Do you hear a crackling sound? Buzzing, crackling, “static”, or whooshing sounds in your ear can all be indications of a condition known as tinnitus. 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 sounds are probably coming from inside your ears if you don’t have hearing aids.
Don’t fret there’s no need to panic. Your ears have much more going on inside than what they appear to be on the outside. You may hear some of these common tinnitus sounds and here are some signs of what they may be telling you about your hearing. Most of these noises are short-term and innocuous but if you have tinnitus noises that are painful or are persistent you should schedule a consultation with us.
What’s the cause of the snap, crackle, and pop in I’m hearing?
We can tell you one thing, it’s not the Rice Krispies. When the pressure inside of your ears changes, whether from going underwater, altitude, or just yawning, you might hear crackling or popping sounds. The eustachian tube, which is a small tube in your ear, is the cause of these sounds. The crackling occurs when these mucus-lined passageways open up, letting fluid circulate and equalize the pressure in your ears.
If you have too much mucus in these passages, frequently due to a cold, allergies, or an ear infection, they can become gummed-up and the ordinarily automatic process will become disrupted. There could be situations where a surgery is called for in more severe cases where decongestant sprays, 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 does that mean?
Vibrations in the ear are in some cases a telling sign of tinnitus. The term tinnitus refers to a disorder where sounds are heard in the ears but those noises don’t originate in the outside world. The intensity of the sound can range from extremely quiet to earsplitting and most people will refer to it as ringing in the ears.
Is tinnitus triggering this ringing in my ears?
There are also numerous reasons why you might hear these sounds if you use hearing aids: the hearing aids aren’t sitting securely within your ears, the volume is too high, or your batteries are getting low. But these sounds can also be caused by an excessive amount of 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 make a sound? If it’s touching your eardrum, it can actually restrict the eardrum’s ability to function, which is what causes the buzzing or ringing.
Ongoing buzzing or ringing is an indication that you are coping with tinnitus. And the noises generated by earwax are actually a kind of tinnitus. Tinnitus itself is commonly a symptom of something else going on 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 issues like depression and anxiety. Diagnosing and treating the underlying health problem can help alleviate tinnitus, so you should consult with us to learn more about ways to decrease your symptoms.
What’s causing rumbling in my ears?
This specific 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 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 near to your ears, without these muscles your ears can be damaged. One of these muscles, known as the tensor tympani can, in very rare situations, be purposely controlled to generate this rumbling. In other cases, individuals suffer from tympani muscle spasms caused by tonic tensor tympani syndrome, or TTTS. People suffering from tinnitus or hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to certain wavelengths of sound, frequently experience TTTS.
What about a fluttering sound?
After you workout, have you ever felt a flutter in your legs and arms. Those flutters are normally 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. Usually, this condition is initially controlled using muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants, since it’s a muscle disorder. Inner ear surgery to correct the condition is an alternative if the medications aren’t working, but success varies from procedure to procedure.
Why are my ears drumming, pumping, and pulsing so much?
If you sometimes feel like you’re hearing your heartbeat thump in your ears, you’re probably right. Your ears are very close to some major veins and arteries and if you just worked out, have high blood pressure, or are very nervous you will probably hear your own pulse.
This is called pulsatile tinnitus, and unlike other types of tinnitus, it’s one that others can hear. If you come in for a consultation, we can listen in on your ears and we will be able to hear the thumping of your pulsitile tinnitus. While it’s completely normal to experience pulsatile tinnitus when your heart’s racing, it shouldn’t be something you need to live with on a daily basis.
If you do experience this pumping or pulsing daily, it’s probably a good idea to come in and see us. Like other kinds of tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus is a symptom of another ailment rather than a disease, so it might indicate a health problem, such as high blood pressure, if it persists. It’s important to tell us about your heart health history as pulsitile tinnitus can point to a heart condition. But after a good scare or workout, your hearing should go back to normal when 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. 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. For a similar reason, you might hear clicking when you swallow. This is due to the opening and closing of the eustachian tubes. A clicking can occasionally be heard when mucus empties from the head. A clicking can, in rare cases indicate a fracture of one of the small bones of the ears.
Is ear popping a sign of infection?
Ear infections sometimes produce swelling which can cause your ears to pop. If your ears are popping, it could be a sign of severe infection. You need to schedule an appointment with us right away if you have any other symptoms, like ear pain, abrupt hearing loss, or fever. Sometimes, after an infection, as your head clears of mucus, your ears will pop.
How can I stop my ears from crackling?
Do you suspect that the crackling noise in your ears is tinnitus? Come in and see us and we can help you learn what treatments are best for your situation.