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Air bubbles popping in ear and hear ear crackles when swallowing. Is this an ear infection?

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i had an infection or some process affecting my right ear. I felt this spread from my right ear to my scalp and then my left ear. Now everytime i swallow i have to clear bubbles/ adhesions from around both my ears. When i try to pop my ears , air comes out of the my scalp around my ears. small air bubbles pop from my ears , not a change of pressure senstaion but actually from the skin. I hear crackles every time i swallow. The character of these crackles/bubbles/ adhesions changes cyclically.
Posted Fri, 5 Apr 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 5 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. There are delicate cartilage, muscle and tissue movements in the head, Eustachian tube and ears that occur when you pop your ears. This gives rise to the crackles and noise that you hear. Hence this is absolutely normal.

2. The Eustachian tube connects the ear to the nose. It helps equalize air pressure on both sides of the ear drum. The flow of air ca be felt as a bubbling, especially if there is a perforation of the ear drum. In this condition, the bubbles can actually be seen in the ear canal.

3. Get an ear examination (otoscopy) done to check for any ear drum perforation. If there is any infection, get an ear swab for bacterial culture and antibiotic sensitivity done. Appropriate antibiotics, anti-allergic decongestants, mucolytics and regular steam inhalation will help control this problem.

4. The issue about the air bubbles crackling under the scalp and bubbling through the skin will need direct examination. This is an unusual symptom. It may indicate that the infection has spread into the scalp or it may be a referred sensation.

5. Air trapped in the skin and under the scalp will show up on x-rays. Get a sinus x-ray done in addition. An HR (High Resolution) CT Temporal bones & PNS (Para Nasal Sinuses) would be ideal.

6. You may follow up with your reports here for further treatment options.

I hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries, I will be available to answer them.

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