Fluttering In Ear: Is It A Cause Of Concern? Truth Unveiled

Though it might sound strange, experiencing fluttering in the ear is common for some people. This sensation has been described as similar to butterflies making their wings flap in the ear or some cases, like helicopter blades. While some ear fluttering cases are mild, many may worsen or not go away permanently if left unattended. Usually, this sensation in the ear does not indicate any severe health problem, it can still be annoying and can affect your hearing power and quality of life. So, if you are struggling with a fluttering sound in your ear, you might be wondering what causes it, whether it is dangerous when to seek professional help, what is its treatment plan, how to get rid of it, and many more related questions! This article will guide you comprehensively. Take a look!

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What Does Fluttering in The Ear Mean?

Fluttering in the ear is described as a sensation that sounds like butterflies flapping their wings while some people compare it with helicopter blades or a fast heartbeat. However, beyond this fluttering sensation, it can emerge in a variety of sounds. Those may include buzzing, crackling, tapping, clicking, drum-like thumping, or throbbing.

Ear fluttering is often associated with “Tinnitus”, a condition when a person hears a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears without any outer stimulus. So, understanding if it is dangerous and what are the causes of this strange sensation in the ears can help seek the right treatment.

Is Fluttering in the Ear Dangerous?

Fluttering sound in the ear is usually annoying, but in rare cases, it can affect the overall health. So, if it continues to last for many days, you need to seek professional help. Also, if you notice a fluid coming out of the ear or have a high body temperature, consult the doctor as soon as possible. Recognizing the root cause of ear fluttering is very necessary to prevent any further danger or damage to your ears. Healthcare providers will help find the possible reasons causing such annoyance. Recognizing the symptoms of the condition, doctors may provide the right treatment accordingly. Let them know about your lifestyle choices, medications you are currently taking, medical history, etc.

What Causes Fluttering in The Ear?

Though fluttering sound in the ear is not generally a serious problem, it can impact the person’s ability to hear and quality of life. Hence, knowing the causes can help get effective treatment. The following are the potential causes of fluttering in the ear:


This is the main cause of temporary fluttering in ear. It is marked by ringing, clicking, buzzing, or some other sounds in both or one ear that occur without any stimulus from outside and are not audible to other people. Some people describe the sound as tapping, twitching, whooshing, blowing, etc. at varying intervals. As per a study, this condition can impact around8%-25.3% of the U.S. population. The main causes of tinnitus include exposure to loud noises, high stress levels, hearing loss, or tumors.

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction:

This tube connects the middle part of the ear to the back part of the nose. When it gets inflamed, it stops functioning appropriately, finding it hard to open and close properly. As a result, it causes ringing and fluttering sounds in the ear and temporary hearing loss or weak hearing. Typically, this condition is not severe and often resolves in some days on its own. However, if the symptoms last for several days, seek medical attention.

High Blood Pressure:

A rise in blood pressure levels may make the person more prone to tinnitus and hearing loss. This, in turn, leads to fluttering in the ear. Increased blood pressure levels prevent the sufficient flow of blood to the cochlea in the inner ear which affects hearing. Moreover, high blood pressure and tinnitus are associated with each other. As per a study, 44.4% of the people living with tinnitus issues have shown an increase in their blood pressure levels.

Earwax Build-Up:

A study says lack of self-cleaning can cause accumulation of earwax which can result in the build-up of earwax. This causes ear canal blockage, leading to hearing disturbances and impairment like fluttering in the ear. So, if you find an overproduction of earwax in your ear, clean it using a Q-tip to prevent such an issue or ear infection.


Research says myoclonus is caused by dysfunctional contractions of the muscles found in the middle ear. This condition is known as Middle Ear Myoclonus (MEM) which leads to symptoms of tinnitus (that is ringing in the ear) or a fluttering sound in ear. Professionals describe this condition as idiopathic which means the cause of the issue is unknown. In some cases, people may develop Middle Ear Myoclonus (MEM) after tremors of the soft palate, involuntary muscle spasms on the face, or trauma.

Patulous Eustachian tube:

This condition occurs when the tube often stays open. In general, this tube remains closed and opens only to balance the pressure of the air between the part of the middle ear and the outer environment. When this tube stays open, it causes some symptoms which may include hearing of the voice, fluttering sound, or echoing.

Meniere’s disease:

This disorder impacts the vestibular system, a sensory system that is responsible for creating balance and maintaining the posture and movement of the body. Along with the cochlea in the inner ear, this system performs this task. But when a huge amount of endolymph, a fluid accumulates in the inner part of the ear, it causes Meniere’s disease. The symptoms of this disease are fluttering sound, rumbling or roaring sound, and hearing loss.


Well, fluttering sounds in the ear are also caused by hypothyroidism. This condition occurs when there is insufficient production of thyroid hormone. Nearly 40% of the adult population struggling with hypothyroidism have hearing issues in both ears. Even after the thyroxine therapy to treat this condition, approximately 10% of hypothyroidism patients still have hearing difficulties.


According to a study, many ear, throat, and nose disorders are linked with pregnancy. The functioning of the ear changes at different stages of the pregnancy which may lead to loss of hearing and a feeling of sudden spinning or motion of the head. Doctors also found fluttering in the ear during the respiration process. They explain that this change occurs because of dysfunction of the Eustachian tube when pregnancy weight gain is poor.

