ZocdocAnswersMy right ear has become really sensitive to sound, what could it be?

Question

My right ear has become really sensitive to sound, what could it be?

Even the sound of a fan makes me cringe, whenever I swallow something I can feel my ear making a crackling sound, sometimes I can feel it throughout my whole head, and it started when I was eating macaroni and cheese, do you know what this could be?

Answer

Thank you for your question, and I am sorry to hear about your symptoms. The best thing to do is to speak with your doctor or an ontologist. This sort of thing does not generally receive the empathy that it deserves from other people and even other healthcare providers, and so it can take some time before you learn how to adapt or correct this situation. The first step is to identify if there is an organic problem causing your complaints. This means finding out if there is some problem with your ears (through an examination, other studies, and a hearing test usually) and then looking beyond that with additional imaging if there is nothing that you were able to find on that first pass. Many of the studies included by an audiologist may be able to provide some information as well, and your hyperacusis (increased hearing) can sometimes be validated objectively in this fashion. The crackling sounds that you describe could indicate that there is a problem with fluid behind your ear drum as well, which may be able to identified on examination or testing. If everything looks relatively normal throughout this first part of testing, visiting with a neurologist can be helpful. Finally, there are different techniques that can be used to help with your symptoms. Please speak with your doctor or an otologist.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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