Why Are My Ears Echoing?

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Echoing in your ears can be disconcerting and uncomfortable. Some describe it like hearing in a barrel. The same sensation is created when you plug one or both of your ears and talk. If you experience ear echoing, there's a simple remedy in most cases.

Function

Your ear has four internal areas used for processing sound. When something interferes with the processing in any of these four areas, you can develop an echoing in your ear. Your outer ear canal, ear drum, middle ear and inner ear must remain free of debris, fluid and injury for sounds to sound normal to your brain.

Effects

The most common echoing people experience in their ears is one when they speak--like you’re talking in your head. If you’re hearing an echo from all sounds, including other people talking, the cause is acoustical and could signal a serious medical condition, such as a tumor in your ear.

Causes

An echoing in your head when you speak is caused by a blockage in your ear canal or middle ear. Earwax buildup is the most-common cause of ear echoing. Other causes include an ear infection, sinus infection, fluid in your ear or an object stuck in your ear canal.

Solution

If you experience an echoing in your ears for more than three to four days, consult your physician. Earwax, ear infections and sinus infections all can be easily treated. When suffering from an infection, follow your physician's recommended course of treatment. If the echo remains after the infection is treated, contact your physician.

Expert Insight

Echoing in the ears is common among new hearing-aid users. Normally, the echo goes away within four to six weeks. An improperly fitted hearing aid will cause echoing. If echoing lasts longer than eight weeks, see your hearing health care provider.

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