Do you hear a crackling noise? A condition known as 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 sounds that seem to come out of nowhere? If this is occurring with hearing aids, it could mean you need to come in and get an adjustment. But those noises are most likely coming from inside your ears if you don’t use hearing aids.
Don’t worry there’s no need to panic. Your ears have a lot more going on inside than what they appear to be externally. You might hear some of these prevalent tinnitus noises and here are some signs of what they may be telling you about your hearing. Though the majority are harmless (and short-term), it’s a good plan to see us if any of these noises are chronic, painful, or are otherwise diminishing your quality of life.
There’s a snap, crackle, and pop in my ears but what’s the cause?
It isn’t Rice Krispies, that’s for sure. When the pressure inside of your ears changes, whether from going underwater, altitude, or just yawning, you could hear popping or crackling noises. These noises are caused by a tiny part of your ear known as 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 in these passages, frequently due to allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, they can get clogged and the normally automatic process will get disrupted. There could be situations where a surgical procedure is called for in more severe 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.
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 word tinnitus relates to a disorder where sounds are heard in the ears but those noises don’t originate in the outside world. Most people will refer to it as a ringing in the ears and it occurs across the spectrum, from barely noticeable to unbearable.
Is the ringing and buzzing in my ear tinnitus?
There are also numerous reasons why you may hear these sounds if you use hearing aids: your batteries might be getting low, you need to adjust the volume, or perhaps your hearing aids aren’t fitting right in your ear. But these noises can also be caused by an excessive amount of earwax.
Accumulated earwax is well known to create itchiness and to make it more difficult to hear, as well as the potential of an ear infection, but how can it produce sounds. If it is pressing against your eardrum, it can actually inhibit the eardrum’s ability to function, which is what triggers the buzzing or ringing.
And yes, significant, persistent buzzing or ringing is indicative of tinnitus. And the sounds produced by earwax are actually a kind of tinnitus. Tinnitus itself is usually a symptom of something else going on with your health and isn’t itself a disease or disorder. Your tinnitus might be triggered by simple earwax build up but it can also be linked to more severe issues such as anxiety and depression. Let us help you diagnose and get some relief for your tinnitus symptoms by helping you discover what the underlying health condition may be.
What’s causing my ears to rumble?
This next symptom is less prevalent than others, and if you’re hearing it, you’re the one causing the sound. In some cases, you can hear a low rumble when you yawn. That rumble is the sound of tiny muscles inside of your ears tensing in order to dampen sounds you make. Some of these sounds include your own voice, chewing, and yawning.
Those sounds occur so close to your ears and so frequently that the level of noise would be damaging without these muscles. In extremely rare cases, some people can control one of these muscles, the tensor tympani, and generate that rumble on cue. In other circumstances, a condition known as tonic tensor tympani syndrome (TTTS) will cause individuals to suffer from tensor tympani muscle spasms. Individuals dealing with tinnitus or hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to specific wavelengths of sound, frequently experience TTTS.
What about a fluttering sound?
After you exercise, have you ever felt a flutter in your legs and arms. Those flutters are usually caused by a muscle spasm, and it’s no different from 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 commonly used as an initial treatment to control the fluttering. If medications aren’t helpful, 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 up – 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 called pulsatile tinnitus, and unlike other forms of tinnitus, it’s one that others 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 racing, it’s not abnormal to hear your own pulse, but if you’re hearing this pumping at other times that isn’t 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, pulsatile tinnitus might be an indication of high blood pressure or other health conditions. It’s essential to tell us about your heart health history as pulsatile tinnitus can indicate a heart condition. But after a good scare or workout, your hearing should return to normal when your heart rate goes back to normal.
Why does my ear keep clicking?
As noted above, the Eustachian tube helps keep the pressure equal in your ears. If you get a muscle spasm in the muscles that are close to the Eustachian tube, like for instance in the roof of your mouth, it can trigger a repeated clicking noise. Clicking can also happen when you swallow for similar reasons. What you’re hearing, is the Eustachian tube opening and closing. Some individuals describe hearing a clicking sound when their head drains of mucus. In some rare cases, chronic clicking could be a sign of a fracture in one of the little bones in your ear.
Is ear popping an indication of infection?
Sometimes, an ear infection produces the feeling that your ears are clogged and the swelling can make your ears pop. If your ears are popping, it may be a sign of severe infection. If you are dealing with any other symptoms, such as ear pain, sudden hearing loss, or fever, you should schedule a consultation immediately. Sometimes, your ears will pop in the days following an infection or cold as your head clears of mucus.
How can I stop my ears from crackling?
Do you believe that the crackling sound in your ears is tinnitus? Come in and consult with us and we can help you learn what treatments are best for your situation.