It might be related to pulsatile tinnitus – a type of rhythmic thumping or whooshing, like a heartbeat, that only you can hear. Here’s some more information from Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/symptoms-causes/syc-2035015

Fellow members, like @kittyrushing @daniloc @lizm2 @shieldandguide and others have discussed similar sensations and offer possible causes in this discussion on Connect.
– rapid thumping sound in left ear https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/rapid-thumping-sound-in-left-ear/

Has the sensation changed over the 2 years? Did the thumping start gradually or suddenly?

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@kittyrushing. I still have the pulsatile tinnitus, my heartbeat pounding away. I take 50 mg Losartan and 50 mg Metropolol daily and it is not as loud as it was in the beginning. I have had the MRA,etc., but no one seems to know what is causing the pounding, which makes it difficult to sleep. It began when I quit taking the .81 aspirin daily, after 30 years.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @mdrake2020, welcome to Connect. The thumping sound you're experiencing does sound challenging to describe. It might be related to pulsatile tinnitus – a type of rhythmic thumping or whooshing, like a heartbeat, that only you can hear. Here’s some more information from Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/symptoms-causes/syc-2035015

Fellow members, like @kittyrushing @daniloc @lizm2 @shieldandguide and others have discussed similar sensations and offer possible causes in this discussion on Connect.
– rapid thumping sound in left ear https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/rapid-thumping-sound-in-left-ear/

Has the sensation changed over the 2 years? Did the thumping start gradually or suddenly?

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Hi Colleen,

I did come across "pulsatile tinnitus" before I made this post but I believe I read that it happens along with your pulse. That's definitely not what happens in my case. The description of the "thump" does sound the same as mine but again, mine only happens along with sound. It happens the most with every slight spike in sound and the easiest way to describe it is that any syllable from a sentence triggers the thump.

It did suddenly begin 2 years ago, and the only change since then is it's a little bit more sensitive now.

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Hi, @mdrake2020 – a couple of other members may have some thoughts to add to this discussion on certain midrange frequencies causing your right ear to thump along with the sound, usually only when they're pretty loud. Please meet @lioness and @imallears.

Is going to your general practitioner or a less expensive express care service to get this checked out a possibility for you, if an ENT visit might be too costly at this time? Have you considered talking to the doctor who prescribed the ranitidine, if you think the ear thumping may be a side effect?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @mdrake2020 – a couple of other members may have some thoughts to add to this discussion on certain midrange frequencies causing your right ear to thump along with the sound, usually only when they're pretty loud. Please meet @lioness and @imallears.

Is going to your general practitioner or a less expensive express care service to get this checked out a possibility for you, if an ENT visit might be too costly at this time? Have you considered talking to the doctor who prescribed the ranitidine, if you think the ear thumping may be a side effect?

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@mdrake2020 Thanks for inviting me to this conversation Lisa . I dont have any thumbling but tinnitus in my ears. Altho I will say when I had lost my hearing aids before I got new ones about 2 weeks I did have thumbing in my left ear but since I have new hearing aids I have,nt had any problems in fact my tinnitus is down to a hum

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I came across your post when I did a google search of my symptoms. I have been having exactly the same symptoms in my right ear for almost a year now. The thumping only comes with noise and is on cue with the syllables of words or the frequency of the noise. Have you had any success getting answers?

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@carmela187

I came across your post when I did a google search of my symptoms. I have been having exactly the same symptoms in my right ear for almost a year now. The thumping only comes with noise and is on cue with the syllables of words or the frequency of the noise. Have you had any success getting answers?

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My thumping is my heart beat in my left ear. If I walk faster or pedal my bicycle faster. the thumping in my ear gets faster. Drives me crazy. It never stops, which I guess is a good thing!!!! Must be a problem with a blood vessel somewhere.

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@mdrake2020– Hi. I have your exact same issue. I can only speak from what I have experienced and what I have been told. Which makes sense to me, given my history…
I started experiencing, what I call a “flutter” in my right ear.
It happens exactly how you explain it. If it is completely quiet and a high pitch sound comes in like a phone ring,
Violin or any pitch higher in music tone and my ear will flutter to the exact beat. One of my ear drums is thinner/kind of retracted, than the other so it does not absorb/vibrate the sound the way the other one is. Picture a woofer of a speaker, how it vibrates the sound. If one is broken or smaller, it is not going to ricochet the sound as good. That’s how it was explained to me. This could have happened from anything from when you were growing up, ear infections, high fever or just a weaker development and then one day you start to notice it. Don’t put too much worry into it, or you will make it appear worse. There is nothing wrong with you. Your ear drum is actually
working, since can hear it, ya know? Although it might “feel” annoying, there is not something wrong. Hope that helps a little.

