Acid reflux. Ear problems

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15 months ago, one of my ears started to make popping and bubbling sounds when I was sleeping. It has not stopped ever since. This only happens when I am laying down or sleeping, same thing. Doctors are giving me guesses but no proper diagnoses. One of them was acid reflux. I am wondering if it is. I am already on prevacid and have been the last seven years. When I lie down, between 10 and 15 minutes later, I can hear a bubbling, popping sound in my one ear. If I adjust my head, it does stop for awhile but will start again. It will continue to make sounds until I get up and awake for the day. I never hear it. Only when I am sleeping. Has anyone else experienced this or something similar? Could it be acid reflux? or something else. Please help. Thank you

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  • Posted

    Hi fireblue - i dont know the answer to your question but it made me wonder if you sleep on your right hand side? If so, since the entrance to the stomach is slightly down on the right hand side, acid etc could leak out more easily.

    Acid can reach your ears and can get there more easily when you are prone as gravity is less. You could try sleeping on your left hand side on a wedge pillow, or try raising the head of your bed about 6 inches, and see if this stops the problem.

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  • Posted

    I use a wedge pillow but my dr also gave the suggestion of putting a 3-4 inch block of wood under the each side of the headboard to achieve the same results.
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  • Posted

    Hiya,

    As a Reflux sufferer myself I asked my GP why do I hear popping sounds or pebbles striking each other.I can't really tell whether when I'm in a relaxed mode or chewing or yawning. It is known as Eustachian Tube Dysfunction.There is no pain  or swelling for me nor it affects my hearing. I still wonder if the acid could affect or reach that part.

    You can try to take a breath in. Then try to breathe out gently wuth your mouth closed and pinching your nose.

    It works for me and helps me ease out the problem whenever I have it like now.

    Hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      My doctor thinks it might be ETD but .. it only happens when I am sleeping. When I wake up to use the washroom or whatever, I am hearing the popping, bubbling sounds. I ignore then go back to sleep. It obviously continues while I am sleeping and it does not stop until I get up for the day. So pinching my nose and breathing out won't really help since this happens when I am sleeping. Thank you though
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    • Posted

      But probably caused by LPR.

      I've had ear problems from reflux all my life including the symptoms you describe. As a boy I had to have my ears syringed weekly (without effect) and then had my tonsils and adenoids removed as they thought that would help. (It didn't.)

      As an adult, various doctors have sent me to ENT who test my hearing and say it's below par due to the scarring they can see from all that syringing 50 or 60 years ago.

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    • Posted

      A recent paediatric study into glue ear (otitis media) found inflating a balloon by blowing through your nose, opens the eustachian tube. They used special balloons but I find blowing a balloon normally opens my eustacian tubes (and can be a bit painful sometimes).
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  • Posted

    Ear problems are a common symptom of extra-oesophageal reflux (often known as "LPR" ) . Reflux (which doesn't need to be acidic) traversing the full column of the oesophagus and breacjing the upper oesophageal sphincter can aspirate into the respiratory system.

    From the back of the throat it can pass up the eustacian tube and affect the ear - most usually the right ear as reflux occurs easier when lying on the right side.

    In a survey last year looking at symptoms associated with LPR, 30% reported ear problems.

    A paper published at the end of June from a study conducted in Lithuania "demonstrated statistically significant association between peripheral vertigo and GERD".

    The mechanism of Extra-Oesophageal Reflux may be found in a new book and website, "Down With Acid" (all one word with a org uk ending if you want to find it).

    (The moderators of this site don't mind me posting links to it but this will save them time.)

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