Do you hear a crackling noise? A condition called tinnitus can cause you to hear buzzing, crackling, whooshing, or other sounds in your ears. 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 most likely coming from inside of your ears if you don’t use hearing aids.
Don’t worry there’s no need to panic. Even though we typically view our ears with respect to what we see externally, there’s more than meets the eye – or in this instance, the ear. You may 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 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 my ear?
It’s not Rice Krispies, that’s for certain. When the pressure in your ears changes, whether from going underwater, altitude, or just yawning, you might hear popping or crackling noises. These sounds are caused by a small part of your ear called the eustachian tube. The crackling occurs when these mucus-lined passageways open up, allowing air and fluid to circulate and equalize the pressure in your ears.
It’s an automatic system, but occasionally, like if you have inflammation caused by allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, your eustachian tubes can literally get gummed up from the overabundance of mucus in your system (remember, your ears, nose, and throat are all linked). In extreme cases where chicken noodle soup, decongestants, or antibiotics don’t provide relief, a blockage might call for surgery. 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?
Sometimes, vibrations in the ear are an obvious indication of tinnitus. The term tinnitus refers to a condition where sounds are heard in the ears but those sounds don’t originate in the outside world. The intensity of the sound can range from very quiet to deafening and most individuals will refer to it as ringing in the ears.
Is the buzzing and ringing in my ear tinnitus?
There are also numerous reasons why you might 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 these noises can also be caused by an excessive amount of earwax.
Excess earwax is well known to cause itchiness and to make it harder to hear, as well as the potential of an ear infection, but how can it produce sounds. Your eardrum can be inhibited if wax is pressing against it and that can generate these sounds.
Chronic buzzing or ringing is a sign that you are dealing with tinnitus. Even buzzing from too much 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. Your tinnitus might be caused by simple earwax build up but it can also be associated with more serious problems like anxiety and depression. Diagnosing and treating the underlying health problem can help relieve tinnitus, so you should consult with us to find out more about ways to decrease your symptoms.
What are the peculiar rumblings in my ear?
This particular symptom is self-created. Occasionally, if you have a really big yawn, you can hear a low rumble in your ears. That rumble is the sound of tiny muscles inside your ears contracting in order to soften sounds you make. 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 very rare situations, some individuals can control one of these muscles, the tensor tympani, and generate that rumble on cue. In other circumstances, individuals suffer from tympani muscle spasms caused by tonic tensor tympani syndrome, or TTTS. Individuals suffering from tinnitus or hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to specific frequencies of sound, frequently experience TTTS.
What about a fluttering noise?
Have you ever felt a flutter in your arms or legs after exercising? Those flutters are usually the result of a muscle spasm, and it’s no different from the fluttering you hear 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 disorder, muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants are typically used as a first-round treatment to control the fluttering. If medications aren’t helpful, inner ear surgery can have varying degrees of success.
Why are my ears drumming, thumping, and pulsing so much?
You’re probably not off base if you think you hear your own pulse or heartbeat inside your ears. Your ears are very close to some major veins and arteries and if you just did a hard workout, have high blood pressure, or are very anxious you will most likely hear your own heartbeat.
Most forms of tinnitus can’t be heard by other people but that isn’t the case with pulsatile tinnitus. Pulsatile tinnitus is not difficult for us to diagnose because we can listen in on your ears and hear the pumping and pulsing too. If your heart is racing, it’s not abnormal to hear your own pulse, but if you’re hearing this thumping at other times that’s not normal.
It’s a good idea to come in for a consultation if you’re hearing this pulsing every day. If it persists, pulsatile tinnitus may be an indication of high blood pressure or other health conditions. It’s important to tell us about your heart health history as pulsatile tinnitus can indicate a heart condition. But after a good scare or workout, your hearing should return to normal when your heart rate returns to normal.
Why does my ear keep clicking?
As noted above, the Eustachian tube helps keep equal pressure in your ears. If you get a muscle spasm in the muscles that are close to the Eustachian tube, like for instance in the roof of your mouth, it can cause a repeated clicking noise. For the same reason, you may hear clicking when you swallow. What you’re hearing, is the Eustachian tube opening and closing. A clicking can sometimes be heard when mucus empties from the head. A clicking can, in rare instances point to a fracture of one of the small bones of the ears.
Is ear popping a sign of infection?
Sometimes, an ear infection produces the feeling that your ears are clogged and the swelling can cause your ears to pop. If your ears are popping, it could be an indication of acute infection. If you are dealing with any other symptoms, such as pain in the ear, abrupt hearing loss, or fever, you need to schedule an appointment right away. Sometimes, your ears will pop in the days following an infection or cold as your head clears of mucus.
Can I stop this crackling in my ears?
Do you hear a crackling in your ear and suspect you have tinnitus? Come in and consult with us and we can help you determine what treatments are best for your situation.