Hey how's it going OH SHI.. I CAN'T HEAR ANYTHING!
August 31, 2009 6:21 PM   Subscribe

Wacky ear question: Sometimes when I speak out loud one or both of my ears will pOp and I can't hear anything but my own voice. What the heck is going on and how can I get it to stop?

To better describe the sound (or lack thereof): it's like when you wear earplugs; outside sound is greatly reduced and muffled, and all you can really hear is the vibrations of your own voice and breathing.

It happens often enough that I get jarred when it happens because suddenly all the sounds are off balance and my voice sounds so close and LOUD. Sometimes it "sticks" and I have trouble responding to people because I just can't hear a darn thing they're saying.

Strangely, this happens to my nose sometimes too. I'll be speaking then suddenly one nostril will seemingly close up and my voice becomes very nasal and odd sounding.

What the heck is happening here? Is this some earwax/booger issue? How can I fix it? It's driving me crazy!
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try a decongestant. It may be your sinuses.
posted by amro at 6:25 PM on August 31, 2009

It may be your eustachian tubes equalizing pressure.
posted by dfriedman at 6:32 PM on August 31, 2009

I had something like this for awhile, I self-diagnosed it as a patent eustachian tube because it happened after a bit of rapid weight loss. It went away after awhile, though. You should see an ear, nose, throat (ENT) doctor.
posted by cabingirl at 6:34 PM on August 31, 2009

It could be as simple as a bunch of impacted earwax not letting your ears equalize properly. Have your normal doc take a look at your eardrum with one of those light scope thingys they normally use during a checkup.

If not that, they'll probably refer you to an ENT. It could be an inner ear infection, or something else.

It's extremely annoying, I know. It happens to me from time to time when I lose my own good earplugs and have to wear the cheap foamy ones. I can hardly talk while that's going on.
posted by ctmf at 7:33 PM on August 31, 2009

"It could be as simple as a bunch of impacted earwax not letting your ears equalize properly."

Um. Take a look at an anatomical drawing of the ear. The eustachian tube equalizes air pressure via the pharynx. It has nothing to do with impacted earwax.
posted by dfriedman at 7:37 PM on August 31, 2009

This happened to me a lot back in 4th grade....and again a few months ago.
Very distressing. "Patent eustachian tube" sounds exactly like it so far; only when you go to an ENT make sure you describe exactly what's happening or they'll just take the easy road out and say it's earwax, like they did with me.
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 8:10 PM on August 31, 2009

I have TMJD and the misalignment of my jaw often leads to this sensation. See your dentist or and ENT.
posted by Biblio at 4:21 AM on September 1, 2009

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