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Hearing Disorders Message Board

Hearing Disorders Board Index

For the past few months the tinnitus and muffled hearing in my right ear has gotten worse. Recently during a bout of anxiety and stress, my left, clear, ear has also started to produce a low level tinnitus ring along with a wooshing/pulsating hum.

I have TMJD. It's just a thump when I move my jaw. No pain. It's worse on my right side, same as my worst ear.

I also suffer from general and social anxiety. I'm almost always stressed out and lack sleep and/or pull energy from my anxieties, wearing on my body.

I also am always stuffed up. Rhinitis? I wake up with a stuffed up nose. It lessens as the day goes on, but I'm almost never not stuffy in some capacity. People tell me I sound stuffed up/congested. I've been like this for years. It could be my environment. Dust/ventilation

I also hear a crackling sound in my ears when I talk or flex my ear muscles. It's like mucus is being moved about and making a gushy/crackling sound. It's worse in my right ear.

Due to the muffled hearing in my right ear and the crackling sounds, I was convinced I had ear wax build-up. I tried my best and many methods to clear it out myself, but nothing changed.

I went to an ENT and a GP and both confirmed that my outer ear is clean and healthy. No wax.

The tinnitus is so loud in my left ear. To me it matches sound levels of 80db+, or abouts. The muffled hearing, I'm sure, makes it worse.

I'm worried that I may be losing my hearing and the tinnitus is a result of that. But I have some hope, but I can't seem to find any information on this anywhere:

If I clench/flex my ear muscles I can hear better in my right ear. I've tested this in various ways. This is why I thought it was ear wax. I figured I was shifting the shape of my ear causing a slight gap in the ear wax to hear better. But since I know it's not wax... I'm left wondering what is causing this.

This ability to temporarily hear better and the fact that I hear myself fairly loudly when I talk makes me think I have some sort of ETD. Add, stress/anxitey, TMJD, and Rhinitis, and I think I have this perfect cocktail for muffled hearing and tinnitus.

I would love to know what I'm actually doing when I flex/clench my ear to hear better. When I do it, I get that mucus crackling sound for a second and then it's like I cupped my ear and can hear better even though I'm not touching my ear or anything. Soon as I release my muscles it closes right back up again and I can't hear as well. I tested this by covering my left, good, ear or covering my left ear on my pillow. I'll listen to some music or rain sounds and flex/clinch my ear and notice the sound gets louder and then when I release it closes up and is muffled again.

Does this mean I have fluid in my ears? I have no ear pain, no jaw pain, etc. at times my ear feels full or stuffed up, but I think that might be due to the lack of sound. I'm not sure. I work from home at a computer pretty much all day. I'm not exposed to loud machinery and I try my best not to play my music too loud except to hear better since I can't hear so well now.

Any input on what this flexing means to clear my hearing my help me know how to proceed with medical care.


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