Do you hear a crackling noise? Crackling, buzzing, “static”, or whooshing sounds in your ear can all be signs of a condition known as tinnitus. Here’s some info.
Ever hear crackling, buzzing, or thumping noises that seem to come from nowhere? If this is occurring with hearing aids, it may mean you need to come in and get an adjustment. But those noises are probably coming from inside of your ears if you don’t use hearing aids.
Don’t fret there’s no need to stress. Even though we mostly view our ears in terms of what we see on the outside, there’s more than meets the eye – or in this case, the ear. Here are some of the more common noises you might hear inside of your ears, and what they might suggest is going on. Though the majority are harmless (and short-term), it’s a smart idea to see us if any of these noises are persistent, painful, or are otherwise diminishing your quality of life.
What’s the cause of the snap, crackle, and pop in my ear?
We can tell you one thing, it’s not the Rice Krispies. When the pressure in your ears changes, whether from altitude, going underwater, or just yawning, you may hear popping or crackling sounds. These sounds are caused by a small part of your ear known as the eustachian tube. The crackling happens when these mucus-lined passageways open up, allowing air and fluid to circulate and equalize the pressure inside your ears.
It’s an automatic system, but occasionally, like if you are dealing with inflammation caused by allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, your eustachian tubes can literally get gummed up from the overabundance of mucus in your system (keep in mind, your ears, nose, and throat are all linked). There could be situations where a surgical procedure is required in more severe cases where decongestant sprays, chicken noodle soup, or antibiotics don’t do the trick. If you’re experiencing persistent ear pain or pressure and haven’t been able to get 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 indication of tinnitus. The word tinnitus relates to a disorder where sounds are heard in the ears but those sounds don’t originate in the outside world. The intensity level of the sound can range from really quiet to deafening and most people will refer to it as ringing in the ears.
Is the ringing and buzzing in my ear tinnitus?
There are also several reasons why you might hear these sounds if you use hearing aids: the hearing aids aren’t sitting properly within your ears, the volume is too loud, 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 excess earwax.
Too much earwax is well known to create itchiness and to make it harder to hear, as well as the possibility of an ear infection, but how can it create sounds. Your eardrum can be inhibited if wax is pressing against it and that can create these sounds.
And yes, significant, chronic buzzing or ringing is indicative of tinnitus. Even buzzing from too much earwax counts as a form of tinnitus. Bear in mind that tinnitus isn’t itself a disease or disorder, rather, it’s a symptom of something else happening with your health. While it could be as simple as earwax accumulation, tinnitus is also related to conditions such as anxiety and depression. Let us help you diagnose and find some relief for your tinnitus symptoms by helping you discover what the root health condition might be.
What are the peculiar rumblings i’m hearing?
This next symptom is less prevalent than others, and if you’re hearing it, you’re the one causing the sound. Sometimes, you can hear a low rumble when you yawn. That rumble is the sound of tiny muscles inside your ears contracting in order to soften sounds you make. They reduce the volume on yawning, chewing, and even your own voice.
Those sounds occur so near to your ears and so frequently that the noise level would be harmful without these muscles. In very rare situations, some people can control one of these muscles, the tensor tympani, and produce that rumble on cue. In other circumstances, people suffer from tympani muscle spasms caused by tonic tensor tympani syndrome, or TTTS. Studies have revealed that TTTS happens often in individuals with tinnitus and those dealing with hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to specific sound volumes and frequencies.
What causes a fluttering sound in my ear?
After you workout, have you ever felt a flutter in your legs and arms. Muscle spasms are the cause of those flutters exactly like the ones 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 condition, muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants are generally used as an initial treatment to control the fluttering. Inner ear surgery to eliminate the condition is an option if the medications aren’t working, but results vary from procedure to procedure.
I hear a thumping or pulsing in my ears
You’re likely not off base if you think you can hear your own pulse or heartbeat in your ears. Some of the body’s biggest veins run really close to your ears, and if your heart rate is up – whether from a tough workout, big job interview, or a medical disorder like high blood pressure – your ears will tune in to the sound of your pulse.
Most kinds of tinnitus can’t be heard by other people but that’s not the case with pulsatile tinnitus. If you come in to see us, we can listen in on your ears and we will be able to hear the pumping of your pulsatile tinnitus. If your heart is pounding, it’s not unusual to hear your own pulse, but if you’re hearing this pumping at other times that isn’t normal.
It’s a smart idea to come in for a consultation if you’re hearing this pulsing every day. If it persists, pulsatile tinnitus could be an indication of high blood pressure or other health conditions. In some cases, pulsatile tinnitus is related back to a heart condition, so it’s important to relate any heart health history to us. But after a good scare or workout, your hearing should go back to normal when your heart rate goes back to normal.
Why does my ear keep clicking?
As noted above, the Eustachian tube helps keep equal pressure in your ears. Repeated clicking can often be heard when you get muscle spasms in the muscles near the eustachian tubes (like in the roof of your mouth). For a similar reason, you might hear clicking when you swallow. This is caused by the opening and closing of the eustachian tubes. Some individuals describe hearing a clicking noise when their head drains of mucus. A clicking can, in rare instances indicate a fracture of one of the fragile bones of the ears.
Does it mean I have an infection if my ears are popping?
Ear infections sometimes generate swelling which can cause your ears to pop. Popping in your ear can be a sign of an acute infection. You need to make an appointment with us as soon as possible if you have any other symptoms, including ear pain, sudden hearing loss, or fever. Sometimes, your ears will pop in the days following an infection or cold as your head drains of mucus.
How do I stop my ears from crackling?
Are you hearing a crackling in your ear and think you may have tinnitus? Come in and see us and we can help you determine what treatments are best for your situation.