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Dr. Bob, Medical Doctor
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I have a "crackling cellophane" sound in my left ear. I've

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I have a "crackling cellophane" sound in my left ear. I've tried decongestants to no avail. Sometimes it stops for a few minutes, but without moving my head, it starts up again. How can I get rid of the sound?
Doctor-Bob :

How long have you had this sound? Does it affect your hearing?


I have had this about a week and no, it does not affect my hearing. It's just irritating.

Doctor-Bob :

This type of abnormal sound and/or sensation is what is known as "tinnitus". While most causes are benign, it can be quite irritating and last for weeks or months. In some cases, it is caused by either wax that has dried up and is abutting the tympanic membrane or by some other foreign material such as cotton from a q-tip or even a small insect.

Doctor-Bob :

If you would like to try something over-the-counter, there is a form of ear drops called "debrox" that you can use for a week or so to clean out the ear. If this does not help, or the problem worsens, you should have an RN or MD take a quick look in your ear to rule out an infection.

Dr. Bob, Medical Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5430
Experience: 20 Years in Internal Medicine, Neurology and Sports Medicine
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Hello from ja
I have a second opinion for you.
This is certainly not classic tinnitus the way you describe it and sounds more like congestion of the Eustachian tube, or both.

This can be from a lack of proper fluid drainage from the ear.

In addition, tinnitus itself of any sudden onset should be evaluated...the differential is long...from infection to a problem with the small bones in the ear, tumor, wax, problems in the neck or jaw, meniere's disease, and so on.

With a new onset of a problem like this, nothing should be put into the ear without exam. IN fact, wax already on the drum is often made worse by using over the counter drops, and should rather be removed manually with visualization.

If you had a perforation in the ear, just as an exam, putting drops in there would not be a good ideal.

So I suggest you have an exam as soon as possible.

The degree of symptoms in adult ears often do not correlate with the degree of inflammation or infection, in rare cases leading to sudden hearing loss, so again, exam first. Treatment based on exam.

OK. If you have further questions or details, use reply to expert.

Otherwise please choose a positive rating [smiley face or accept]. But, still come back if you need to…think of something later, etc. Bonuses are appreciated.