How likely is it that I have eustachian tube issues?

Posted , 3 users are following.

Sorry for the length of this post, everything is kind of necessary. So basically I have had not one, but multiple symptoms. I'll describe them, and then hopefully someone who has a bit of experience with these matters will be able to hand me an educated guess. I've been advised against going on-line for health matters as I am prone to health anxiety, but I'll take my chance.

Introduction: Summer vacation 2019 - I had an ear infection and I was prescribed antihistamines and ear drops - this ear infection was accompanied by tinnitus that kept on for weeks, and then all of a sudden it went away completely, even when I close my ears with my fingers, nada-nothing.

Symptom 1: After it went away, I still occasionally (every four-five days) wake up in the morning and have tinnitus, and by the time I wash my teeth, shower and finish my morning routine, it fades away completely. Because it only happens in the morning after sleeping, I guess that laying down has a tendency to cause it, that's what I've been able to conclude.

Symptom 2: I notice that when I travel in elevators, or even when I drive down a slightly downward street, I have popping in the ears when I swallow. I only had this happen in airplanes before, but now it seems to happen as I mentioned, even when driving a car on streets that have an altitude difference. I am planning to measure the exact speed and altitude change.

Symptom 3: Whenever I let water run in the kitchen, the bathroom, or anywhere, there is a drum beat in my ears, like a little man with drum sticks beating on my eardrums. Bum bum bum bum bum. It happens if I stand near a water fountain, or anything like that, even if I take a plastic bag and play with it, I can still feel a little bit of that going on.

Symptom 4: I had this one for a while, but now I don't have it anymore, but I feel it is worth mentioning. For a period of several weeks, I noticed that when I went out in the city with a lot of cars nearby, I would hear some of the car brakes really well, too well. I almost had to turn away when a car brakes. And I could hear the noise electronic devices make really well. That symptom, like I said, has disappeared by now.

Symptom 5: The final symptom that I currently experience is that I hear a strange clicking sound when I move my ears around, let me try to explain. It's like the sound that you would hear if you had glue on two sticks, and you put the sticks together, and then took them apart slowly before the glue hardens, while still in a semi-hardened state. It's like a sticky type of sound, like something is sticky. I hope that you understand what I am talking about.

Anything else... I think not.

Oh, yes, I have always had problems with airplanes and landings. I recall having a 30-minute tinnitus episode after landing sometime in 2009, and also in 2013/14. This is way before the ear infection that I'm talking about.

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2 Replies

  • Posted

    I don't experience the other symptoms you have, but the glue stick sounds I can definitely relate to. That could be mucus in your eustachian tubes, or maybe they are irritated. I'm only guessing from what I've been experiencing.

  • Posted


    It sounds like you have ETD. I am not a doctor but have EVERY symptom you have and some. My tinnitus is 24/7/365. The popping and glue clicking I have everytime I swallow, drink, yawn, chew, or activate my jaw muscles. The drumming and buzzing with certain sounds is always there. I had 5 surgeries in the last 6 years including balloon dilation, middle ear exploration, prosthesis ear drums, stapes, the whole 9 years.

    My ears were very unhealthy when I started treatment 8 years ago.. My surgeon was doing everything he could to get my ears healthy, and hoping that the tinnitus and popping would just go away as we performed more surgeries. Unfortunately, the tinnitus and popping actually got worse and worse after each surgery. My surgeon explained that while those symptoms are still there, my ears are as healthy as they've ever been. My hearing has increased and I used to get excruciating pains in my ears when I would fly and land, not anymore! I take the elevator to the 29th floor to work and it use to hurt every time, not anymore! I can actually hear and enjoy things!

    I've learned to live with my symptoms and my brain and anxiety eventually shut those noises out and my quality of life increased. I also read a book called Rewiring Tinnitus and it helped greatly.

    My suggestion would be to talk directly to an ear specialist, NOT A ENT. ENT's are not ear doctors, think of them like your family doctor for your Ears, Nose, and Throat. They can perform basic diagnosis, but just like a family doctor, when the diagnoses is too much for them to handle, they send you to a specialist. My ENT took one look in my ears and immediately sent me to a ear specialist. ENT's don't have the tools and knowledge that specialist do and over the years ENT's have just become accustomed to telling patients there is nothing they can do.

    Good luck to you!

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