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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, US Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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Hi, I am experiencing ear pain. When i burp i get a banging

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Hi, I am experiencing ear pain. When i burp i get a banging noise in both ears, which is contributing to pain and dizziness.Do you think i need to see a ENT specialist ? it happens intermittently but when it flares up it can last for weeks . Any suggestions. thank you becky poole.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 3 years ago.
Hello Becky,

When you get "flares" what do the flares consist of? What are the symptoms?

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Knocking noise in my ears when a burp.Pain around the back of my ear. if a touch my ear with a ear bud its so painful. I get referred pain referring into the frontal aspect of my head and upper cervical region. it makes me feel sick and i get intermittent dizziness.
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for clarifying,

The noise when you burp, I suspect, has to do with your eustacian tube and pressure change. As you may know, the eustacian tube does connect to the oral cavity.

If you are having pain when touching your ear, you do need an ear exam.
You may have an infected cyst in your ear canal or an outer ear infection--although outer ear infections do not come and go.

The pain you feel in the frontal aspect of the head and upper neck sounds nerve related--you may also have some type of neuralgia going on (a basic term for nerve irritation). A pinched nerve/nerves in the neck could account for this...

Dizziness can be an inner ear problem--

It is difficult to put it all together in one neat package and attribute it all to your ear. I cannot say that the referred pain in the frontal area and cervical area is coming from your ear.
However, I do agree an ENT is a good place to start given the dizziness, nausea, ear pain and abnormal sounds.

Feel free to ask any follow up questions you may have,

Dr Abby

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Edited by Dr. Abby on 11/5/2010 at 9:21 PM EST
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes they are muddled signs. The other odd sensations i get is waving feeling through my head esp. when im fatique, like sleep waves. Im wondering whether there is a vascular involvement.I do suffer from migaines.which is vascular.
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 3 years ago.
That would be a very odd presentation of a vascular problem.
I do not think the wavy sensation is vascular.

Most of your symptoms (dizziness, ear pain, tenderness to the ear) do seem to be ear related.

The other issue seems to be nerve related in my opinion, not vascular.

If you feel sharp, severe, stabbing like pain, that is nerve pain.

I think an ENT is a good place to start. He will do the ear exam, hearing exam and probably order an MRI.

Dr Abby

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes the waving may be associated with nerve. Can you have nerve conduction tests for symptoms in the head, How would they examine this, as a MRI would not pick up nerve impulses. obvously soft tissue with the ear issue, but what tests can be done for the head waving symtoms, ?
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 3 years ago.
EEG testing looks at brain waves..Mainly that evaluates for seizure type activity

The evaluation of dizziness (which may be what the wavy feeling is) involves blood work, ordering the MRI and a test called an ENG which evaluates the inner ear (by looking at eye movement responses).

But you are right, you cannot do EMG testing for pinched nerves of the face.
There is no such thing as a "pinched nerve" in the brain.


Dr Abby

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Do you think serotonin deficeincy could create the head waving symptoms as its a neurotransmitter. what tests can be done to creck serotonin levels. this chemical also controlls inflammation,
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 3 years ago.
You can check levels of serotonin, but it is not routinely done unless we are looking for serotonin excess (in certain types of tumors).

I suppose it is possible that serotonin deficiency is causing your "waving" symptoms if you are also experiencing symptoms of depression. You could discuss starting medication that increases your serotonin to see if it helps your symptoms.

A ESR (sed rate) and CRP can be checked to see if you have increased inflammation in your body.

Dr Abby

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Dr. Abby, US Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience: Family Physician practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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