Man plugging ear with index finger because he suffers from tinnitus


Crackling in your ear? Buzzing, crackling, “static”, or whooshing noises in your ear can all be indications of a condition known as tinnitus. Here’s some info.

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 noises are most likely coming from inside your ears if you don’t have hearing aids.

This doesn’t mean you need to panic. Even though we typically think of our ears in terms of what we see externally, there’s more than meets the eye – or in this instance, the ear. You may hear some of these prevalent tinnitus sounds and here are some signs of what they may be telling you about your hearing. Though the majority are harmless (and short-term), it’s a smart idea to see us if any of these noises are persistent, cause pain, or are otherwise impeding your quality of life.

What’s causing the snap, crackle, and pop in my ear?

We can tell you one thing, it’s not the Rice Krispies. You may hear popping or crackling when you have a pressure change, whether from going underwater, a change in altitude, or just yawning. These noises are caused by a tiny part of your ear known as the eustachian tube. The crackling happens when these mucus-lined passageways open, allowing air and fluid to circulate and equalize the pressure in your ears.

If you have too much 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 become interrupted. In extreme situations where decongestant sprays, chicken soup, or antibiotics don’t give relief, a blockage might call for surgery. If you’re enduring persistent ear pain or pressure and haven’t been able to get any relief, you should make an appointment with us to get a diagnosis.

What does it mean when I hear vibrations in my ear?

Sometimes, vibrations in the ear are an obvious sign of tinnitus. Technically speaking, tinnitus is the medical term for when someone hears abnormal sounds, like vibrations, in their ears that don’t originate from any external sources. The intensity level of the sound can range from very quiet to earsplitting and most individuals will refer to it as ringing in the ears.

Is tinnitus causing this ringing in my ears?

Once again, if you wear hearing aids, you might hear these types of sounds for numerous reasons: your batteries may be running low, you need to adjust the volume, or maybe your hearing aids aren’t fitting right in your ear. But these noises can also be caused by an excessive amount of earwax.

Excess earwax is well known to create itchiness and to make it more difficult to hear, as well as the potential of an ear infection, but how can it create sounds. 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 coping with tinnitus. Even ringing from too much earwax counts as a kind of tinnitus. Tinnitus itself is typically a symptom of something else happening with your health and isn’t itself a disorder or disease. Your tinnitus may be triggered by simple earwax build up but it can also be connected to more serious problems such as depression and anxiety. Let us help you diagnose and find some relief for your tinnitus symptoms by helping you discover what the underlying health condition may be.

What’s causing rumbling in my ears?

This next symptom is less prevalent than others, and if you can hear it, you’re the one causing the sound. Sometimes, if you have a really big yawn, you can hear a low rumble. That rumble is the sound of little muscles inside your ears contracting in order to dampen sounds you make. Some of these sounds include your own voice, chewing, and yawning.

These sounds happen so often, and are so near to your ears, without these muscles your ears can be damaged. One of these muscles, called the tensor tympani can, in very unusual situations, be purposely controlled to generate this rumbling. In other circumstances, individuals suffer from tympani muscle spasms caused by tonic tensor tympani syndrome, or TTTS. People suffering from tinnitus or hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to specific frequencies of sound, frequently experience TTTS.

What causes a fluttering sound in my ear?

After you workout, have you ever felt a flutter in your legs and arms. 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 with muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants, since it’s a muscle condition. If medications aren’t helpful, inner ear surgery can have varying degrees of success.

I hear a thumping or pulsing in my ears

If you occasionally feel like you’re hearing your heartbeat thump inside your ears, you’re most likely right. Your ears are really close to some major veins and arteries and if you just worked out, have high blood pressure, or are very nervous you will probably hear your own pulse.

This is known as pulsatile tinnitus, and unlike other types of tinnitus, it’s one that other people can hear. Pulsatile tinnitus is easy for us to diagnose because we can listen in on your ears and hear the thumping and pulsing as well. While it’s absolutely normal to experience pulsatile tinnitus when your heart’s racing, 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 good idea to come in and see us. If it persists, pulsatile tinnitus might be an indication of high blood pressure or other health concerns. In some cases, pulsatile tinnitus is related back to a heart condition, so it’s important to talk about your heart with us. But if you just had a good workout (or a good scare), you should stop hearing the pulsing or thumping as soon as your heart rate returns to normal.

Why does my ear keep clicking?

The pressure in your ears is balanced, as previously mentioned, by the eustachian tubes. Repeated clicking can frequently be heard when you have muscle spasms in the muscles close to the eustachian tubes (like in the roof of your mouth). For a similar reason, you may hear clicking when you swallow. This is caused by the opening and closing of the eustachian tubes. A clicking can occasionally be heard when mucus drains from the head. In some rare cases, persistent clicking could be an indication of a fracture in one of the little bones in your ear.

Does it mean I’m dealing with an infection if my ears are popping?

Sometimes, an ear infection produces the feeling that your ears are clogged 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 hearing loss, or fever. Sometimes, your ears will pop after 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? Make an appointment for a consultation with us to find out about treatments available to you.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

References

https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uf9680
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24289817/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23571302/

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

Call or text for a no-obligation evaluation.

Schedule Now

Call us today.

Schedule Now