Call or Text Us! 918-347-1097
Gilberts Audiology & Hearing Aid Center - Oklahoma

Man plugging ear with index finger because he suffers from tinnitus


Crackling in your ear? A condition known as tinnitus can cause you to hear buzzing, crackling, whooshing, or other sounds in your ears. Here’s some info.

Ever hear crackling, buzzing, or thumping sounds that seem to come from nowhere? If this is occurring with hearing aids, it may mean you need to come in and get an adjustment. But if you don’t use hearing aids, those sounds might just be coming from inside your ear.

Don’t worry there’s no need to stress. Even though we typically think of our ears with respect to what we see externally, there’s more than meets the eye – or in this case, the ear. You might hear some of these common tinnitus sounds and here are some signs of what they may be telling you about your hearing. Though most are harmless (and short-term), it’s a smart idea to see us if any of these noises are chronic, cause pain, or are otherwise impeding your quality of life.

What’s the cause of the snap, crackle, and pop in I’m hearing?

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

If you have too much mucus in these passages, often due to allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, they can get gummed-up and the ordinarily automatic process will get disrupted. In extreme situations where chicken noodle soup, decongestants, or antibiotics don’t give relief, a blockage could call for surgical intervention. If you’re enduring chronic ear pain or pressure and haven’t been able to find any relief, you should make an appointment with us to get diagnosed.

I’m hearing vibrations in my ear – what could that mean?

Sometimes, vibrations in the ear are an obvious sign of tinnitus. Technically speaking, tinnitus is the medical term for when somebody hears abnormal noises, such as vibrations, in their ears that don’t originate from any outside sources. Most people will refer to it as a ringing in the ears and it occurs across the spectrum, from barely there to unbearable.

Is the ringing and buzzing in my ear tinnitus?

Again, if you use hearing aids, you may hear these kinds of sounds for a number of reasons: the hearing aids aren’t sitting properly within your ears, the volume is too loud, or your batteries are getting low. But if you don’t use hearing aids and you’re hearing this type of noise, it could also be the result of accumulated earwax.

It seems logical that excessive wax could make it difficult to hear and cause itchiness or even inner ear infections, but how can earwax make a sound? Your eardrum can be restricted if wax is pressing against it and that can produce these sounds.

Chronic buzzing or ringing is a sign that you are dealing with tinnitus. And the sounds generated by earwax are actually a type 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 associated with more severe problems like depression and anxiety. Diagnosing and treating the root health problem can help alleviate tinnitus, so you should contact us to find out more about ways to minimize your symptoms.

What are the strange rumblings in my ear?

This particular symptom is self-created. Sometimes, you will hear a low rumble when you yawn. Your body is trying to dampen sounds you make and the rumbling is your ears tensing little muscles in order to do that. Some of these sounds include your own voice, chewing, and yawning.

These sounds happen so often, and are so close to your ears, without these muscles your ears can be damaged. One of these muscles, known as the tensor tympani can, in extremely unusual cases, be purposely controlled to produce this rumbling. In other cases, individuals suffer from tympani muscle spasms caused by tonic tensor tympani syndrome, or TTTS. People dealing with tinnitus or hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to specific wavelengths of sound, commonly experience TTTS.

What causes a fluttering sound in my ear?

Have you ever felt a flutter in your legs or arms after a workout? Those flutters are usually 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 impacts the above mentioned tensor tympani muscle and the stapedius muscle in your middle ear. Usually, this condition is initially controlled using muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants, since it’s a muscle condition. Inner ear surgery to eliminate the condition is an option if the medications aren’t working, but success varies from procedure to procedure.

Why are my ears drumming, thumping, and pulsing so much?

If you sometimes 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 anxious you will most likely hear your own heartbeat.

Most types of tinnitus can’t be heard by others but that’s not the case with pulsatile tinnitus. Pulsatile tinnitus is easy for us to diagnose since 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 should not be something you need to live with every day.

It’s a smart idea to come in for a consultation if you’re hearing this pulsing on a daily basis. If it persists, pulsatile tinnitus might be an indication of high blood pressure or other health concerns. It’s essential to tell us about your heart health history as pulsatile tinnitus can point to a heart condition. 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 goes back to normal.

Why does my ear keep clicking?

As stated above, the Eustachian tube helps keep equal pressure in your ears. 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). For the same reason, you might hear clicking when you swallow. This is due to the opening and closing of the eustachian tubes. Some people report hearing a clicking sound when their head drains of mucus. A clicking can, in rare cases point to a fracture of one of the fragile bones of the ears.

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

Sometimes, an ear infection creates the feeling that your ears are full and the inflammation can cause your ears to pop. Popping in your ear can be an indication of an acute infection. If you are dealing with any other symptoms, like ear pain, sudden hearing loss, or fever, you should schedule a consultation right away. Sometimes, your ears will pop after an infection or cold as your head drains of mucus.

Can I stop this crackling in my ears?

Do you believe that the crackling sound in your ears is tinnitus? Set up 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.
Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today