Do you hear a crackling noise? Buzzing, crackling, “static”, or whooshing sounds in your ear can all be signs of a condition known as tinnitus. Here’s some info.
Ever hear crackling, buzzing, or thumping sounds that seem to come from 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 of your ears if you don’t have hearing aids.
Don’t fret there’s no need to stress. Even though we typically view our ears in terms of what we see on the outside, there’s more than meets the eye – or in this case, the ear. Here are some of the more common sounds you may hear inside your ears, and what they may suggest is happening. Though most are harmless (and temporary), it’s a good plan to see us if any of these noises are persistent, painful, or are otherwise diminishing 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 inside of your ears changes, whether from altitude, going underwater, or just yawning, you may hear popping or crackling noises. These sounds are caused by a small part of your ear called the eustachian tube. 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 inside of these passages, frequently as a result of allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, they can get clogged and the ordinarily automatic process will become disrupted. There might be situations where a surgery is required in more serious cases where decongestant sprays, chicken noodle soup, or antibiotics don’t help. You should schedule an appointment with us if you can’t find 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 telling sign of tinnitus. Technically, tinnitus is the medical name for when a person hears unusual noises, like vibrations, in their ears that don’t originate from any outside sources. The intensity level of the sound can range from very quiet to deafening and most people will refer to it as ringing in the ears.
Is the buzzing and ringing in my ear tinnitus?
There are also numerous 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 running low. But these noises can also be caused by too much earwax.
Accumulated earwax is well known to cause itchiness and to make it harder to hear, as well as the potential of an ear infection, but how can it generate sounds. Your eardrum can be impeded if wax is pressing against it and that can create these sounds.
Chronic buzzing or ringing is an indication that you are coping with tinnitus. And the noises produced by earwax are actually a form of tinnitus. Keep in mind that tinnitus isn’t itself a disorder or disease, rather, it’s a symptom of something else going on with your health. While it could be as simple as wax buildup, tinnitus is also related to conditions such as anxiety and depression. Let us help you diagnose and find some relief for your tinnitus symptoms by helping you discover what the root health condition might be.
What’s causing rumbling in my ears?
This next symptom is less prevalent than others, and if you’re hearing it, you’re the one causing the sound. Sometimes, you will hear a low rumbling when you yawn. 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 occur so often, and are so close to your ears, without these muscles your ears can be damaged. In very rare situations, some individuals can control one of these muscles, the tensor tympani, and produce that rumble at will. In other cases, a condition called tonic tensor tympani syndrome (TTTS) will cause individuals to suffer from tensor tympani muscle spasms. People suffering from tinnitus or hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to specific frequencies of sound, frequently experience TTTS.
What about a fluttering sound?
After you exercise, have you ever felt a flutter in your arms and legs. Those flutters are normally the result of a muscle spasm, and it’s the same as the fluttering you hear in your ears. Middle ear myoclonus, also called MEM tinnitus, is a condition that affects the above mentioned tensor tympani muscle and the stapedius muscle in your middle ear. Usually, this condition is initially managed using muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants, since it’s a muscle disorder. Inner ear surgery to correct the condition is an option if the medications don’t work, but results vary from procedure to procedure.
Why are my ears drumming, pumping, and pulsing so much?
If you sometimes feel like you’re hearing your heartbeat thump in 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 most likely hear your own pulse.
This is called pulsatile tinnitus, and unlike other types of tinnitus, it’s one that other people can hear. 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 pounding, it’s not abnormal 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 good idea to come in for a consultation. If it persists, pulsatile tinnitus might 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 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 returns to normal.
What’s this clicking sound?
The pressure in your ears is kept in balance, as previously stated, by the eustachian tubes. Repeated clicking can often 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 similar 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 an indication of a fracture in one of the little bones in your ear.
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 symptom of severe infection. You need to make an appointment with us as soon as possible if you have any other symptoms, including ear pain, sudden hearing loss, 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? Come in and consult with us and we can help you learn what treatments are best for your situation.