Crackling in your ear? Buzzing, crackling, “static”, or whooshing sounds in your ear can all be symptoms of a condition known as tinnitus. Here’s some info.
Ever hear crackling, buzzing, or thumping sounds that seem to come from nowhere? If you use hearing aids, it may mean that they need adjustment or aren’t properly fitted. But those sounds are most likely coming from inside of your ears if you don’t have hearing aids.
This doesn’t mean you need to panic. Even though we mostly think of our ears with respect to what we see externally, there’s more than meets the eye – or in this case, the ear. You might hear some of these prevalent tinnitus noises and here are some indications of what they may be telling you about your hearing. The majority of these noises are short-term and innocuous but if you have tinnitus noises that are painful or are chronic you should get a consultation with us.
There’s a snap, crackle, and pop in my ears but what’s the cause?
It isn’t Rice Krispies, that’s for sure. When the pressure in your ears changes, whether from going underwater, altitude, or just yawning, you may hear popping or crackling sounds. The eustachian tube, which is a small tube in your ear, is the cause of these noises. The crackling happens when these mucus-lined passageways open up, letting fluid circulate and equalize the pressure in your ears.
It’s an automatic process, but sometimes, like if you are dealing with inflammation from allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, your eustachian tubes can literally get gummed up from the overabundance of mucus in your system (don’t forget, your ears, nose, and throat are all linked). In extreme situations where chicken noodle soup, decongestants, or antibiotics don’t provide relief, a blockage might require surgery. If you’re experiencing persistent ear pain or pressure and haven’t been able to find any relief, you should schedule an appointment with us to get a diagnosis.
I’m hearing vibrations in my ear – what could that mean?
Vibrations in the ear are sometimes a telltale sign of tinnitus. Technically speaking, tinnitus is the medical term for when a person hears abnormal sounds, like vibrations, in their ears that don’t originate from any outside sources. Most individuals will refer to it as a ringing in the ears and it manifests across the spectrum, from barely there to debilitating.
Is tinnitus triggering this ringing in my ears?
There are also numerous reasons why you may hear these sounds if you wear hearing aids: the hearing aids aren’t sitting securely 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 due to accumulated earwax.
Accumulated earwax is well known to create itchiness and to make it more challenging to hear, as well as the possibility of an ear infection, but how can it create sounds. Your eardrum can be restricted if wax is pressing against it and that can generate these sounds.
And yes, excessive, persistent ringing or buzzing is indicative of tinnitus. And the sounds produced by earwax are actually a form of tinnitus. Keep in mind that tinnitus isn’t itself a disorder or disease, alternatively, it’s a symptom of something else going on with your health. While it could be as simple as wax buildup, tinnitus is also related to conditions like depression and anxiety. Let us help you diagnose and get some relief for your tinnitus symptoms by helping you understand what the underlying health condition might be.
What are the peculiar rumblings in my ear?
This next symptom is less prevalent than others, and if you can hear it, you’re the one causing the sound. Sometimes, if you have a really big yawn, you can hear a low rumble. Your body is trying to dampen sounds you make and the rumbling is your ears tensing little muscles in order to do that. They turn down the volume on yawning, chewing, and even your own voice.
Those sounds manifest so near to your ears and so often that the noise level would be harmful without these muscles. One of these muscles, called the tensor tympani can, in extremely rare cases, be purposely controlled to generate this rumbling. In other circumstances, a condition known as tonic tensor tympani syndrome (TTTS) will cause people to suffer from tensor tympani muscle spasms. Studies have revealed that TTTS happens frequently 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?
Have you ever felt a flutter in your legs or arms after exercising? Those flutters are normally caused by a muscle spasm, and it’s no different from the fluttering you hear in your ears. MEM tinnitus, or middle ear myoclonus, affects the stapedius muscle and the tympani tensor muscles of the middle ear. Usually, this condition is initially managed using muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants, since it’s a muscle condition. Inner ear surgery to correct the condition is an option if the medications aren’t working, but success varies from procedure to procedure.
Why are my ears drumming, thumping, and pulsing so much?
If you sometimes feel like you’re hearing your heartbeat thump inside your ears, you’re most likely right. Some of the body’s biggest veins run very close to your ears, and if your heart rate is up – whether from a tough workout, big job interview, or a medical condition like high blood pressure – your ears will tune in to the sound of your heartbeat.
This is called pulsatile tinnitus, and in contrast to other types of tinnitus, it’s one that others can hear. If you come in to see us, we can listen in on your ears and we will be able to hear the thumping of your pulsatile tinnitus. If your heart is racing, it’s not abnormal to hear your own heartbeat, but if you’re hearing this pumping at other times that isn’t normal.
If you do experience this pumping or pulsing daily, it’s probably a good idea to come in and see us. Like other forms of tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus is a symptom of another condition rather than a disease, so it could indicate a health concern, like high blood pressure, if it persists. It’s important to tell us about your heart health history as pulsitile 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 pumping as soon as your heart rate returns to normal.
Why does my ear keep clicking?
The pressure in your ears is kept in balance, as previously stated, by the eustachian tubes. Repeated clicking can frequently be heard when you get muscle spasms in the muscles near the eustachian tubes (like in the roof of your mouth). Clicking can also occur when you swallow for similar reasons. This is due to the opening and closing of the eustachian tubes. Some people describe hearing a clicking noise when their head drains of mucus. In some rare instances, chronic clicking could be a sign of a fracture in one of the little bones in your ear.
Is ear popping a symptom of infection?
Ear infections sometimes cause swelling which can cause your ears to pop. Popping in your ear can be an indication of an acute infection. You should make an appointment with us as soon as possible 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.
How can I stop my ears from crackling?
Are you hearing a crackling in your ear and suspect you have tinnitus? Make an appointment for a consultation with us to find out about treatments available to you.