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 what you should know.
Ever hear crackling, buzzing, or thumping sounds that seem to come from nowhere? If this is happening with hearing aids, it could mean you need to come in and get an adjustment. But those noises are probably coming from inside of your ears if you don’t use hearing aids.
Don’t worry there’s no need to stress. Your ears have much more happening inside than what they appear to be on the outside. Here are a few of the more common sounds you might hear inside of your ears, and what they may suggest is happening. The majority of these noises are temporary and harmless but if you have tinnitus sounds that are painful or are persistent you should get a consultation with us.
There’s a snap, crackle, and pop in my ears but what’s the cause?
We can tell you one thing, it’s not the Rice Krispies. You may hear crackling or popping 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 called the eustachian tube. The crackling occurs when these mucus-lined passageways open, allowing air and fluid to circulate and equalize the pressure in your ears.
It’s an automatic process, but occasionally, like if you are dealing with inflammation from allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, your eustachian tubes can literally get gummed up from the overabundance of mucus in your system (don’t forget, your ears, nose, and throat are all connected). There might be situations where a surgery is required in more serious cases where decongestants, chicken noodle soup, or antibiotics don’t do the trick. You should schedule an appointment with us if you can’t get any relief from the nagging ear pain and pressure.
What does it mean when I hear vibrations in my ear?
Sometimes, vibrations in the ear are an obvious sign of tinnitus. The word tinnitus refers to a condition 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 manifests across the spectrum, from barely noticeable to unbearable.
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 may be running low, you need a volume adjustment, or maybe your hearing aids aren’t fitting properly in your ear. But these noises can also be caused by too much earwax.
It seems logical that too much wax could make it tough to hear and cause itchiness or even inner ear infections, but how can earwax produce a sound? Your eardrum can be inhibited if wax is pressing against it and that can produce these sounds.
Persistent buzzing or ringing is a sign that you are coping with tinnitus. And the noises generated by earwax are actually 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. While it could be as basic as wax accumulation, tinnitus is also linked with conditions like 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 may be.
What are the peculiar rumblings in my ear?
This next symptom is less common than others, and if you’re hearing it, you’re the one causing the sound. Sometimes, you can 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 occur so frequently, and are so near to your ears, without these muscles your ears can be damaged. In extremely rare situations, some individuals can control one of these muscles, the tensor tympani, and produce that rumble at will. In other cases, individuals 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 wavelengths of sound, commonly experience TTTS.
What about a fluttering sound?
Have you ever felt a flutter in your arms or legs after a workout? Those flutters are normally 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, impacts the stapedius muscle and the tympani tensor muscles of the middle ear. Since this is a muscle condition, 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?
If you occasionally feel like you’re hearing your heartbeat pulsing inside your ears, you’re most likely right. Your ears are really close to some major veins and arteries and if you just did a hard workout, have high blood pressure, or are very anxious you will most likely hear your own heartbeat.
This is called pulsatile tinnitus, and unlike other forms of tinnitus, it’s one that other people can hear. Pulsatile tinnitus isn’t hard for us to diagnose since we can listen in on your ears and hear the thumping and pulsing as well. If your heart is racing, it’s not unusual to hear your own heartbeat, but if you’re hearing this thumping at other times that’s not normal.
If you do experience this pumping or pulsing every day, it’s probably a smart move to come in and see us. If it persists, pulsitile tinnitus might be an indication of high blood pressure or other health conditions. In some cases, pulsatile tinnitus is the result of a heart condition, so it’s important to talk about your heart with us. But after a good scare or hard workout, your hearing should return to normal when your heart rate returns to normal.
What’s this clicking sound?
As mentioned above, the Eustachian tube helps keep the pressure equal in your ears. If you get a muscle spasm in the muscles that surround the Eustachian tube, like for instance in the roof of your mouth, it can cause a repeated clicking noise. For the same reason, you may hear clicking when you swallow. What you’re hearing, is the Eustachian tube opening and closing. A clicking can occasionally be heard when mucus drains from the head. A clicking can, in rare cases point to a fracture of one of the fragile bones of the ears.
Does it mean I have an infection if my ears are popping?
Sometimes, an ear infection creates the feeling that your ears are clogged and the inflammation can make your ears pop. If your ears are popping, it could be a symptom of severe infection. You should make an appointment with us as soon as possible if you have any other symptoms, like ear pain, abrupt 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?
Are you hearing a crackling in your ear and think you may have tinnitus? Come in and see us and we can help you determine what treatments are best for your situation.