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Stapedial Myoclonus
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Stapedial Myoclonus

For the last 4 mos., my ear drum flutters ONLY at Night when my head is on my pillow.  It does not happen every night, just some.  I went to an ENT who said this was Stapedial Myoclonus, but he said they have no ida what causes it.  He ordered an MRI of my brain and the ear canals, w and w/out contract and they came back normal except for sinisitis.  He said not to worry and that it would go away.  He offered clozanapan or something like that for anxiety, which he said could cause this and I said no thank you.  I am a little concerned b/c I did my own internet research and I found that MS will cause this.  If this is from MS, why would I only have the symptoms at night as I lie down.  I went to a neuro because of weird syptoms (symptoms) last year and he did an MRI of head, neck and lumbar and everything came back fine.  He also said that he did not feel my symptoms were MS or any other neuro problem.  My inintial symptoms were crawly skin feeling - not itching, and rt leg burning.  I have been in PT for the leg and the therapist says it is piriformis syndrome.  The crawly skin gets really bad ritght before my period and it started after getting off of birth control after three years.  I really feel this symptom is hormone related.  I guess my new concern is the ear drum.  Why only at night?  Is this oftern seen in MS?  Do two clean MRIs help rule out MS along with normal evaluations from the neuro?  Last night I noticed that the lymph node behiond my rt ear is bigger than norma lso now I am thinking maybe this is an ear infection.  Woudl the MRI of the ear canals and brain show this
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Avatar_n_tn
I know you must be going nuts w/ the ear flutter but you're
not crazy. I know enough abt physiology to agree w/ Dr. You
haven't written anything that has gone to MS signal. If you
have sinusitis, why no help to cure that up? The ear is too
complexed to explain. Anxiety med is the thing to try. Your
eustashian tubes are in back of throat. If swelling happens w/
any tissue there, it blocks tubes & can trigger myoclonus.
Tubes go over to middle ear compartment & that's where outside/
inside air pressure gets equalized. Airplane descent goes pop!
Next compartment is inner ear where fluid helps balance, etc.
When you lay down, fluid shifts & must be changing middle ear
to cause tympanic to flutter/spasm/myoclonus. I had throat-pull
myoclonus from stress do to another illness I had. Soon my ears
started snapping (pop) very hard till sore. It happened while
laying down few hrs & wake me. Xanax is for anxiety but also a
muscle-relaxant off label. Any rx in the benzo-rx area should be
tried till you find one that wks. Think of a plummers-level.
That's what the inner ear is doing. Snoring can do myoclonus &
weather puts pressure on tympanic window. That window is an
autonomic action to equal-air. Mine finally went w/ med but took
a few mo. 1 ear still acts up when I get a sore throat. I got
the flu & drainage irritated openings of ET's & it fluttered
while upright most of day. I asked for an eartube procedure that
took all of 15min. & it completely stopped it. Tube falls out
after 9weeks & seals up window. Try the med at night. You'll
sleep better. May take a few weeks to kick in. Lousy sleep will
keep sub-brain away from correct sleep-waves & cause autonomic
anxiety you don't know is happening. Extra pillows or best is a
back-wedge (not too high)w/ your low pillow. Head is elevated/
fluid is stable/drainage doesn't build in throat. Law allows
you to have a hm-health-file. Ask for copies of all reports of
scans to confirm Dr didn't miss a note from lab & to put mind
at ease. Records get shredded after 7 yrs anyway. Most get MS
dx'd abt 7-8yrs & that's when old copies are good to compare.
Jerks are like myoclonus only called benign fasciculations of
stimulated fibers from the neck+spine. Gd-luck.


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Avatar_n_tn
WOW!  Thank you very much.  I have been sleeping with multiple pillows and it has helped so much!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello - I've been looking for something online to help me understand why I am having this fluttering or vibration in my ear.  Your note really helped because I had told my daughter's ENT that I was having this fluttering feeling only at night and it seemed to happen if my husband was snoring.  Sounds crazy but after reading your note I see that lying on a pillow could be a situation that triggers this.  I feel like I'm not nuts.  The ENT looked in my ear and said it looks fine and that he had this once and it went away.  Well it's been at least a month if not more and today I am having this fluttering during the day while working at my computer.  It's extremely annoying and I keep putting my finger in my ear thinking it will help but it doesn't.  I do have tinnitus also, but mild case.  I've had for many years.  I hope I find a solution to this problem and I hope that it does go away - it might drive me insane.  I will try a little xanax.  THANKS
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Avatar_m_tn
Tomorrow morning I am seeing an Otologist in Phoenix AZ..I have some type of myoclonus, either tempur timpani or stapedial.My right ear snaps very loud and sounds like a fire cracker going off. At times it goes into a spasm that sounds like a package of firecrackers are firing together for about a minute and gradually settles down and sounds like crackeling until it stops completely. Very distressing..Never know for sure when it is going to happen. Sometimes the sound of crunching a piece of paper or tearing open an envelope will make it snap. Other times it just appears to be active by itself without any specific noise to trigger it. The worse time is on the nights it happens when I am sleeping and wakes me up. I am then too nervous and stressed out to fall back to sleep for fear of it starting again. Even flushing the toilet can sometimes cause it to happen. Never know why or when. I am considering the surgical procedure to sever the tendons but I am afraid that other problems might develop as a result of this..tomorrow I get my first opinion...I do take .05mg xanex at night and half of that each day to try and take the edge off..I can't wait till tomorrow to get some guidance..
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi guys,

