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Ear popping. Feeling dizzy. Taking allergy medicine. Are constantly popping ears a sign of a neurological disorder?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
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My ears have been popping constantly for about 3 months now. Everytime I exhale, I get an extreme urge to equalize the pressure in my ears. If i do not, I begin to feel dizzy. I notice it more at night when Im trying to fall asleep but I also do it during the day. My PC doctor said it could be allergies but Ive been taking allergy medicine and it hasnt gone away. Ive also had some neurological symptoms lately (muscle twitches/numbness/electrical sensations) that I'm discussing with my neurologist. Are constantly popping ears a sign of a neurological disorder?

Thank You
Posted Wed, 25 Jul 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. Get a Tympanogram done to check middle ear pressures and Eustachian Tube function. If this Impedance Audiogram is abnormal, then a trial of medication should be taken for three to four weeks which will include anti-histamines, anti-leukotrienes, steroid nasal sprays and regular steam inhalation. Also get a PTA (Pure Tone Audiogram) done and your eardrums examined by a local ENT Specialist.

2. The Eustachian tube is normally in a collapsed state. It can be voluntarily opened by yawning, swallowing, chewing gum, blowing your nose or performing the Valsalva maneuver. A Tympanogram and eardrum examination is more important. A post nasl drip should be ruled out.

3. An MRI Scan is usually advised in a patient with neurological symptoms so as not to miss any major cause. I must emphasize that almost 99% of MRIs are normal. A Screening plain CT PNS (Para Nasal Sinuses) may be done for suspected sinusitis.

4. If your ear symptoms are bilateral, it has to be a generalized cause. If your neurological symptoms are one sided, there is a greater need to investigate. Get a neurologist's opinion before any investigations. Metabolic changes such as Low Vit D, low Calcium, Potassium and low Vit B12 are known to cause symptoms such as muscle twitches/numbness/electrical sensations and so on. These must be investigated and corrected.

5. Kindly let me know the results of your investigations. This will help in suggesting further treatment.

I must emphasize that at your age, nothing serious is likely to be detected.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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