Do you hear a crackling noise? Crackling, buzzing, “static”, or whooshing noises in your ear can all be symptoms of a condition known as tinnitus. Here’s some info.
Ever hear crackling, buzzing, or thumping noises that seem to come out of nowhere? If you have hearing aids, it can mean that they need to be adjusted or aren’t properly fitted. But those noises are most likely coming from inside your ears if you don’t use hearing aids.
This doesn’t mean you need to panic. Your ears have a lot more happening inside than what they appear to be on the outside. You may hear some of these prevalent tinnitus noises and here are some signs of what they might be telling you about your hearing. The majority of these noises are temporary and harmless but if you have tinnitus sounds that cause pain or are chronic you should schedule a consultation with us.
What’s causing the snap, crackle, and pop in my ear?
We can tell you one thing, it isn’t 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 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.
If you have an excess of mucus in these passages, frequently as a result of allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, they can become clogged and the ordinarily automatic process will become interrupted. There could be situations where a surgical procedure is called for in more serious 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 in some cases a telltale sign of tinnitus. The word tinnitus relates to a disorder where noises are heard in the ears but those sounds don’t originate in the outside world. Most individuals will refer to it as a ringing in the ears and it occurs across the spectrum, from barely noticeable to debilitating.
Is tinnitus triggering this ringing in my ears?
There are also numerous reasons why you may hear these sounds if you use hearing aids: your batteries might be running low, you need to adjust the volume, or perhaps your hearing aids aren’t fitting right in your ear. But these noises can also be produced 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 produce sounds. Your eardrum can be impeded if wax is pressing against it and that can create these sounds.
And yes, significant, persistent buzzing or ringing is indicative of tinnitus. Even buzzing from excessive earwax counts as a form of tinnitus. Keep in mind that tinnitus isn’t itself a disorder or disease, alternatively, it’s a symptom of something else happening with your health. Your tinnitus might be caused by simple earwax accumulation but it can also be connected to more severe problems like 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 are the weird rumblings i’m hearing?
This next symptom is less prevalent than others, and if you’re hearing it, you’re the one causing the sound. Sometimes, if you have a really big yawn, you will hear a low rumble in your ears. Your body is attempting to dampen sounds you make and the rumbling is your ears contracting little muscles in order to accomplish that. Some of these sounds include your own voice, chewing, and yawning.
These sounds happen so frequently, and are so near to your ears, without these muscles your ears can be damaged. One of these muscles, known as the tensor tympani can, in very rare cases, be purposely controlled to produce this rumbling. In other cases, a condition called tonic tensor tympani syndrome (TTTS) will cause individuals to suffer from tensor tympani muscle spasms. Studies have shown that TTTS occurs often in individuals who have tinnitus and those dealing with hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to specific sound volumes and frequencies.
What about a fluttering sound?
Have you ever felt a flutter in your legs or arms after a workout? Muscle spasms cause those flutters just like the ones in your ears. Middle ear myoclonus, also known as MEM tinnitus, is a condition that affects the aforementioned 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 disorder. If medications aren’t helpful, inner ear surgery can have varying degrees of success.
I hear a thumping or pulsing in my ears
You’re probably not off base if you think you can hear your own pulse or heartbeat inside your ears. Some of the body’s largest veins run very close to your ears, and if your heart rate is high – whether from a tough workout, big job interview, or a medical disorder like high blood pressure – your ears will pick up the sound of your pulse.
Most forms of tinnitus can’t be heard by others but that isn’t the case with pulsatile tinnitus. Pulsatile tinnitus isn’t hard for us to diagnose since we can listen in on your ears and hear the thumping and pulsing too. If your heart is racing, it’s not abnormal to hear your own heartbeat, but if you’re hearing this thumping at other times that’s not normal.
It’s a good idea to come see us if you’re hearing this pulsing on a daily basis. If it continues, pulsatile tinnitus could be an indication of high blood pressure or other health concerns. It’s important 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 return to normal when your heart rate goes back to normal.
Why does my ear keep clicking?
As noted above, the Eustachian tube helps keep the pressure equal in your ears. If you have a muscle spasm in the muscles that are close to the Eustachian tube, like for example in the roof of your mouth, it can trigger a repeated clicking sound. Clicking can also happen when you swallow for the same reasons. What you’re hearing, is the Eustachian tube opening and closing. Some people describe hearing a clicking sound when their head drains of mucus. In some rare instances, persistent clicking could be a sign 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. If your ears are popping, it might be a symptom of severe infection. If you are dealing with any other symptoms, like pain in the ear, abrupt hearing loss, or fever, you need to schedule a consultation immediately. 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? Make an appointment for a consultation with us to find out about treatments available to you.