Crackling in your ear? Crackling, buzzing, “static”, or whooshing noises in your ear can all be signs of a condition known as tinnitus. Here’s some info.
Do you hear phantom noises such as thumping, ringing, or buzzing in your ears? If this is occurring with hearing aids, it may mean you need to come in and get an adjustment. But if you don’t use hearing aids, those noises might just be coming from inside of your ear.
This doesn’t mean you should panic. Even though we typically think of our ears with respect to what we see on the outside, there’s more than meets the eye – or in this instance, the ear. Here are some of the more common sounds you may hear inside your ears, and what they may suggest is going on. The majority of these noises are temporary and harmless but if you have tinnitus sounds that cause pain or are chronic you should schedule a consultation with us.
There’s a snap, crackle, and pop in my ears but what’s causing it
It’s not Rice Krispies, that’s for sure. You might hear crackling or popping when you have a pressure change, whether from going underwater, a change in altitude, or just yawning. The eustachian tube, which is a tiny tube in your ear, is the cause of these noises. When the pressure in these mucus lined passageways equalizes, the passages open up allowing air and mucus to circulate.
If you have an excess of mucus inside of these passages, frequently due to a cold, allergies, or an ear infection, they can become gummed-up and the ordinarily automatic process will get disrupted. In serious situations where decongestant sprays, chicken soup, or antibiotics don’t provide relief, a blockage might require surgical intervention. You should schedule an appointment with us if you can’t get any relief from the nagging ear pain and pressure.
I’m hearing vibrations in my ear – what could that mean?
Vibrations in the ear are in some cases a telltale sign of tinnitus. The term tinnitus relates to a disorder where noises are heard in the ears but those sounds don’t originate in the outside world. The intensity level of the sound can range from extremely quiet to deafening and most individuals will refer to it as ringing in the ears.
Is tinnitus triggering this ringing in my ears?
Once again, if you wear hearing aids, you may hear these types of sounds for a number of reasons: your batteries might be running low, you need to adjust the volume, or perhaps your hearing aids aren’t fitting properly in your ear. But these noises can also be caused by an excessive amount of earwax.
Too much earwax is well known to create itchiness and to make it more challenging to hear, as well as the potential of an ear infection, but how can it create sounds. Your eardrum can be inhibited if wax is pressing against it and that can generate these sounds.
And yes, significant, chronic buzzing or ringing is indicative of tinnitus. Even ringing from excessive earwax counts as a type of tinnitus. Tinnitus itself is usually a symptom of something else going on with your health and isn’t itself a disease or disorder. While it could be as simple as wax buildup, tinnitus is also associated with conditions such as depression and anxiety. Let us help you diagnose and find some relief for your tinnitus symptoms by helping you understand what the underlying health condition might be.
What’s causing my ears to rumble?
This next symptom is less common than others, and if you can hear it, you’re the one making the sound happen. Sometimes, if you have a really big yawn, you can hear a low rumble in your ears. Your body is trying to soften sounds you make and the rumbling is your ears contracting little muscles in order to accomplish that. Some of these sounds include your own voice, chewing, and yawning.
Those sounds occur so near to your ears and so frequently that the noise level would be harmful without these muscles. One of these muscles, known as the tensor tympani can, in very rare situations, be purposely controlled to produce this rumbling. In other circumstances, people suffer from tympani muscle spasms caused by tonic tensor tympani syndrome, or TTTS. People dealing with tinnitus or hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to certain wavelengths of sound, frequently experience TTTS.
What about a fluttering noise?
After you workout, have you ever felt a flutter in your arms and legs. Muscle spasms are the cause of those flutters exactly like the ones in your ears. Middle ear myoclonus, also known as MEM tinnitus, is a condition that affects the aforementioned tensor tympani muscle and the stapedius muscle in your middle ear. Usually, this condition is initially managed using muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants, since it’s a muscle disorder. If medications don’t help, inner ear surgery can have varying degrees of success.
Why are my ears drumming, thumping, and pulsing so much?
If you occasionally feel like you’re hearing your heartbeat thump in your ears, you’re probably right. Some of the body’s biggest veins run very close to your ears, and if your heart rate is high – whether from a tough workout, big job interview, or a medical disorder like high blood pressure – your ears will pick up the sound of your heartbeat.
This is known as pulsatile tinnitus, and in contrast to other forms of tinnitus, it’s one that other people can hear. 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. While it’s completely normal to experience pulsatile tinnitus when your heart’s racing, it shouldn’t be something you have to live with on a daily basis.
It’s a good idea to come see us if you’re hearing this pulsing every day. If it persists, pulsatile tinnitus might be an indication of high blood pressure or other health concerns. It’s important to tell us about your heart health history as pulsatile tinnitus can indicate a heart condition. But if you just had a hard workout (or a good scare), you should stop hearing the pulsing or thumping as soon as your heart rate goes back to normal.
Why does my ear keep clicking?
The pressure inside your ears is kept in balance, as previously stated, by the eustachian tubes. If you get a muscle spasm in the muscles that are close to the Eustachian tube, like for example in the roof of your mouth, it can cause a repeated clicking noise. Clicking can also occur when you swallow for similar reasons. What you’re hearing, is the Eustachian tube opening and closing. A clicking can sometimes be heard when mucus drains from the head. A clicking can, in rare cases indicate a fracture of one of the fragile bones of the ears.
Is ear popping a symptom of infection?
Ear infections sometimes generate swelling which can cause your ears to pop. If your ears are popping, it could be a sign of severe infection. You should schedule an appointment with us right away if you have any other symptoms, like ear pain, sudden hearing loss, or fever. Sometimes, your ears will pop after an infection or cold as your head clears of mucus.
How can I stop my ears from crackling?
Do you believe that the crackling sound in your ears is tinnitus? Come in and consult with us and we can help you learn what treatments are best for your situation.