Vibration in the ear and fluttering ear are often not just sensations, but a symptom of potential disorders. Here's what you need to know about potential causes and whether it's time to contact a medical professional.
The sensation of vibration in the ear does not have a single cause, but many. It is mainly associated with tinnitus, but there are several other less common causes to consider. It is important to identify the underlying cause in order to understand how to treat vibration in the ear.
The Eustachian tube is the tube that connects the back of the mouth with the middle ear (tympanic cavity), and serves to aerate it and maintain the pressure balance between the two surfaces of the eardrum. When for various reasons (e.g., changes in altitude) the balance is disturbed, there is a sensation of "muffled" ear.
All pathological conditions that increase mucus and earwax production (rhinosinusitis, tonsillitis, otitis, etc.) make the tube's task more difficult. Also the imbalance of the muscles of chewing and swallowing can give rise to a malfunction of the Eustachian Tube. Any of these Eustachian tube dysfunctions can lead to unpleasant sensations and, among them, vibration in ear.
Alterations and dysfunctions of the temporomandibular joint can in some cases cause the perception of vibrating ear and tinnitus or amplify its intensity. Some components of the middle ear share a common origin with the mandible and TMJ.
An altered TMJ function can be caused by asymmetries, dental malocclusions, bruxism, stress, which are responsible for excessive contracture of the masticatory muscles. An altered nerve signal from the masticatory muscles and temporo mandibular joints can interfere with auditory perceptions and cause the sensation of a vibrating ear.
Being exposed to loud noises can cause two main types of hearing loss: temporary hearing threshold shift, which is often perceived as a temporary inability to hear after being exposed to excessively loud noises, and permanent hearing threshold shift.
Head and neck trauma can also be a cause for tinnitus which results in headaches, memory loss and dizziness. In the presence of tinnitus, however, it is always advisable to seek medical attention.
If an Eustachian Tube Dysfunction is the most likely cause of the vibration in ear, an ENT examination will be needed, to discover potential ear conditions. Otherwise, if TMJ disorders are the most likely cause, another option would be also to consult a dentist experienced in Temporo Mandibular Joint (TMJ) problems, and especially in TMJ-ear relationships.
Treatment of vibration in the ear is not unique, as it depends on treating the underlying cause of this condition. Here are some treatment options depending on the cause:
When yawning or talking you may feel a vibration in your ear or a popping sound. This is due to the formation of a plug of earwax in the Eustachian tube. For this reason, it is also possible to have the sensation of a fluttering ear when you move your head, chew, talk yawn. But don't panic; this sensation is only temporary and will disappear quickly.
Learn more on how your hearing works, thanks to our experts contents. You can also have a look at our blog, with our latest news.
Book an appointment onlineBook now
Find a hearing aid center near youSearch now