Do you hear a crackling noise? 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 noises that seem to come from nowhere? If this is occurring with hearing aids, it might 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 have hearing aids.
This doesn’t mean you need to panic. Even though we generally 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 may hear inside your ears, and what they might suggest is happening. The majority of these sounds are temporary and harmless but if you have tinnitus noises that cause pain or are persistent you should get a consultation with us.
What’s causing the snap, crackle, and pop in I’m hearing?
It’s not Rice Krispies, that’s for sure. When the pressure in your ears changes, whether from going underwater, altitude, or just yawning, you could hear popping or crackling sounds. The eustachian tube, which is a tiny tube in your ear, is the cause of these sounds. 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 inside of these passages, often as a result of a cold, allergies, or an ear infection, they can get gummed-up and the ordinarily automatic process will get disrupted. In serious cases where chicken noodle soup, decongestants, or antibiotics don’t provide relief, a blockage could call for surgery. If you’re experiencing 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.
What does it mean when I hear vibrations in my ear?
Vibrations in the ear are in some cases a telltale sign of tinnitus. The term tinnitus relates to a condition where noises are heard in the ears but those noises don’t originate in the outside world. Most people will refer to it as a ringing in the ears and it manifests across the spectrum, from barely noticeable to unbearable.
Is the buzzing and ringing in my ear tinnitus?
Again, if you wear hearing aids, you might hear these types of sounds for numerous reasons: your batteries may be getting low, you need to adjust the volume, or perhaps your hearing aids aren’t fitting properly in your ear. But if you don’t use hearing aids and you’re hearing this kind of noise, it could also be caused by excess earwax.
It makes sense that excessive wax could make it tough to hear and cause itchiness or even inner ear infections, but how can earwax make a sound? Your eardrum can be restricted if wax is pressing against it and that can generate these sounds.
Persistent buzzing or ringing is an indication that you are coping with tinnitus. And the noises produced by earwax are actually a type of tinnitus. Tinnitus itself is commonly a symptom of something else going on with your health and isn’t itself a disease or disorder. While it could be as basic as wax buildup, tinnitus is also associated with conditions such as depression and anxiety. Diagnosing and treating the root health problem can help relieve tinnitus, so you should contact us to learn more about ways to minimize your symptoms.
What’s causing rumbling in my ears?
This particular symptom is self-created. In some cases, you will hear a low rumble when you yawn. Your body is trying to soften sounds you make and the rumbling is your ears tensing little muscles in order to accomplish that. They reduce the volume on yawning, chewing, and even your own voice.
These sounds occur so frequently, and are so close to your ears, without these muscles your ears could be damaged. In extremely rare situations, some individuals can control one of these muscles, the tensor tympani, and produce that rumble on cue. In other cases, a condition known as tonic tensor tympani syndrome (TTTS) will cause people to suffer from tensor tympani muscle spasms. Individuals dealing with tinnitus or hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to specific frequencies of sound, commonly experience TTTS.
What causes a fluttering sound in my ear?
After you exercise, have you ever felt a flutter in your legs and arms. Muscle spasms are the cause of those flutters just 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 typically used as a first-round treatment to control the fluttering. If medications don’t help, inner ear surgery can have varying degrees of success.
I hear a pumping or pulsing in my ears
You’re likely not off base if you think you hear your own pulse or heartbeat in your ears. Some of the body’s largest veins run really close to your ears, and if your heart rate is high – 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 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 totally normal to experience pulsatile tinnitus when your heart’s racing, it should not be something you need to live with every day.
If you do experience this pumping or pulsing every day, it’s probably a good idea to come in and see us. Like other forms of tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus is a symptom of another ailment rather than a disease, so it may indicate a health problem, such as high blood pressure, if it persists. Sometimes, pulsatile tinnitus is the result of a heart condition, so it’s important to talk about your heart with us. 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.
What’s this clicking sound?
The pressure inside your ears is balanced, as previously mentioned, by the eustachian tubes. 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). Clicking can also occur when you swallow for similar reasons. This is caused by the opening and closing of the eustachian tubes. 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.
Does it mean I have an infection if my ears are popping?
Sometimes, an ear infection creates the feeling that your ears are clogged and the swelling can make your ears pop. If your ears are popping, it might be a sign of severe infection. If you are dealing with any other symptoms, such as pain in the ear, sudden hearing loss, or fever, you should schedule a consultation immediately. Sometimes, your ears will pop in the days following an infection or cold as your head drains of mucus.
How can I stop my ears from crackling?
Do you hear a crackling in your ear and think you may have tinnitus? Set up a consultation with us to discuss treatments available to you.