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Buzz in left ear, wet sensation in both ears. ENT says no fluid, hearing normal. What next ?

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Practicing since : 2001
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I have the following symptoms:

- a buzzing in my left ear, which comes and goes;
- a wet sensation in both the left and right ears (sometimes it feels as though fluid is trickling in my ears).

I have seen 2 ENTs who have confirmed there is no fluid in my outer, middle or inner ear and I have done two hearing tests that have confirmed my hearing is normal

The symptoms first started around 9 weeks ago. They first emerged with the feeling my ears were becoming blocked with fluid. This was followed by the ringing in my left ear, which started afterwards.
At the time I thought it could be my neck, as I had bad pain in both shoulder blades, which I could trace with my finger to the crook of my neck. The spasms on both sides and at the back of my neck were painful, particularly on the left side. It was this that made me think my upper back/neck could be causing the problems with my ears.

I consequently saw a physio therapist who massaged my upper back, shoulder and neck muscles, changed the way I was sitting at my desk at work so my head wasn’t leaning forward (i have sat hunched at my desk for as long as I can remember and never done anyting about it until now) and rubbed Voltaren into my muscles. I was hoping that this would cause the upper back and neck pain to go away and I could then tell if this was the cause of my ear problems.

I have found after the physio appointments, that the buzzing in my ear goes away. I've had a period of 7 days with no buzzing, but then it comes back. The wet, sometimes trickling fluid feeling in both ears is still there. My neck still feels strained/tight on both sides- particularly on the left when I turn it to the right.

My ENT thinks that because I have the wet feeling in both ears, it could be my jaw thats out of alignment. He says the ear and jaw share the same nerve and the wet feeling could be a referral from the jaw. I have worn an occlusial splint at night for the last 6 days and the wet feeling has definitely improved a lot to the extent that for the last 2 days I didn't have any wet feeling. However, today I can feel the trickling coming back again in my right ear.

My neck still feels strained/ tight when I turn it to the left and right, but is not giving me bad pain or anything like that.

I have had an Acoustic MRI scan that I'm waiting for the results on to make sure I don't have Acoustic Neoruma.

Next week I am going to see my dentist to get an assessment of my jaw alignment. I know I have two wisdom teeth that are growing from the top down to the bottom which are now touching two of my botom teeth, but no corresponding wisdom tooth to XXXXXXX them at the bottom. So. perhaps that could be causing my jaw to be misaligned.

I was wondering however, whether somehow my neck could be causing the feeling of wetness in my ears and the buzzing in my left ear? I haven't seen a neurologist yet, but have had a cervical spine CT scan which showed some degeneration in the C5 and C6 discs, but nothing the radiologist or my GP said could be causing the buzzing in my ear?

Would be interested in your views on what could be causing my ear symptoms and what I should do next.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 8 hours later

Thanks for the query

From the information provided to me I personally feel you have inner ear problems resulting in tinnitus (Buzzing) and vague sensations in the external ear. In addition you have early onset cervical spondylosis and as a result you are suffering from neck, shoulder pain and neck muscle spasms. I have not come across jaw alignment problems causing wet sensation in the ears.

So I personally feel you are suffering from inner ear problems and cervical spondylosis which are not related to each other. MRI of the brain would be required to exclude structural lesions of the eight cranial nerve. Tinnitus is difficult problem to treat and I request you to discuss the options with your ENT specialist.

Thanks again for the query. I hope you found my response to be helpful. If you have any additional concerns i would be happy to address them.


Dr Shiva Kumar R
Consultant Neurologist & Epileptologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Buzz in left ear, wet sensation in both ears. ENT says no fluid, hearing normal. What next ? 54 minutes later
What do you think is causing the wet sensation in my ears?
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 5 hours later

Thanks for the query

Regarding the wet sensations in the ear I really do not have any scientific answer for you. I advise you to follow it up closely for any new symptom or worsening of existing problem and to consult Neurologist for a good clinical examination.

Wishing you good health.

Dr Shiva Kumar R
Consultant Neurologist & Epileptologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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