Do you hear a crackling noise? A condition known as tinnitus can cause you to hear crackling, buzzing, 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 this is occurring with hearing aids, it may mean you need to come in and get an adjustment. But if you don’t have hearing aids, those sounds might just be coming from inside your ear.
This doesn’t mean you need to panic. Even though we mostly think of our ears in terms of what we see on the outside, there’s more than meets the eye – or in this instance, the ear. Here are some of the more common sounds you may hear inside of your ears, and what they may indicate is going on. The majority of these sounds are short-term and harmless but if you have tinnitus sounds that are painful or are persistent you should schedule a consultation with us.
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 going underwater, altitude, or just yawning, you might hear popping or crackling noises. 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.
It’s an automatic process, but sometimes, like if you are dealing with inflammation caused by allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, your eustachian tubes can literally get clogged from the overabundance of mucus in your system (remember, your ears, nose, and throat are all connected). There might be situations where a surgical procedure is required in more severe cases where decongestants, chicken noodle soup, or antibiotics don’t do the trick. You should make an appointment with us if you can’t get any relief from the constant ear pain and pressure.
What does it mean when I hear vibrations in my ear?
Vibrations in the ear are sometimes a telltale sign of tinnitus. The word tinnitus relates to a disorder where noises are heard in the ears but those noises don’t originate in the outside world. Most individuals will refer to it as a ringing in the ears and it manifests across the spectrum, from barely there to unbearable.
Is tinnitus triggering this ringing in my ears?
There are also numerous reasons why you may hear these sounds if you wear hearing aids: your batteries may be getting 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 kind of sound, it could also be due to excess earwax.
It makes sense that too much wax could make it difficult to hear and cause itchiness or even inner ear infections, but how could earwax produce a sound? Your eardrum can be restricted if wax is pressing against it and that can generate these sounds.
Chronic buzzing or ringing is an indication that you are dealing with tinnitus. And the noises generated by earwax are actually a kind of tinnitus. Tinnitus itself is usually a symptom of something else happening with your health and isn’t itself a disease or disorder. While it could be as basic as earwax buildup, tinnitus is also related to conditions like depression and anxiety. Let us help you diagnose and find some relief for your tinnitus symptoms by helping you understand what the underlying health condition may be.
What are the unusual rumblings in my ear?
This next symptom is less common than others, and if you can hear it, you’re the one causing the sound. Sometimes, you will hear a low rumbling when you yawn. That rumble is the sound of tiny muscles inside of your ears tensing in order to dampen sounds you make. Some of these sounds include your own voice, chewing, and yawning.
These sounds occur so often, and are so close to your ears, without these muscles your ears could be damaged. One of these muscles, called the tensor tympani can, in very rare situations, be intentionally controlled to produce this rumbling. In other cases, a condition known as tonic tensor tympani syndrome (TTTS) will cause individuals to suffer from tensor tympani muscle spasms. Studies have revealed that TTTS occurs frequently in people with tinnitus and those dealing with hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to particular sound volumes and wavelengths.
What about a fluttering sound?
Have you ever felt a flutter in your arms or legs after a workout? Muscle spasms are the cause of those flutters exactly like the ones in your ears. Middle ear myoclonus, also known as MEM tinnitus, is a condition that impacts the above mentioned tensor tympani muscle and the stapedius muscle in your middle ear. Usually, this condition is initially controlled using muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants, since it’s a muscle disorder. If medications aren’t helpful, inner ear surgery can have varying degrees of success.
Why are my ears drumming, pumping, and pulsing so much?
You’re likely not off base if you think you can hear your own pulse or heartbeat inside your ears. Your ears are really close to some major veins and arteries and if you just did a hard workout, have high blood pressure, or are very nervous you will probably hear your own pulse.
Most types of tinnitus can’t be heard by other people but that isn’t the situation 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 as well. While it’s absolutely normal to experience pulsatile tinnitus when your heart’s pounding, it shouldn’t be something you have to live with on a daily basis.
If you do experience this thumping or pulsing every day, it’s probably a smart move to come in and see us. Like other kinds of tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus is a symptom of another condition rather than a disease, so it could indicate a health concern, such as high blood pressure, if it continues. It’s essential to tell us about your heart health history as pulsatile tinnitus can point to a heart condition. 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 in your ears is balanced, as previously mentioned, by the eustachian tubes. If you get a muscle spasm in the muscles that surround the Eustachian tube, like for instance in the roof of your mouth, it can cause a repeated clicking sound. Clicking can also take place when you swallow for the same reasons. What you’re hearing, is the Eustachian tube opening and closing. Some people describe hearing a clicking noise when their head drains of mucus. In some rare cases, persistent clicking could be a sign of a fracture in one of the fragile bones in your ear.
Is ear popping a sign of infection?
Ear infections sometimes generate swelling which can cause your ears to pop. Popping in your ear can be a symptom of an acute infection. If you are dealing with any other symptoms, such as pain in the ear, sudden hearing loss, or fever, you need to schedule an appointment immediately. 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 believe that the crackling sound in your ears is tinnitus? Make an appointment for a consultation with us to talk about treatments available to you.