I get this too and it doesn't occur every night. I have recently had it happen during the daytime while upright, a few times.  It sounds like a bug trapped in my ear. Only the right side. Quite bothersome, considering I have a hard enough time falling asleep lately anyway. I also read that it can be associated with those who have MS (among other diseases). I am going to mention it next time I see my MS specialist since I am still undiagnosed.

Julie
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Avatar_n_tn
I've had the flutter and vibration sensation in my left ear for 12 years now.  It's a slow flutter, as if a moth was stuck in my ear; it's not usually a rapid buzzing sensation.  It is always preceded by an external stimulus such as trickling water, shuffing of paper, or even a telephone ringing.  When the external noise stops, so does the fluttering.  It's obviously not a sign of serious illness considering that I've had it for so long and I'm otherwise healthy.  Based on what I've read, it's either stapedial myoclonus and tensor tympani syndrome.

My questions to you all: (1) have any of you experienced similar signs (flutter preceded by trickling water, etc.), and (2) do any of you have a history of excessive noise exposure (i.e. rock concerts, firearms, industrial)?  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello,
my Stapedius-Myoclonus can be triggered from swiftly rubbing or petting a triangular realn of the face skin:
reaching form a vertical line directly beyond and above the visible
left ear to the point whre the nose bone reaches the forehead (mainly around the left eye), and - stunningly -  by petting the right ear.
But this clicking is just annoying, my real problem is painful and I think there might be a relatin between this two problems, concerning some compressed nerve
(Trigeminus? Facialis? My left shoulder permanently is a little cramped an I have the impression that shots with local anaesthetics into the occipitalis region would help.

Since childhood I (46) do suffer from heavy bilateral leftaccentuated
neck headaches which conform in some parts to tension headaches but mainly to coital headaches, resulting from neck cramps which
usually start in the realn of the left mastoid.
Yet I've no idea what the reason might be and physiscians typically esteem a psychosomatic or lunatic

grateful for any good advice
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1339481_tn?1312960431
Hi, I have had a sound in my left ear for over 10 years and wanted to share my experience. This started one night, when I was 17, after I had been swimming in the ocean and heard the sound like there was water in my ear. Didn't freak out, figured it would go away. 10 years later, antibiotics, an inner ear MRI, lots of dr visits, hearing tests which all came back normal... I've grown beyond frustrated with the sound. The last dr I saw about 4 years ago told me he was sorry but there was no treatment. The sound happens when I lay with the left ear facing up. When it's exposed the sound reacts to other sounds, like my cat crunching on her food. If I lay on my left side I can't hear it. It sounds similar to rushing water or like a loud thumping or hammering. Also there is a constant pressure in that ear and it hurts if I stick a q-tip inside, although dr's have assured me it's never red or inflamed.  Any time I am sick/congested I can hear the sound all the time as there is more pressure going on. Anyway, today I went to see a tinnitus specialist and after discussing with a colleage he confirmed I have stapedial myclonus. He said it's like a muscle spasm, there is a bone and a couple small muscles and something is either too loose or too tight, so they move (something is hitting something else) and create this noise. lt's kind of like a drum being hit repeatedly very quickly. I am happy to finally have a name for this horrible aggravating condition I've lived with for so long. The bad news is that he said there really isn't much that can be done. He was not an advocate of taking medication for it, and I am in agreeement. He said this is a lot of times related to anxiety. When I first experienced this noise I did NOT have any anxiety however I have had severe anxiety/panic attacks for the last 8 years. I used to take klonopin daily for the panic which was indeed helpful. The problem was when I decided I no longer wanted to be dependent on pills, hello benzodiazepine withdrawl (withdrawal). I went into a hospital after failing to wean slowly, and let's just say that was the worst experience of my life. I won't go into it further since this is a different subject, but everyone should be warned, some dr's suggest benzo's like klonopin or xanax to help deal with this kind of problem but I wouldn't reccomend taking benzo's unless you commit to taking them every single day, and at gradually at higher does, for the rest of your life. I take muscle ralaxers occasically for my back and have never noticed them helping the sound. My reason for posting here is to find out more about stapedial myclonus and I am curious about the surgery that can be done to cut the muscle so the noise stops. The dr I saw today was nice and helpful but didn't seem to know of any dr's around here (I'm in southern California) who would perform the surgery. I've lived with this noise for such a long time and know the only way it will stop is to have this surgery done. I don't even know the name of it, came across a discussion on another message board yet it was from back in 04. Can someone please share with me any info on this problem and the surgery that can be done to hopefully fix it. No help soon and I might have to pull a Van Gogh! Thanks a lot.

