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Ask Dr Uzair Your Own Question
Dr Uzair
Dr Uzair, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 7606
Experience:  MBBS, FCPS (R) General Surgery. Years of experience in Emergency Medicine.
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Why does it feel like my ear is vibrating?

Resolved Question:

I have an intermittent motorboating sound in my left inner ear, feels and sounds like a sputtering motor running out of gas. The feeling and sound will go for approximately two to four minutes and then stop for five to ten minutes, then start again repeating this cycle. This has been going on for approximately a week. Feels like a fast twitching muscle problem to me, but my GP says that she thinks it's a Eustachian Tube problem and to pick up Mucinex D and that the problem will probably go away in a couple of weeks. My confidence in her diagnosis is low. The Mucinex D has had no effect on the problem. Any thoughts?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Uzair replied 7 years ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer. I shall try my best to assist you while you are corresponding with me.

Q. Do you have a blocked nose (nasal congestion)?

Q. Fever?

Q. Sore throat?

Q. Headache or loss of balance?

Q. Are you on any medication?

Q. Any other medical conditions?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No blocked nose (just a little post nasal drip, not unusual). No fever. No sore throat. No headache or loss of balance. Current meds: Lipitor (80mg), Lovaza (four capsules), Losartan Potassium (50mg), Omeprazole (20mg) and Zolpidem (5-10mg). Blood pressure has been normal lately (120 over 75). Was diagnosed recently by neurologist with mild Dystonia. Also take Lorazepam on PRN basis.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'm sorry, but did you already reply to my last provided info about my meds and answers to you initial questions?
Expert:  Dr Uzair replied 7 years ago.

Hi there,

You are suffering from Tinnitis, which is the perception of sound within the human ear in the absence of corresponding external sound.

Tinnitus is not a disease; but a symptom resulting from a range of underlying causes that can include: ear infections, foreign objects or wax in the ear, nose allergies that prevent (or induce) fluid drain and cause wax build-up. Tinnitus can also be caused by natural hearing impairment (as in aging), as a side-effect of some medications, and as a side-effect of genetic (congenital) hearing loss. However, the most common cause for tinnitus is noise-induced hearing loss.

It is a symptom that needs a comprehensive ear examination and history taking preferrably done by an ENT specialist.

In your case and by the Q and A session I have ruled out some of the Serious causes of Tinnitis which could lead to hearing loss. However, the conditions which should be kept in mind in your individual case are:

You mentioned that you are on anti-cholesterol drugs which points out that you have high triglyceride levels, you are prone to atheroscerlosis, which is a cause of objective tinnitis, which means that sound in your ear is real and will be heard by your physician on careful listening or with a stethoscope, this is called Pulsatile tinnitus, it is usually objective in nature, resulting from altered blood flow or increased blood turbulence near the ear (such as from atherosclerosis or venous hum), but it can also arise as a subjective phenomenon from an increased awareness of blood flow in the ear.

Other causes to be ruled out are aspirin use, it can also cause subjective tinnitis, in which the sound can only be heard by you the patient. These causes include, wax (cerumen) impaction, middle ear infections, hyperlipidemia (increased cholesterol), vitamin B12 deficiency and iron deficiency (rare causes in men).

None the less, it is a symptom that needs a careful check up and all the conditions I have mentioned above need to be ruled out one by one, your physician gave you a nasal and a throat de congestant, for the most probable cause of tinnitis in your case. It didn't work which means you need to get a work up done. Treatment is never directed at reducing the tinnitis, it is always aimed at the condition causing the tinnitis and the tinnitis will go away itself.

--I hope this helps--

--Best wishes--

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