Do you hear a crackling sound? Buzzing, crackling, “static”, or whooshing noises in your ear can all be signs of a condition known as tinnitus. Here’s what you should know.
Ever hear crackling, buzzing, or thumping sounds that seem to come out of nowhere? If you use hearing aids, it may mean that they need to be adjusted or aren’t correctly fitted. But those noises are probably coming from inside of your ears if you don’t use hearing aids.
This doesn’t mean you should panic. Even though we mostly view our ears with respect to what we see externally, there’s more than meets the eye – or in this instance, the ear. You may hear some of these common tinnitus noises and here are some indications of what they may be telling you about your hearing. The majority of these sounds are temporary and innocuous but if you have tinnitus noises 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 causing it
We can tell you one thing, it isn’t the Rice Krispies. When the pressure in your ears changes, whether from altitude, going underwater, or just yawning, you might hear popping or crackling noises. These sounds 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 as a result of allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, they can get clogged and the ordinarily automatic process will become disrupted. In extreme cases where chicken noodle soup, decongestants, or antibiotics don’t provide relief, a blockage could call for surgical intervention. If you’re suffering from 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 does that mean?
In some cases, vibrations in the ear are an obvious symptom of tinnitus. Technically, tinnitus is the medical term for when a person hears unusual noises, such as vibrations, in their ears that don’t originate from any external sources. Most people will refer to it as a ringing in the ears and it occurs across the spectrum, from barely there to debilitating.
Is the ringing and buzzing in my ear tinnitus?
Once again, if you wear hearing aids, you may hear these kinds of sounds for numerous reasons: the hearing aids aren’t sitting securely within your ears, the volume is too high, or your batteries are getting low. But if you don’t use hearing aids and you’re hearing this kind of noise, it could also be due to excess earwax.
It makes sense that too much wax could make it difficult to hear and cause itchiness or even inner ear infections, but how could earwax produce a sound? Your eardrum can be inhibited if wax is pressing against it and that can create these sounds.
And yes, significant, chronic buzzing or ringing is indicative of tinnitus. And the noises generated by earwax are actually a kind of tinnitus. Tinnitus itself is typically a symptom of something else going on with your health and isn’t itself a disease or disorder. Your tinnitus may be triggered by simple earwax accumulation but it can also be linked to more severe problems such as depression and anxiety. Let us help you diagnose and get some relief for your tinnitus symptoms by helping you determine what the root health condition might be.
What are the peculiar rumblings i’m hearing?
This particular symptom is self-produced. In some cases, 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 do that. Some of these sounds include your own voice, chewing, and yawning.
Those sounds manifest so near to your ears and so frequently that the noise level would be harmful without these muscles. In very rare cases, some people can control one of these muscles, the tensor tympani, and produce that rumble on cue. In other circumstances, individuals suffer from tympani muscle spasms caused by tonic tensor tympani syndrome, or TTTS. Studies have shown that TTTS occurs frequently in individuals with tinnitus and those suffering from hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to particular sound volumes and frequencies.
What causes a fluttering sound in my ear?
Have you ever felt a flutter in your legs or arms after a workout? Muscle spasms are the cause of those flutters exactly like the ones in your ears. MEM tinnitus, or middle ear myoclonus, impacts the stapedius muscle and the tympani tensor muscles of the middle ear. Usually, this condition is initially managed using muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants, since it’s a muscle disorder. Inner ear surgery to eliminate the condition is an alternative if the medications don’t work, but results vary from procedure to procedure.
I hear a pumping or pulsing in my ears
If you occasionally feel like you’re hearing your heartbeat pulsing inside your ears, you’re most likely right. 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 disorder like high blood pressure – your ears will tune in to the sound of your pulse.
This is known as pulsatile tinnitus, and in contrast to other types 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 pumping and pulsing as well. While it’s totally normal to experience pulsatile tinnitus when your heart’s racing, it should not be something you have to live with every day.
If you do experience this pumping or pulsing daily, it’s probably a smart move to come in and see us. Like other forms of tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus is a symptom of another ailment rather than a disease, so it may indicate a health problem, such as high blood pressure, if it continues. It’s important to tell us about your heart health history as pulsatile tinnitus can point to a heart condition. But if you just had a hard workout (or a good scare), you should stop hearing the pulsing or thumping as soon as your heart rate goes back 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 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 take place when you swallow for the same reasons. This is a result of the opening and closing of the eustachian tubes. A clicking can sometimes be heard when mucus drains from the head. In some rare instances, persistent clicking could be a sign of a fracture in one of the fragile bones in your ear.
Is ear popping an indication of infection?
Ear infections sometimes cause swelling which can cause your ears to pop. Popping in your ear can be an indication of a severe infection. You need to make an appointment with us as soon as possible if you have any other symptoms, like ear pain, abrupt loss of hearing, or fever. Sometimes, your ears will pop in the days following an infection or cold as your head clears of mucus.
Can I stop this crackling in my ears?
Do you hear a crackling in your ear and suspect you have tinnitus? Come in and see us and we can help you determine what treatments are best for your situation.