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@carmela187

I came across your post when I did a google search of my symptoms. I have been having exactly the same symptoms in my right ear for almost a year now. The thumping only comes with noise and is on cue with the syllables of words or the frequency of the noise. Have you had any success getting answers?

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I also stumbled across this when i was researching my symptoms. The first I noticed the thumping was about 7 or 8 years ago when I was working in a private clinic where the boss made me very anxious. I would only get it when he would speak during our patient care meetings. Not when anyone else spoke. So, I associated that with him making my blood pressure spike. I only ever had it in my right ear and since then I have noticed it with certain television hosts speaking or my new boyfriend. It is not rhythmic but almost seems like what Morse code sounds like. When I mute the television, it stops; I turn the the sound back on, the thumping returns. I am so confused

Liked by bobbypaulk

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@kwinckel -Hi. This is called Tonic Tensor Tempani “syndrome” TTTS. I put the “syndrome” in quotes as to not worry you. Western medicine puts a syndrome to everything and make people more worried than they need to. This is an inner ear muscular response that you created a tension from at one point from a hypersensitive sound specifically to you. Once you tensed this muscle, like from the first time your bosses voice irritated you or made you nervous, it kind of stays the time in the back ground in anticipation to similar or loud sounds to block them out for next time. On that same side you might also experience jaw tightness as a reflexive response to it. There is nothing wrong with you. It’s just an involuntary muscle response to sound.

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Crazy. I have the same thing except I’m only noticing it with one person—my wife. Lol. Sounds like a comedy, but it is true. When she talks for long tangents I begin to hear the thumping and it makes me just slightly nauseous. I hate asking her to stop because I’m genuinely interested, but the thumping is so annoying. I keep saying “it’s not you! I promise it is just something wrong with my ear!” Haha.

Have you had any luck with this?

Thanks
– Bobby

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@kwinckel

I also stumbled across this when i was researching my symptoms. The first I noticed the thumping was about 7 or 8 years ago when I was working in a private clinic where the boss made me very anxious. I would only get it when he would speak during our patient care meetings. Not when anyone else spoke. So, I associated that with him making my blood pressure spike. I only ever had it in my right ear and since then I have noticed it with certain television hosts speaking or my new boyfriend. It is not rhythmic but almost seems like what Morse code sounds like. When I mute the television, it stops; I turn the the sound back on, the thumping returns. I am so confused

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This. 100% this. This is completely me but with my wife. I am steady Eddie, even-keeled and cool as a cucumber…by nature. But my wife is what brings emotion out of me — both good and “bad”(bad being anxiousness/stresss). We’re complete soulmates I promise.

So crazy story— when she talks lovingly to me, nothing. When she is telling me a story about drama in her family, thumping the whole time. LOL.

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@bobbypaulk

This. 100% this. This is completely me but with my wife. I am steady Eddie, even-keeled and cool as a cucumber…by nature. But my wife is what brings emotion out of me — both good and “bad”(bad being anxiousness/stresss). We’re complete soulmates I promise.

So crazy story— when she talks lovingly to me, nothing. When she is telling me a story about drama in her family, thumping the whole time. LOL.

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

May I ask if the symptom of "thumping" in your ear that makes you "nauseous," the reason you have come to Connect?

May I also ask if you have mentioned this to your provider?

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Hello,
I have dealt with this exact issue for the past 8 or so years – a painful “thump” in my right ear when sound is presented to left ear while right ear is covered. Like you stated, when both ears remain uncovered it is rare to experience this thump, but it will occasionally occur with certain frequencies. The “thump” is unique, not a “flutter”, and differs from any sort of tinnitus I’ve experienced. The onset was random; one night I just noticed it happen as I was watching TV. As the years have progressed, this thump has become more painful and easily triggered to the point where I have had to change certain behaviors (for example, positions I sleep in as even the smallest sounds from other areas of the house now trigger this “thump”).

I am currently seeing an ENT for this. My hearing test and audiogram are within normal ranges. We have ruled out MEM (abnormal middle ear muscle movement of tensor tympani and/or stapedius) as no middle ear muscle movement was detected when recreating the “thump” with an audiologist. My brain MRI was normal and showed no evidence of any sort of mass lesion or other abnormality. Our next step is a brain CT to look at the temporal bone to rule out SSCD. My ENT has consulted with numerous other ENTs and surgeons and no one can come to a general consensus on what the issue might be. If a clear diagnosis is able to be made upon further testing I’ll reply with an update. I hope this helps.

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