Can TMJ Cause Fluttering in Ear?

Yes, individuals suffering from TMJ dysfunction are more probably to suffer from tinnitus, one of the causes of fluttering in the ear. Many of the TMJ dysfunction cases have symptoms of ear illnesses as the ear and TMJ are an inch apart from each other. Ear illnesses can be ear congestion, ear pain, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), or ear fluttering. If you find any of these symptoms familiar and they do not resolve with ear treatment, then this can be the case of TMJ dysfunction for which you need to seek help from a TMJ specialist.

What is Fluttering in Ear Home Remedy?

Living with ear fluttering can be annoying and the right solution is important. Though professional visits for check-ups are necessary, you can follow some home remedies to relieve the symptoms. The following are a few home remedies for fluttering in the ear:

If you experience ear fluttering because of sinus congestion, steam treatment is the best home remedy to relieve blocked ears. Just pour steaming water into a bowl and keep your head over the bowl by covering your head with a towel. This can unblock your ears.

  • Use hearing protection products:

If you are struggling with tinnitus and ear fluttering, protecting the ears from loud voices or noises is a great solution to prevent these symptoms from becoming worse. So, invest in good-quality hearing protection products like noise-canceling headphones or earplugs. These products will help block the loud noises in or around your house such as the sounds of hedge trimmers, drilling machines, etc.

When living with ear fluttering, maintaining stress levels is important as stress can make this condition more apparent. So, manage your stress to reduce the symptoms by practicing some exercises, doing yoga, meditation, etc. to calm your mind and feel better.

Excess buildup of earwax is one of the possible causes of tinnitus or ear fluttering. So, it is important to clean your ears often to prevent the accumulation of earwax. Use cotton pads to smoothly remove the ear wax. Moreover, you can put 1-2 drops of olive oil in your ear 1 or 2 times a week. This will help get rid of earwax build-up and also naturally move the wax out of the ear.

Can Anxiety Cause Fluttering in the Ear?

Anxiety and tinnitus have an interlinked relationship which is very complicated. Experts link anxiety to many health conditions such as tinnitus which is marked as a ringing sound in the ear or other sounds like fluttering, buzzing, or humming. As per the report, between 28%-45% of the people living with chronic tinnitus have symptoms of anxiety. Plus, tinnitus worsens frequently after a person goes through stress.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Ear Fluttering?

Never take fluttering in the ear lightly, particularly when other symptoms also emerge along with such sound. So, if ear discharge or high fever accompanies the ear fluttering, seek medical attention immediately. Moreover, if the ear fluttering stays for a longer period and becomes annoying, it is advised to consult the doctors to get an effective treatment plan. Besides this, also look for other symptoms that can occur with ear fluttering such as:

  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction
  • Feeling of pulsatile tinnitus (could indicate problems related to blood vessels)
  • Hearing impairment
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Hear the rhythmic, pulsing sound, like a heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Memory loss

If you experience any of these symptoms along with ear fluttering, visit the ear specialists.

What are the Treatment Strategies for Fluttering in the Ear?

Many treatment options such as medications, therapy, and even surgery in some cases can help treat ear fluttering. Let’s discuss these options in the below subsections:

Medication and Therapy: Certain medications and therapies can aid in the treatment of conditions that cause fluttering sounds in the ear. Those may include:

  • For Myoclonus: Medications such as benzodiazepines, botulinum toxin, orphenadrine, etc. Surgical therapies are also available.
  • For Eustachian tube dysfunction: Nasal douching, antibiotics, and decongestants. Some surgical therapy like the insertion of a tiny pressure-equalization tube can relieve the related symptoms.
  • For Patulous Eustachian tube: Nasal sprays or drops can help. When such options do not work, surgery is recommended.
  • For Meniere’s disease: Treatment may include having medications, taking ear injections, making certain lifestyle changes, or undergoing surgery.
  • For Hypothyroidism: Thyroxine supplements can help.
  • For High blood pressure: Medications such as diuretics, calcium channel blockers, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors can benefit.

Lifestyle Changes: You can consider the following lifestyle changes such as:

  • Regular sleep
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Yoga

These lifestyle adjustments can help prevent the potential causes of ear fluttering. Moreover, add nutritious foods to your daily diet, especially foods rich in magnesium and calcium as these minerals help prevent issues related to the ear, including ear fluttering. Also, make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day.

What Are The Preventive Measures to Avoid Ear Fluttering?

Remember that prevention is always a better option than finding a cure or treatment. So, follow some preventive measures to prevent the occurrence of fluttering in the ear. Those may be:

  • Avoid loud noise
  • Have sound sleep
  • Eat calcium-rich and magnesium-rich foods
  • Regularly clean earwax
  • Balance pressure in the middle ear

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, fluttering in the ear is a complex auditory issue that is caused by several factors. Those may include tinnitus, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, Eustachian tube dysfunction, myoclonus, Meniere’s disease, etc. Though managing fluttering in the ear can be challenging, some treatment options like medications, therapy, lifestyle changes, and preventive measures can help people perform their daily activities and live a soothing and comfortable life.



Meniere’s disease: an inner ear chronic disorder that affects hearing issues such as tinnitus and hearing loss.

TMJ dysfunction: a condition that impacts the movements of jaw joints and surrounding ligaments and muscles.

Pulsatile tinnitus: a rhythmic sound that beats similar to a heartbeat.


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