Clicking sounds/sensations in ears and throat/neck/esophagus... Also soft palate symptoms and neck & jaw positions

Hi, I’m 26 years old and have not yet been diagnosed with Eagle Syndrome, but I highly suspect this syndrome may be what has been causing me some hell for some time now. I have a myriad of symptoms that made me suspect ES…I’m not going to go into every symptom I have in this post just because I tend to be a very detailed writer and I have some questions I’d like to address right now with the community here about my ear and throat/neck symptoms… any comments will be so appreciated...maybe just to help me know I’m not alone in what I’m about to describe and if others here have noticed these same symptoms, what they found out from their doctors…just anything! It’s been horrible trying to figure out what is wrong with me…going from doctor to doctor and I’ve been dismissed before and not really helped so far…nasal spray and an anti-inflammatory is as far as I’ve got with ENTs so far which did not help. However that was before I had discovered anything about Eagle Syndrome which seems like it could be the culprit.

For a year and 3 months there has not been one day that I haven’t experienced this clicking noise in my ears (now mainly just my right ear, sometimes my left, although my left ear clicking started to subside a bit when I was getting upper cervical spinal adjustments in July of 2015, which I’ve since stopped going to the chiropractor as I started experiencing some other unpleasant symptoms about 5 months into my weekly adjustments). Anyway, I get this clicking sound in my ears whenever I swallow and yawn. Another symptom when opening my mouth or yawning is this popping noise. Both of my ears have been ringing constantly for over a year—my right ear is worse. My ears during this whole time have felt like they are full of pressure and they hurt. For way too long I’ve been performing to Valsalva maneuver (Wikipedia: “moderately forceful attempted exhalation against a closed airway, usually done by closing one's mouth, pinching one's nose shut while pressing out as if blowing up a balloon”)---I’ve honestly become addicted to doing this in attempts to get all my ear symptoms to go away…even though it’s only ever helped for a few seconds at a time…I don’t know why I keep attempting it…I guess it’s just like holding out hope somehow that one day it will work…I just can’t stand all the pressure and noise in my ear!!

Anyway, something I’ve noticed that kind of helps with the clicking in my ear while swallowing at night is if I position my head on my pillow in a tilted position (while lying on my right side) with my chin up towards the ceiling …the clicking noise in my right ear will go away if I swallow, only if in that position…it has to be in just the right position to work though. If I’m lying on my left side I have open my mouth and relax my jaw in a way that allows gravity to take control and my jaw kind of pulls down to the left side…so near the pillow (does that makes sense? Seriously, because I’m trying to figure out just how to explain this to the doctor in a clear manner)…anyway, sometimes the left side approach doesn’t work. I’ve also figured out that sometimes if I press on the right side of my neck in just the right area and tilt my head to the left; the clicking will go away when I swallow. There has been several times where I have pressed on the right side of the soft palate in my mouth and my ear will pop and very temporarily (a couple times of swallowing) the clicking will go away. Also if I press in just the right spot on my neck right behind my jaw bone below my ear lobe the clicking will go away. Also my soft palate, nasopharynx area, and the back of my throat---especially on the right side feels very tight like a rubber band…it almost feels like it is stuck in a permanent gag reflex or something… please let me know if these explanations are making sense! Also I get this clicking sensation inside my throat… and it feels twisted and sometimes when my head is in one of those positions that help the clicking in my ears, I’ll get this twisting, pulling, almost like something is going to pop in my throat and then a shooting pain going from inside the center of my neck (or esophagus?!) diagonally up towards my right ear…how it feels is hard to describe, but also sometimes it gets so tight feeling in my neck that it’s almost like my body is resisting swallowing…like I’ll go to swallow and it will feel like there are muscles resisting my ability to do so…has anybody on here experienced any of the stuff I just described? like any of the symptoms and the weird head positions that sometimes briefly relieve the ear symptoms?! Please respond if so! Thank you for reading!

P.S. I also just thought about another thing with my ears…if I squint or smile I will get a sound in both of my ears like I’m under water. Can anyone relate to that?

Also has anyone on here who has these symptoms or been diagnosed with Eagle Syndrome seen an upper cervical chiropractor before and what was your experience? If anyone feels like sharing, I'm just curious.

I can relate to the ear pressure- that was getting so painful before surgery I didn't know what to do with myself, it would build and build until almost unbearable in the evening. But that has virtually gone since surgery, I've just had one side done, and am waiting for the other side. I never found any position to relieve it though. I had and still have tinnitus, and at times pulsatile tinnitus where you can hear the pulse in your ears. I had the feeling of something catching/ popping in my throat too when I yawned.

There have been a few discussions where others have mentioned bizarre positions which help them for a bit! If I get a chance I'll try to have a look and see if I can find it for you! It certainly sounds like you have common ES symptoms, and I'm sorry that you're having trouble getting anywhere with the doctors; sadly that's common too! If you could get a CT scan done, preferably with contrast, that would show if it is ES.

I had the same symptoms. In order for me to swallow without pain I had to hold my finger right behind the lower back edge of my jawbone. I also had the clicking periodically in my jaw. In fact, clicking when I swallowed got me to this site and led me to my diagnosis.

Once my styloid got long enough it fused to my hyoid bone and caused the clicking sensation at night when I layed on my back. When laying down and swallowing I felt like I had to put it back into place. It was maddening. Surgery fixed that immediately.

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Paradoxically, I'm actually happy to hear this because it's a symptom I've experienced too but which isn't ever listed as a symptom. I hope you're able to get a dx and ultimately, get the condition fixed!

Clicking in the throat, look up palatal myoclonus

Hi Elayna

You have described exactly almost all my symptoms. I am in shock! Have you been diagnosed? I really would like to hear from you so we can share experience.