What’s The Cause of That Crackling Noise in my Ear?


Crackling in your ear? Buzzing, crackling, “static” or whooshing sounds in your ear can all be indications of a disorder known as tinnitus. Here is what you should know.

Do you ever hear crackling, thumping, and buzzing noises that seem to come from nowhere? In the case of someone who has hearing aids, it may mean they fitting and adjustments. But if you don’t have hearing aids it might be tinnitus.

There’s much more to the ear than what you see on the outside. Here are some of the more common noises you may hear in your ears, and what they could reveal is going on.

What’s Causing The Snap, Crackle, And Pop in My Ear?

It’s not Rice Krispies that’s for sure. It isn’t unusual to hear a popping or crackling sound when there’s a change in pressure in your ear. This can happen because you had a change in altitude, went underwater, or just yawned. A small part of your ear named the eustachian tube is the source of these noises. When these mucus lined passages open up to neutralize the air pressure, fluid, and air circulate causing these noises to manifest.

It’s an automatic process, but sometimes, like if you have congestion from allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, your eustachian tubes can literally get clogged up from an excess of mucus in your system (keep in mind, your ears, nose, and throat or all connected). In extreme cases where decongestant sprays, chicken soup, or antibiotics don’t provide relief, a blockage might call for medical intervention such as surgery.

What Does it Mean When I Hear Vibrations in My Ear?

Sometimes tinnitus manifests as a vibration in the ears. Technically speaking, tinnitus is the scientific term for when somebody hears abnormal sounds, such as vibrations, in their ears that do not come from any outside sources. Most individuals will refer to it as a ringing in the ears and it manifests across the spectrum, from barely there to debilitating.

Is There Anything I Can do?

Once again, if you use hearing aids, you should check those first. You might hear these types of sounds for several reasons: the hearing aids aren’t sitting correctly within your ears, the volume is too high, your hair is rubbing against them, or your batteries need to be charged. But if you don’t have hearing aids and you’re hearing this type of sound, it might also be the result of accumulated earwax.

It seems logical that too much wax could make it difficult to hear and cause irritation or even inner ear infections, but how can earwax cause a noise? If it is pushing against your eardrum, it can actually hinder the eardrum’s ability to function, which is what causes the buzzing or ringing. Fortunately, dealing with earwax is usually pretty straightforward.

Reach out to us if you have unusual sounds in your ears. If your hearing aids aren’t functioning properly we can help with that.

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.

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