Do you hear a crackling noise? A condition known as tinnitus can cause you to hear buzzing, crackling, whooshing, or other noises in your ears. Here’s some info.
Ever hear crackling, buzzing, or thumping sounds that seem to come out of nowhere? If you use hearing aids, it can mean that they need to be adjusted or aren’t correctly fitted. But if you don’t use hearing aids, those sounds may just be coming from inside of your ear.
Don’t fret there’s no need to panic. Your ears have a lot more happening inside than what they appear to be on the outside. Here are a few of the more common noises you might hear inside your ears, and what they might indicate is going on. Though most are harmless (and temporary), it’s a good idea to see us if any of these noises are chronic, cause pain, or are otherwise impeding your quality of life.
What’s causing the snap, crackle, and pop in I’m hearing?
We can tell you one thing, it’s not the Rice Krispies. When the pressure in your ears changes, whether from altitude, going underwater, or just yawning, you may hear crackling or popping noises. The eustachian tube, which is a small tube in your ear, is the cause of these sounds. The crackling occurs when these mucus-lined passageways open up, allowing air and fluid to circulate and equalize the pressure in your ears.
If you have an excess of mucus in these passages, often as a result of a cold, allergies, or an ear infection, they can get clogged and the ordinarily automatic process will get disrupted. In serious cases where decongestant sprays, chicken soup, or antibiotics don’t give relief, a blockage might call for surgery. You should make an appointment with us if you can’t get any relief from the constant ear pain and pressure.
I’m hearing vibrations in my ear – what could that mean?
Vibrations in the ear are sometimes a telling sign of tinnitus. The term tinnitus refers to a condition where sounds are heard in the ears but those noises don’t originate in the outside world. The intensity level of the sound can range from very quiet to deafening and most people will refer to it as ringing in the ears.
Is the ringing and buzzing in my ear tinnitus?
Again, if you wear hearing aids, you might hear these kinds of sounds for a number of reasons: your batteries might be running low, you need to adjust the volume, or maybe 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.
Too much earwax is well known to cause itchiness and to make it more difficult to hear, as well as the potential of an ear infection, but how can it generate sounds. Your eardrum can be inhibited if wax is pressing against it and that can create these sounds.
And yes, excessive, persistent buzzing or ringing is indicative of tinnitus. Even ringing from too much earwax counts as a type of tinnitus. Bear in mind that tinnitus isn’t itself a disorder or disease, instead, it’s a symptom of something else going on with your health. Your tinnitus may be triggered by simple earwax build up but it can also be associated with more severe issues such as depression and anxiety. Diagnosing and treating the root health problem can help alleviate tinnitus, so you should speak with us to learn more about ways to minimize your symptoms.
What’s causing rumbling in my ears?
This specific symptom is self-created. Occasionally, if you have a really big yawn, you will hear a low rumble. That rumble is the sound of little muscles inside your ears tensing in order to dampen sounds you make. They turn down the volume on yawning, chewing, and even your own voice.
Those sounds occur so close to your ears and so often that the noise level would be damaging without these muscles. In extremely rare cases, some people 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. Studies have revealed that TTTS occurs often in people with tinnitus and those suffering from hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to particular sound volumes and frequencies.
What causes a fluttering noise in my ear?
After you exercise, have you ever felt a flutter in your arms and legs. Muscle spasms are the cause of those flutters exactly 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. Since this is a muscle disorder, muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants are typically used as a first-round treatment to control the fluttering. Inner ear surgery to correct the condition is an option if the medications don’t work, but success varies from procedure to procedure.
I hear a thumping 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 biggest veins run very close to your ears, and if your heart rate is up – whether from a hard workout, big job interview, or a medical disorder 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 others can hear. Pulsatile tinnitus isn’t hard for us to diagnose since we can listen in on your ears and hear the pumping and pulsing too. 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. Like other kinds of tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus is a symptom of another ailment rather than a disease, so it could indicate a health problem, like high blood pressure, if it continues. 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?
As stated above, the Eustachian tube helps keep equal pressure in your ears. If you have a muscle spasm in the muscles that surround the Eustachian tube, like for example in the roof of your mouth, it can trigger a repeated clicking noise. Clicking can also take place when you swallow for the same reasons. This is a result of the opening and closing of the eustachian tubes. Some individuals describe hearing a clicking sound when their head drains of mucus. In some rare instances, persistent clicking could be an indication of a fracture in one of the fragile bones in your ear.
Is ear popping an indication of infection?
Ear infections sometimes generate swelling which can make your ears pop. Popping in your ear can be a sign of a severe infection. You should schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible if you have any other symptoms, including ear pain, sudden hearing loss, or fever. Sometimes, your ears will pop after 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? Come in and see us and we can help you determine what treatments are best for your situation.