Crackling in your ear? Crackling, buzzing, “static”, or whooshing noises in your ear can all be indications of a condition known as tinnitus. Here’s what you need to know.
Ever hear crackling, buzzing, or thumping sounds that seem to come from nowhere? If you have hearing aids, it may mean that they need to be adjusted or aren’t properly fitted. But those sounds are most likely coming from inside your ears if you don’t use hearing aids.
Don’t fret there’s no need to stress. Your ears have much more going on inside than what they appear to be on the outside. You might hear some of these common tinnitus sounds and here are some indications of what they might be telling you about your hearing. Though most are harmless (and short-term), it’s a good plan to see us if any of these noises are chronic, painful, or are otherwise impeding your quality of life.
There’s a snap, crackle, and pop in my ears but what’s the cause?
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 noises. When the pressure in these mucus lined passageways equalizes, the passages open up allowing air and mucus to circulate.
If you have too much mucus in these passages, frequently as a result of a cold, allergies, or an ear infection, they can become clogged and the ordinarily automatic process will get disrupted. In extreme situations where chicken noodle soup, decongestants, or antibiotics don’t give relief, a blockage might call for surgical intervention. You should schedule an appointment with us if you can’t find any relief from the nagging ear pain and pressure.
I’m hearing vibrations in my ear – what could that mean?
Sometimes, vibrations in the ear are an obvious sign of tinnitus. Technically speaking, tinnitus is the medical term for when a person hears abnormal sounds, such as 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 occurs across the spectrum, from barely noticeable to debilitating.
Is the buzzing and ringing in my ear tinnitus?
Again, if you wear hearing aids, you may hear these kinds of sounds for numerous reasons: your batteries may be running low, you need a volume adjustment, or maybe your hearing aids aren’t fitting properly in your ear. But if you don’t have hearing aids and you’re hearing this type of sound, it could also be due to excess earwax.
It seems logical that excessive wax could make it difficult to hear and cause itchiness or even inner ear infections, but how can earwax make a sound? Your eardrum can be inhibited if wax is pressing against it and that can produce these sounds.
And yes, excessive, chronic buzzing or ringing is indicative of tinnitus. Even buzzing from excessive earwax counts as a kind of tinnitus. Bear in mind that tinnitus isn’t itself a disorder or disease, rather, it’s a symptom of something else going on with your health. While it could be as basic as earwax buildup, tinnitus is also linked with conditions like anxiety and depression. Diagnosing and treating the root health problem can help relieve tinnitus, so you should contact us to find out more about ways to minimize your symptoms.
What are the unusual rumblings in my ear?
This specific symptom is self-produced. Sometimes, you can hear a low rumble when you yawn. That rumble is the sound of tiny muscles inside of your ears contracting in order to dampen sounds you make. Some of these sounds include your own voice, chewing, and yawning.
These sounds occur so frequently, and are so near to your ears, without these muscles your ears could be damaged. One of these muscles, called the tensor tympani can, in extremely rare cases, be intentionally controlled to generate this rumbling. In other cases, a condition known as tonic tensor tympani syndrome (TTTS) will cause people to suffer from tensor tympani muscle spasms. People suffering from tinnitus or hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to specific frequencies of sound, frequently experience TTTS.
What causes a fluttering noise in my ear?
Have you ever felt a flutter in your legs or arms after a workout? Muscle spasms cause those flutters just like the ones 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 controlled using muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants, since it’s a muscle disorder. Inner ear surgery to correct the condition is an alternative if the medications don’t work, but success varies from procedure to procedure.
I hear a pumping or pulsing in my ears
If you occasionally feel like you’re hearing your heartbeat thump in 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 tough workout, big job interview, or a medical condition 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 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 racing, it’s not unusual to hear your own pulse, but if you’re hearing this thumping at other times that isn’t normal.
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. In some cases, pulsatile tinnitus is related back to a heart condition, so it’s important to talk about your heart with us. But if you just had a good 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 stated, by the eustachian tubes. Repeated clicking can frequently be heard when you get muscle spasms in the muscles close to the eustachian tubes (like in the roof of your mouth). Clicking can also occur when you swallow for the same reasons. This is due to the opening and closing of the eustachian tubes. A clicking can sometimes be heard when mucus drains from the head. In some rare situations, persistent clicking could be a sign of a fracture in one of the tiny bones in your ear.
Does it mean I’m dealing with an infection if my ears are popping?
Sometimes, an ear infection creates the feeling that your ears are clogged and the swelling can cause your ears to pop. Popping in your ear can be a symptom of a severe infection. You should schedule an appointment with us right away if you have any other symptoms, including ear pain, sudden 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 believe that the crackling noise in your ears is tinnitus? Make an appointment for a consultation with us to talk about treatments available to you.