Crackling in your ear? Crackling, buzzing, “static”, or whooshing sounds in your ear can all be symptoms of a condition known as tinnitus. Here’s what you need to know.
Do you hear phantom sounds like thumping, buzzing, or ringing in your ears? If you have hearing aids, it can mean that they need adjustment or aren’t properly fitted. But those sounds are most likely coming from inside of your ears if you don’t use hearing aids.
This doesn’t mean you should panic. Your ears have a lot more happening inside than what they appear to be on the outside. You might hear some of these prevalent tinnitus sounds and here are some signs of what they may be telling you about your hearing. 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?
It’s not Rice Krispies, that’s for certain. When the pressure in your ears changes, whether from altitude, going underwater, or just yawning, you could hear crackling or popping sounds. The eustachian tube, which is a tiny 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 inside of these passages, frequently as a result of a cold, allergies, or an ear infection, they can become clogged and the normally automatic process will become interrupted. There could be situations where a surgery is required in more severe cases where decongestants, chicken noodle soup, or antibiotics don’t help. You should schedule an appointment with us if you can’t get any relief from the nagging ear pain and pressure.
What does it mean when I hear vibrations in my ear?
Sometimes, vibrations in the ear are an obvious indication of tinnitus. Technically speaking, tinnitus is the medical term for when somebody hears unusual noises, such as vibrations, in their ears that don’t originate from any external sources. Most individuals will refer to it as a ringing in the ears and it occurs across the spectrum, from barely noticeable to unbearable.
Is tinnitus triggering this ringing in my ears?
Again, if you use hearing aids, you may hear these types of sounds for a number of reasons: the hearing aids aren’t sitting properly within your ears, the volume is too loud, or your batteries are running low. But these sounds can also be caused by too much earwax.
Accumulated earwax is well known to create itchiness and to make it harder to hear, as well as the possibility of an ear infection, but how can it generate sounds. Your eardrum can be impeded if wax is pressing against it and that can generate these sounds.
And yes, significant, chronic ringing or buzzing is indicative of tinnitus. And the noises produced by earwax are actually a type of tinnitus. Bear in mind that tinnitus isn’t itself a disease or disorder, alternatively, it’s a symptom of something else going on with your health. While it could be as simple as wax accumulation, tinnitus is also related to conditions such as depression and anxiety. Let us help you diagnose and find some relief for your tinnitus symptoms by helping you discover what the root health condition may be.
What are the weird rumblings i’m hearing?
This next symptom is less common than others, and if you can hear it, you’re the one making the sound happen. In some cases, you can hear a low rumbling when you yawn. Your body is attempting to dampen sounds you make and the rumbling is your ears tensing little muscles in order to do that. Some of these sounds include your own voice, chewing, and yawning.
These sounds take place 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 cases, be intentionally controlled to generate this rumbling. In other circumstances, a condition called tonic tensor tympani syndrome (TTTS) will cause individuals to suffer from tensor tympani muscle spasms. People dealing with tinnitus or hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to specific frequencies of sound, frequently experience TTTS.
What about a fluttering sound?
Have you ever felt a flutter in your legs or arms after a workout? Muscle spasms cause 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. Since this is a muscle condition, muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants are commonly used as an initial treatment to control the fluttering. Inner ear surgery to eliminate the condition is an option 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 pulsing inside your ears, you’re most likely right. 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.
This is called pulsatile tinnitus, and unlike other forms of tinnitus, it’s one that others can hear. If you come in for a consultation, we can listen in on your ears and we will be able to hear the pumping of your pulsatile tinnitus. If your heart is pounding, it’s not abnormal to hear your own pulse, but if you’re hearing this pumping at other times that’s not normal.
If you do experience this thumping or pulsing every day, it’s probably a smart move to come in for a consultation. If it persists, pulsatile tinnitus may be an indication of high blood pressure or other health concerns. It’s essential to tell us about your heart health history as pulsatile tinnitus can point to a heart condition. But after a good scare or workout, your hearing should go back to normal when your heart rate goes back to normal.
Why does my ear keep clicking?
As mentioned above, the Eustachian tube helps keep equal pressure in your ears. Repeated clicking can often 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. What you’re hearing, is the Eustachian tube opening and closing. Some individuals report hearing a clicking sound when their head drains of mucus. In some rare instances, chronic clicking could be an indication of a fracture in one of the fragile bones in your ear.
Is ear popping an indication of infection?
Sometimes, an ear infection produces the feeling that your ears are full and the inflammation can cause your ears to pop. If your ears are popping, it might be a sign of acute infection. You need to make an appointment with us right away if you have any other symptoms, like ear pain, abrupt loss of hearing, or fever. Sometimes, after an infection, as your head drains of mucus, your ears will pop.
Can I stop this crackling in my ears?
Are you hearing a crackling in your ear and suspect you have tinnitus? Set up a consultation with us to find out about treatments available to you.