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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Have partial hearing loss. Reason for flapping sound in ear while swallowing?

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Dr. Naveen Kumar

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 2386 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 22 Jan 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: hi I have been hearing this flapping sound in my right ear whenever I swallow (sometimes painful) and have had a partial loss of hearing in the right ear. the eardrum was red looking. I just got over a cold which resulted in an ear infection which has cleared up but my ear still feels funny.
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Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 8 hours later
Hi

Thanks for the query

The symptoms mentioned by are due to the blockage of the Eustachian tube (the tube connecting nose and the ear).

During an attack of flu or nasal allergy, or presence of anatomical nasal block, there will be development of congestion around the nasal opening of the Eustachian tube. The congestion leads to blockage of the opening of the tube and thus causing negative pressure in the middle ear and pain.

The flapping sound is produced when there is opening and closing of the Eustachian tube. This becomes painful when the Eustachian tube opens with force thus relieving pressure from the middle ear.

Due to Eustachian tube block there will be collection of secretions in the middle ear giving rise to pain, fullness and sensation of water logged in the ear. This is what has happened in your situation.

My advice to you is to:
1. Drink plenty of warm water to keep the nose and the throat hydrated.
2. Use saline nasal spray followed by steam inhalation 2-3 times a day, which helps in reducing the nasal congestion, clearing of the mucus and reducing the headache.
3. Avoid coffee/chilled/hot beverages/alcohol/smoking if any.
4. Take a mucolytic (such as ambroxol or bromhexine) to reduce the viscosity of the mucus.
5. An antibiotic such as amoxycillin and clavulanic acid/cefuroxime.

With the above measures your symptoms will definitely improve.

Hope I have answered your query: I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Regards
Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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