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 what you need to know.
Ever hear crackling, buzzing, or thumping sounds that seem to come out of nowhere? If you have hearing aids, it may mean that they need to be adjusted or aren’t correctly fitted. But those sounds are probably coming from inside of your ears if you don’t use hearing aids.
Don’t fret there’s no need to panic. Your ears have a lot more happening inside than what they appear to be externally. You might hear some of these common tinnitus sounds and here are some signs of what they might be telling you about your hearing. Though most are harmless (and short-term), it’s a good plan to see us if any of these noises are chronic, painful, or are otherwise impeding your quality of life.
There’s a snap, crackle, and pop in my ears but what’s causing it
We can tell you one thing, it’s not the Rice Krispies. When the pressure inside of your ears changes, whether from altitude, going underwater, or just yawning, you may hear popping or crackling sounds. The eustachian tube, which is a small 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.
It’s an automatic system, but sometimes, like if you have inflammation from allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, your eustachian tubes can literally get gummed up from the overabundance of mucus in your system (don’t forget, your ears, nose, and throat are all connected). There may be situations where a surgery is required in more extreme cases where decongestant sprays, chicken noodle soup, or antibiotics don’t do the trick. If you’re experiencing chronic ear pain or pressure and haven’t been able to get any relief, you should schedule an appointment with us to get a diagnosis.
I’m hearing vibrations in my ear – what could that mean?
Sometimes, vibrations in the ear are an obvious symptom of tinnitus. Technically speaking, tinnitus is the medical term for when somebody hears abnormal sounds, like vibrations, in their ears that do not come from any outside sources. Most individuals will refer to it as a ringing in the ears and it occurs across the spectrum, from barely there to debilitating.
Is the buzzing and ringing in my ear tinnitus?
There are also several reasons why you may hear these sounds if you use hearing aids: the hearing aids aren’t sitting properly within your ears, the volume is too loud, or your batteries are getting low. But these sounds can also be produced by an excessive amount of earwax.
It makes sense that excessive wax could make it hard to hear and cause itchiness or even inner ear infections, but how can earwax produce a sound? Your eardrum can be impeded if wax is pressing against it and that can create these sounds.
Ongoing buzzing or ringing is an indication that you are dealing with tinnitus. And the sounds generated by earwax are actually a form of tinnitus. Tinnitus itself is commonly a symptom of something else happening with your health and isn’t itself a disorder or disease. Your tinnitus could be triggered by simple earwax build up but it can also be linked to more severe problems like anxiety and depression. Diagnosing and treating the root health problem can help relieve tinnitus, so you should contact us to find out more about ways to reduce your symptoms.
What are the weird rumblings in my ear?
This next symptom is less common than others, and if you’re hearing it, you’re the one causing the sound. In some cases, you can hear a low rumbling when you yawn. That rumble is the sound of little muscles inside of 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 manifest so near 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 cases, a condition called 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 frequencies.
What causes a fluttering sound in my ear?
After you exercise, have you ever felt a flutter in your arms and legs. Those flutters are normally caused by a muscle spasm, and it’s the same as the fluttering you hear in your ears. MEM tinnitus, or middle ear myoclonus, affects the stapedius muscle and the tympani tensor muscles of the middle ear. Usually, this condition is initially controlled using muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants, since it’s a muscle disorder. If medications don’t help, 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 hear your own pulse or heartbeat in 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 anxious you will probably hear your own pulse.
Most kinds of tinnitus can’t be heard by others but that’s not the case with pulsatile tinnitus. If you come in to see us, we can listen in on your ears and we will be able to hear the thumping of your pulsatile tinnitus. 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.
If you do experience this pumping or pulsing daily, 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 conditions. Sometimes, pulsatile tinnitus is related back to a heart condition, so it’s important to talk about your heart with us. But after a good scare or hard workout, your hearing should go back to normal when your heart rate returns to normal.
What’s this clicking sound?
The pressure in your ears is balanced, as previously stated, 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 noise. Clicking can also happen when you swallow for similar reasons. This is caused by the opening and closing of the eustachian tubes. Some individuals report hearing a clicking noise when their head drains of mucus. A clicking can, in rare instances indicate a fracture of one of the fragile bones of the ears.
Is ear popping a sign of infection?
Sometimes, an ear infection causes the feeling that your ears are full and the swelling can make your ears pop. Popping in your ear can be an indication of a severe infection. You should schedule an appointment with us right away if you have any other symptoms, like ear pain, sudden loss of hearing, or fever. Sometimes, after an infection, as your head clears of mucus, your ears will pop.
How can I stop my ears from crackling?
Are you hearing 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.