Crackling in your ear? A condition known as tinnitus can cause you to hear crackling, buzzing, whooshing, or other noises in your ears. Here’s what you need to know.
Ever hear crackling, buzzing, or thumping noises that seem to come from nowhere? If this is occurring with hearing aids, it could mean you need to come in and get an adjustment. But those noises are probably coming from inside your ears if you don’t use hearing aids.
This doesn’t mean you need to panic. Even though we generally think of our ears in terms of what we see externally, there’s more than meets the eye – or in this instance, the ear. You may hear some of these prevalent tinnitus noises and here are some signs of what they might be telling you about your hearing. Though most are harmless (and short-term), it’s a smart plan to see us if any of these noises are chronic, cause pain, or are otherwise diminishing your quality of life.
There’s a snap, crackle, and pop in my ears but what’s causing it
We can tell you one thing, it isn’t the Rice Krispies. You might hear crackling or popping when you have a pressure change, whether from a change in altitude, going under water, or just yawning. The eustachian tube, which is a small tube in your ear, is the cause of these sounds. The crackling happens when these mucus-lined passageways open, letting fluid circulate and equalize the pressure in your ears.
If you have too much mucus in these passages, often as a result of allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, they can get gummed-up and the normally automatic process will get disrupted. There might be situations where a surgical procedure is called for in more extreme cases where decongestant sprays, chicken noodle soup, or antibiotics don’t help. If you’re suffering from persistent ear pain or pressure and haven’t been able to find any relief, you should schedule an appointment with us to get diagnosed.
What does it mean when I hear vibrations in my ear?
Sometimes, vibrations in the ear are an obvious symptom of tinnitus. The word tinnitus refers to a condition where sounds are heard in the ears but those noises don’t originate in the outside world. The intensity of the sound can range from very quiet to deafening and most people will refer to it as ringing in the ears.
Is the buzzing and ringing in my ear tinnitus?
Again, if you wear hearing aids, you might hear these kinds of sounds for numerous reasons: the hearing aids aren’t sitting correctly within your ears, the volume is too high, or your batteries are getting low. But if you don’t use hearing aids and you’re hearing this type of sound, it could also be caused by accumulated earwax.
It seems logical that too much wax could make it hard to hear and cause itchiness or even inner ear infections, but how could earwax make a sound? Your eardrum can be restricted if wax is pressing against it and that can generate these sounds.
Persistent buzzing or ringing is an indication that you are coping with tinnitus. And the noises generated by earwax are actually a form of tinnitus. Tinnitus itself is typically a symptom of something else happening with your health and isn’t itself a disease or disorder. Your tinnitus may be caused by simple earwax build up but it can also be linked to more severe issues such as anxiety and depression. Diagnosing and treating the root health problem can help alleviate tinnitus, so you should speak with us to learn more about ways to decrease your symptoms.
What’s causing my ears to rumble?
This next symptom is less prevalent than others, and if you can hear it, you’re the one making the sound happen. Sometimes, you can hear a low rumbling when you yawn. That rumble is the sound of tiny muscles inside your ears contracting in order to soften sounds you make. Some of these sounds include your own voice, chewing, and yawning.
These sounds occur so often, and are so near to your ears, without these muscles your ears could be damaged. One of these muscles, known as the tensor tympani can, in very rare situations, be intentionally controlled to generate this rumbling. In other cases, a condition called tonic tensor tympani syndrome (TTTS) will cause people to suffer from tensor tympani muscle spasms. Individuals dealing with tinnitus or hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to specific frequencies of sound, commonly experience TTTS.
What causes a fluttering noise in my ear?
After you exercise, have you ever felt a flutter in your legs and arms. Those flutters are typically the result of a muscle spasm, and it’s no different from the fluttering you hear in your ears. MEM tinnitus, or middle ear myoclonus, impacts the stapedius muscle and the tympani tensor muscles of the middle ear. Since this is a muscle disorder, muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants are generally used as an initial treatment to bring the fluttering under control. Inner ear surgery to correct the condition is an alternative if the medications don’t work, but success varies from procedure to procedure.
Why are my ears drumming, thumping, and pulsing so much?
If you occasionally feel like you’re hearing your heartbeat pulsing inside your ears, you’re probably right. Some of the body’s largest veins run really close to your ears, and if your heart rate is up – whether from a hard workout, big job interview, or a medical disorder like high blood pressure – your ears will pick up the sound of your pulse.
This is called pulsatile tinnitus, and unlike other types of tinnitus, it’s one that other people can hear. If you come in for a consultation, we can listen in on your ears and we will be able to hear the pumping of your pulsatile tinnitus. While it’s absolutely normal to experience pulsatile tinnitus when your heart’s pounding, it shouldn’t be something you need to live with every day.
It’s a good idea to come see us if you’re hearing this pulsing every day. Like other kinds of tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus is a symptom of another ailment rather than a disease, so it could indicate a health concern, such as high blood pressure, if it continues. It’s important to tell us about your heart health history as pulsatile tinnitus can point to a heart condition. But after a good scare or hard workout, your hearing should return to normal when your heart rate returns to normal.
What’s this clicking sound?
As mentioned above, the Eustachian tube helps keep the pressure equal in your ears. If you have a muscle spasm in the muscles that surround the Eustachian tube, like for instance in the roof of your mouth, it can cause a repeated clicking noise. For a similar reason, you may hear clicking when you swallow. This is due to the opening and closing of the eustachian tubes. A clicking can sometimes be heard when mucus empties from the head. A clicking can, in rare instances indicate a fracture of one of the fragile bones of the ears.
Is ear popping a symptom of infection?
Sometimes, an ear infection produces the feeling that your ears are full and the swelling can cause your ears to pop. If your ears are popping, it may be a sign of severe infection. You need to make an appointment with us right away if you have any other symptoms, like ear pain, sudden loss of hearing, or fever. Sometimes, after an infection, as your head drains of mucus, your ears will pop.
Can I stop this crackling in my ears?
Do you hear a crackling in your ear and suspect you have tinnitus? Set up a consultation with us to find out about treatments available to you.