Crackling in your ear? A condition called tinnitus can cause you to hear crackling, buzzing, whooshing, or other sounds in your ears. Here’s some info.
Do you hear phantom sounds such as thumping, buzzing, or ringing in your ears? 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 your ears if you don’t use hearing aids.
Don’t worry there’s no need to panic. Your ears have much more happening inside than what they appear to be externally. Here are some of the more common sounds you might hear inside your ears, and what they might suggest is happening. Though the majority are harmless (and temporary), it’s a smart plan to see us if any of these noises are chronic, painful, or are otherwise diminishing your quality of life.
What’s the cause of the snap, crackle, and pop in I’m hearing?
We can tell you one thing, it isn’t the Rice Krispies. When the pressure in your ears changes, whether from altitude, going underwater, or just yawning, you might hear crackling or popping noises. These sounds are caused by a tiny part of your ear called the eustachian tube. The crackling occurs when these mucus-lined passageways open, allowing air and fluid to circulate and equalize the pressure inside your ears.
If you have an excess of mucus in these passages, often due to a cold, allergies, or an ear infection, they can get clogged and the normally automatic process will get interrupted. There could 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 get any relief, you should make an appointment with us to get a diagnosis.
I’m hearing vibrations in my ear – what could that mean?
Sometimes, vibrations in the ear are an obvious indication of tinnitus. Technically, tinnitus is the medical name for when somebody hears unusual noises, such as vibrations, in their ears that don’t originate from any outside sources. 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 tinnitus triggering this ringing in my ears?
Again, if you wear hearing aids, you might hear these kinds of sounds for a number of reasons: the hearing aids aren’t sitting securely within your ears, the volume is too loud, or your batteries are getting low. But these noises can also be produced by too much earwax.
Excess earwax is well known to create itchiness and to make it harder to hear, as well as the potential of an ear infection, but how can it produce sounds. If it’s touching your eardrum, it can actually inhibit the eardrum’s ability to function, which is what causes the buzzing or ringing.
And yes, significant, chronic buzzing or ringing is indicative of tinnitus. And the sounds generated by earwax are actually a type of tinnitus. Bear in mind that tinnitus isn’t itself a disorder or disease, alternatively, it’s a symptom of something else happening with your health. While it could be as basic as earwax buildup, tinnitus is also associated with conditions such as depression and anxiety. Let us help you diagnose and get some relief for your tinnitus symptoms by helping you determine what the root health condition might be.
What’s causing rumbling in my ears?
This next symptom is less common than others, and if you’re hearing it, you’re the one causing the sound. Occasionally, if you have a really big yawn, you will hear a low rumble. Your body is attempting to dampen sounds you make and the rumbling is your ears contracting little muscles in order to accomplish that. They reduce the volume on yawning, chewing, and even your own voice.
These sounds occur so often, and are so close to your ears, without these muscles your ears can be damaged. One of these muscles, known as the tensor tympani can, in very unusual cases, be purposely controlled to produce this rumbling. In other cases, individuals suffer from tympani muscle spasms caused by tonic tensor tympani syndrome, or TTTS. People suffering from tinnitus or hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to certain wavelengths of sound, frequently experience TTTS.
What causes a fluttering sound in my ear?
After you exercise, have you ever felt a flutter in your arms and legs. Those flutters are usually the result of a muscle spasm, and it’s no different from the fluttering you hear in your ears. Middle ear myoclonus, also called MEM tinnitus, is a condition that affects the above mentioned 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?
You’re likely not off base if you think you can hear your own pulse or heartbeat inside your ears. 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 condition like high blood pressure – your ears will tune in to 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. Pulsatile tinnitus isn’t hard for us to diagnose because we can listen in on your ears and hear the thumping and pulsing as well. If your heart is racing, it’s not abnormal to hear your own heartbeat, but if you’re hearing this thumping at other times that isn’t normal.
It’s a smart idea to come in for a consultation if you’re hearing this pulsing on a daily basis. Like other forms of tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus is a symptom of another condition rather than a disease, so it might indicate a health problem, such as high blood pressure, if it continues. Sometimes, pulsatile tinnitus is the result of a heart condition, so it’s important to relate any heart health history to us. 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 goes back to normal.
Why does my ear keep clicking?
The pressure inside your ears is kept in balance, as previously mentioned, by the eustachian tubes. If you get a muscle spasm in the muscles that surround the Eustachian tube, like for example in the roof of your mouth, it can cause a repeated clicking sound. Clicking can also happen when you swallow for the same reasons. What you’re hearing, is the Eustachian tube opening and closing. Some individuals report hearing a clicking noise when their head drains of mucus. A clicking can, in rare instances indicate a fracture of one of the small bones of the ears.
Does it mean I have an infection if my ears are popping?
Sometimes, an ear infection creates the feeling that your ears are full and the inflammation can cause your ears to pop. If your ears are popping, it could be a symptom of severe infection. You need to make an appointment with us as soon as possible if you have any other symptoms, like ear pain, abrupt hearing loss, 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? Come in and see us and we can help you learn what treatments are best for your situation.