Do you hear a crackling noise? A condition called 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 noises that seem to come from nowhere? If this is occurring with hearing aids, it might mean you need to come in and get an adjustment. But those sounds 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 going on inside than what they appear to be on the outside. Here are some of the more common sounds you might hear inside your ears, and what they may suggest is going on. The majority of these sounds are temporary and harmless but if you have tinnitus noises that are painful or are chronic you should get a consultation with us.
What’s the cause of the snap, crackle, and pop in I’m hearing?
We can tell you one thing, it’s not the Rice Krispies. You could hear popping or crackling when you have a pressure change, whether from going underwater, a change in altitude, or just yawning. These sounds are caused by a small part of your ear called the eustachian tube. The crackling occurs when these mucus-lined passageways open up, letting fluid circulate and equalize the pressure inside your ears.
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 gummed up from the overabundance of mucus in your system (keep in mind, your ears, nose, and throat are all connected). There may be situations where a surgery is called for in more extreme cases where decongestant sprays, chicken noodle soup, or antibiotics don’t help. If you’re experiencing chronic ear pain or pressure and haven’t been able to find any relief, you should make an appointment with us to get a diagnosis.
I’m hearing vibrations in my ear – what could that mean?
Vibrations in the ear are in some cases a telling sign of tinnitus. The term tinnitus refers to a condition where sounds are heard in the ears but those noises don’t originate in the outside world. The intensity of the sound can range from really quiet to deafening and most people will refer to it as ringing in the ears.
Is tinnitus triggering this ringing in my ears?
There are also numerous reasons why you might hear these sounds if you use hearing aids: the hearing aids aren’t sitting properly within your ears, the volume is too high, or your batteries are running low. But these sounds can also be produced by an excessive amount of earwax.
It seems logical 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? If it’s touching your eardrum, it can actually hinder the eardrum’s ability to function, which is what causes the buzzing or ringing.
And yes, significant, chronic buzzing or ringing is indicative of tinnitus. Even ringing from too much 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 going on with your health. While it could be as basic as earwax accumulation, tinnitus is also linked with conditions such as depression and anxiety. Diagnosing and treating the underlying health issue can help relieve tinnitus, so you should consult with us to find out more about ways to reduce your symptoms.
What’s causing my ears to rumble?
This particular symptom is self-produced. Occasionally, 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.
Those sounds occur so near to your ears and so frequently that the level of noise would be harmful without these muscles. One of these muscles, called the tensor tympani can, in very rare situations, be purposely controlled to generate this rumbling. In other circumstances, people suffer from tympani muscle spasms caused by tonic tensor tympani syndrome, or TTTS. Individuals 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?
Have you ever felt a flutter in your legs or arms after exercising? Those flutters are usually the result of 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. Since this is a muscle disorder, muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants are generally used as a first-round treatment to bring the fluttering under control. 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 probably not off base if you think you can hear your own pulse or heartbeat in your ears. Some of the body’s largest veins run really close to your ears, and if your heart rate is high – whether from a hard workout, big job interview, or a medical condition like high blood pressure – your ears will tune in to the sound of your heartbeat.
This is known as pulsatile tinnitus, and in contrast to other forms of tinnitus, it’s one that others can hear. Pulsatile tinnitus is not difficult for us to diagnose since we can listen in on your ears and hear the pumping and pulsing too. If your heart is racing, it’s not unusual to hear your own heartbeat, but if you’re hearing this pumping at other times that isn’t normal.
If you do experience this thumping or pulsing daily, it’s probably a smart move to come in for a consultation. If it persists, pulsatile tinnitus could 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 hard workout (or a good scare), you should stop hearing the pulsing or pumping as soon as your heart rate goes back to normal.
Why does my ear keep clicking?
The pressure inside your ears is balanced, as previously discussed, by the eustachian tubes. Repeated clicking can frequently be heard when you have muscle spasms in the muscles near 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 noise when their head drains of mucus. A clicking can, in rare cases indicate a fracture of one of the fragile bones of the ears.
Is ear popping a symptom of infection?
Ear infections sometimes produce swelling which can cause your ears to pop. If your ears are popping, it may be a sign of acute infection. You should schedule 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 clears 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? Come in and see us and we can help you learn what treatments are best for your situation.