Latest Problem: Inner Ear Issues

When it rains, it pours with me as far as health issues.  I now have another problem I’m trying to deal with along with my ME/CFS flare – inner ear problems.  A few days ago I noticed that I started having this feeling like my inner ear was wet, but I know I didn’t get any water in it.  Also, when I tried to check with a Q-tip (very gently) to see if it came out wet – nothing.  Completely dry.  Then I started experiencing another very annoying symptom that has increasingly grown worse over the past few days.  It feels like something is moving around inside my ear, but it’s kind of a vibrating/numbing type feeling.  It’s hard to explain.  The best way I can describe it is it kind of feels like when I had long hair and it would get inside my ears sometimes.  I keep having this urge to move my hair away from my ears when I don’t have any hair around my ears.  My hair is really super short now.  I am having some pain but not an extreme amount.  It’s more annoying than anything. 

I am not having any dizziness or anything like that.  When I lie down the cold, wet feeling gets worse.  If I lie on my right ear, the feeling that something is inside my ear gets worse.  If I lie on my left ear, the cold, wet feeling becomes really intense.  Sounds weird, doesn’t it?

My fear is that a bug or spider or something crawled in my ear – yuck!  Any suggestions?

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  1. Sandy, it sounds awful. This is probably not what happened to you, but a few years ago I re-injured my ear drum by diving into deep water. When I was a kid I got cuffed in the ear with a cupped palm (by accident) and it popped a hole in my ear drum. When it got re-injured, the hole sealed itself up with water still in the ear canal. Eventually the pressure tore another hole to let the water out. The reason I don’t think this is what’s happening to you is that it was excruciating. I don’t think you could get something behind your ear drum without being in a lot of pain, but if I were you I’d have your doctor take a look. Maybe its an infection with just a weird sensory response? I hope it goes away soon!

  2. I’m not sure what it is but I am having the same symptoms. Do you have any pain in the ear or in your head?

    • Im going through the same wind blowing in my ear cold or cold water and a moving sensation

  3. Hi Finch, Yes, I did find out what is wrong. You can read more at this post: I have a sinus infection that caused my right ear to fill with fluid.

  4. I’m sorry I didn’t see this sooner. Calcium deposits in the inner ear can cause a variety of symptoms such as you’ve described. There are a series of exercises that a good physical therapist can teach you that can alleviate these symptoms, but unfortunately, they haven’t yet found a way to take care of it. It’s like a miniature kidney stone, sort of, but in the inner ear. When there are gall stones or kidney stones, the way they get rid of them is ultrasound – which would destroy hearing, so it can’t be used for the ears. Right now, the exercises are all we have.

    Don’t be too surprised if an ENT insists that you don’t have this unless you’re off balance (which may happen, but I hope not). Many of them think only balance problems are caused by these calcium deposits, but the symptoms you describe are often present with balance problems; there’s no reason you can’t be spared balance problems but still have these symptoms.

    Also, you have sinus problems, from what you’ve said in other posts. It’s possible that sinus pressure could also cause these symptoms, so differential diagnosis by a good ENT is critical.

  5. I too feel like i have some water trapped in my right ear,but on cleaning it the ear bud come out dry without any wax or dampness.When i sleep its just the worst thing- any small sound fall on my ear like vibration.even if i speak or clear my throat when am lying on my left ear the sound falls as some irritation vibration on my ear.I had nasal polyp and got it operated,when i said my ent about this earlier when i consulted him for nasal polyp,he said all this is because of nasal polyp,i had intense head ache too.well now the nasal polyp is completely gone and head ache rarely comes.but the ear is getting worst.i even feel lik water is running down my earbut noting actually comes sandy said i do feel lik my hair pokes into my ear but my hair is all tied up.Please let me know what is wrong.I cant sleep with this vibration in my ear specially when my mother snores it just irritates my ear so much.

  6. OH MY GOD! i’m having the same issue here! i hear something crawling in my ear.. it’s like it wants to get deep inside! i’m scared for my self! i don’t know what to do. and it hurts, i feels wet but there’s no water inside. and sill now, my ears are clogged now i’m feeling slightly deaf :'( please help! any suggestions ?

  7. Mark Titus says:

    Addressing the movement in the ears – among other things – let me give it a shot. I was diagnosed with ETD (Eustachian Tube Dysfunction) not long ago. The way I describe it is like bugs crawling around inside my ears. Take you’re index finger and VERY LIGHTLY touch, say, the inside part of your thigh. You know, a real sensitive part of your skin. That light touch is almost constant in my ears. It’s an itch that really can’t be itched. Now, I know why I’ve always seen older men wearing cotton in their ears. Anyway, I went and seen a Specialist in Fort Worth, Tx. (I live in Northern Calif.). He’s 1, of only 3 Doctors in the entire country who treats the kind of ETD that I have. The Doc told me that the reason why my ears feel this way is because I have the kind of ETD that makes my tubes stay open. He said it’s probably the air getting in through the constant opening. Like a valve that never closes. Well, after the 3 hour operation on both my septum and my ears, that itch is worse than ever. I can breath better than i’ve ever been able to in my life, but my ears, along with the bugs crawling around may drive me crazy, eventually. I also now have debilitating Tinnitus. The Boston Pops don’t have nutt’in on the tones my ears have. Something about, I have the unfortunate ability to actually hear my brain activity, or so many Specialist say. Even so, these Eustachian Tubes are what equalize the pressure in your head. When they go, the NIGHTMARE begins It’s as though your head is imploding, and exploding all at the same time. In a blink you can go from one to the other. I’m still healing from all this, but it doesn’t feel promising. Nope! not in the least. Before I close, I don’t have a balance problem, and i’ve been x-rayed every way you can be, including a ct scan of my sinuses, and MRI of my entire brain. The pain I suffer from this can be absolutely unconscionable, though it is rare. As far as feeling like water is in my ears, that’s happened to me only twice in the 3 years I’ve had this ailment. Also, the Specialist I saw told me that ETD is very mysterious in the medical world here in the U.S.. He said a ‘normal’ Radiologist, and or, ENT wouldn’t know what to look for. Finally, some advice for anyone who has pressure problems in their ears, do yourself a favor and help your Doc. Mention to them ETD. That’s how I found out I had it. I did my research and then mentioned it. Though I had the symptoms, 4 different ENT’s and a slew of GP Docs didn’t have a clue.