-Blair
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Avatar_f_tn
The fluttering in my ear is mostly caused by running water also.  Laundry, dishing, brushing my teeth, the toilet flushing, even urinating.  It is annoying, but certainly not life altering. Since it only happens sometimes, it is really not a big deal for me.  After having this problem for about 8 years, I finally know what it is thanks to a ENT that actually knew his stuff.  I also have a issues with my jaw...not TMJ necessarily, but a crossbite (maloclusion) that causes TMJlike symptoms.  I have headaches and muscle tightness on my right side.  I definitely think this is a contributing factor to my ear drum fluttering.  I started message therapy and with the relaxing of my neck, shoulder, and jaw muscles, the fluttering in my ear has diminished considerably.  Hope this helps some people.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey, when you are at your computer, turn it off and see if it ceases.  Anytime I am at my computer, I have spasms/thumping in my left ear.  I think it is the signals from the microprocessor in my case.  It may be the same for you.  Very strange!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Seven years later and I come across your comment! So bizarre. I have to respond to you because you have accurately described three symptoms I continue to have:  fluttering in my ear, periodic skin crawling, and burning right leg.  When I started reading your post, I thought, wow, did I actually write a post about these symptoms at some point and forgot?  It was crazy.  I had to get back to you and let you know: I've had the skin crawling since 2000. I have had the right leg burning and fluttering in my ear (only my right ear) for the past 3 years.  I have never been diagnosed with anything related to these symptoms.  I just feel fortunate that I have read a post from someone who has the exact same symptoms I do, now i don't feel like I am the only one!
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Avatar_f_tn
i have been suffering with this same thing for over 10 yrs, so does it go away, i dont think so.  i have been to dr after dr and just yesterday found out about this condition from the ent.  he said there is a relatively non invasive procedure that clips some muscle inside the ear and that solves the problem.  i believe i am going to see a dr in baton rouge that he told me about and see about having the procedure.  this drives me crazy.  its so loud when it starts that i lose all hearing while its going on.  yrs ago it was both ears and then it was primarily left ear , now its working on the right ear again.  i thought it was tmj related since i have that.  i notice anytime i get any fluid in ear it starts up.  it wakes me from my sleep and i agree it will drive you crazy.  my sound like a drum beating fast .  let me know if you have had any more success
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Avatar_f_tn
ihave the same problem.  i really hate taking drugs so have you found anything out about the surgery yet.  I have had this problem for over 10 yrs and its getting worse.  telll me anything you can that might help me.  thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
i have no real history of loud noise causing mine.  it just started one day and has decided it likes my body and has stayed.  some times i equate it to someone rubbing their hands together rapidly , that kind off shuffling sound.  it wakes me fro my sleep and i take something to help me sleep.  its so loud some times i feel like i am going to go crazy.  if i yawn it gets set off, if i move my jaw wrong, set off!. if i touch above my eyes , its set off.  it drives me crazy.  finally after yrs of going nto md, ent, allergist, dentist, i got an answer its this stapedical myoclonus.  ent told me to research it and low and behold this is what i have.  i believe i am going to see a dr in baton rouge about the surgery and talk to him.  it drives me crazy.  when it goes on and on my neck tenses up and my jaws and i end up with a problem in those areas.  gotta get some relief
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Avatar_m_tn
This is the problem with the American health system...2 specialty consults, and MRI of the brain w/ and w/o "contrast", NOT contract, for a simple muscle spasm.  Too much WebMD, too much anxiety and too much healthcare have lead to bills that probably ran around $10,000.  $10,000 for a simple inner ear spasm...when you wonder why the cost of healthcare is going up and why your insurance premiums are so high...this is an example of why.
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