  8. Hi, my friend has the itchy insect feeling in her ear and was told by the ear specialist it was a muscle in her ear that goes into spasms. She finds if she presses her ear at the top it eases it. Hope this info helps someone. Good luck.

    • I also have that crawling and itchy feeling in both my ears from time to time. I also thought I had tiny bugs having a dance party in there. My ENT just said ( oh my ). That was it!!! But I noticed if I just put my finger and press it closed it stops it right away. I’ve had this so long now that when I’m around my friends and my imaginary buggy friends come and visit me I hurry up with my finger to my ear and then my friends start laughing and say Oh no her friends came back for a dance off contest!!! So if any way gets a good diagnosis let me know. I will have to find a new ENT!!!

  9. Lori Mortensen says:

    I haven’t had the sensation of bugs. At present I get a periodic sharp pain in my ear & the annoying sensation that cold water is running out my ear. I always check my ear and it is dry as can be. I do hear the fluorescent lights vibrate, and household appliances. I hear buzzing sounds from a deep timber to super high pitched ones. I was congested a while back, but now just a sniffle & a slightly running nose from Spring. The past couple of months it has seemed like I have experienced a slew of new weird sensations. If no cure, at least it helps knowing that I am not alone!

  10. Shayne says:

    Its possible that it is just air moving around – I thought I had water in my ear but the last ent said its not water that it must be air – once I heard this – I started thinking air instead of water and have now figured out if I move my jaw to one side or the other then hold heating pad on one of the ears with the ear facing downward while keepomg jaw to the side and taking deep inhale then pinching nose and slowly exhaling but not hard u can hear the ears pop – repeat on other side and with any luck symptoms will either go away or lessen at least for the time being.

  11. Spirit guy says:

    Relax dont freak out

  12. Mark and others:

    I was recently diagnosed with patulous eustachian tubes, the same condition that you presented with. Instead of being flat, as are normal tube openings, the eustachian tube is convex and constantly open. Hence the ears do not respond to barometric pressure normally, frequently feel full of fluid, and can be extremely sensitive to sound. As barometric pressure changes, I have stabbing and aching ear pain in and around my ears.

    My sensitivity to pressure was scientifically but accidentally confirmed on a recent trip. As I headed to my higher-altitude destination, a minor storm began increasing in severity. While I continued to climb through the canyon, I experienced increasing pain in and around my ears. During this experience I kept hearing an odd crumpling sound in the car, and soon realized that the empty water bottle in the cup holder was crinkling in response to pressure changes just a few seconds after I registered the pain in my ears. I wanted to incinerate the license of every physician that doubted my sensitivity was possible and who couldn’t think of a simple test to verify my story and my symptoms!

    For years I have had barometric pressure migraines with related ear pain. My belief is that the extreme muscle tension from fibromyalgia and ME cause both the inner ear issue and the migraines. When everything–muscles, tendons, fascia–is already tight, the slightest environmental changes can cause pain. In fact, fatigue is listed as one of the causes of patulous eustachian tubes. Take TMJ (please!), a comorbidity of fibromyalgia; if muscle tension can affect the jaw enough to displace it, it follows that extreme muscle tension also affects the ears and eyes. My vision is impacted by fibro, too, particularly in the left eye. I know this is a result of muscle tension because I can manipulate the muscle of my left eye with my hand and actually improve my vision. If it were a lens issue, this improvement would not be possible. Again, a small experiment that no ophthalmologist would believe or even try.

    As you mentioned, the surgery was not successful in treating your inner ears. According to my ENT, an estrogen medication is usually given to try and build up the tissues in the inner ears. If you can’t take estrogren, then a steroid nasal spray such as Nasacort is your only choice. I’ve been on the Nasacort for 8 weeks and noticed no change in ear pain.

    Before being diagnosed with the inner ear issue, I went through three months of near-constant migraines accompanied by ear pain at a staggering level. I was so noise sensitive I was virtually paralyzed. How do you ask for help when you can’t tolerate the sound of your own voice?

    Pain medication helps to some degree, and I have found meditation also provides relief. However, meditation has to be practiced often when you are well so you can implement it when you are unwell.

    I would love to hear of others’ experiences with fibro-related patulous eaustachian tubes, vision issues, TMJ, migraine, and chronic musle tension.

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