HEARING TIPS

Man plugging ear with index finger because he suffers from tinnitus


Crackling in your ear? A condition called tinnitus can cause you to hear buzzing, crackling, whooshing, or other noises in your ears. Here’s what you need to know.

Do you hear phantom noises like thumping, buzzing, or ringing in your ears? If you use hearing aids, it can mean that they need adjustment or aren’t correctly fitted. But if you don’t use hearing aids, those sounds might just be coming from inside of your ear.

Don’t worry there’s no need to panic. Your ears have much more happening inside than what they appear to be on the outside. You might hear some of these prevalent tinnitus sounds and here are some indications of what they may be telling you about your hearing. Most of these noises are short-term and innocuous but if you have tinnitus sounds that cause pain or are persistent you should schedule a consultation with us.

What’s causing the snap, crackle, and pop in I’m hearing?

It isn’t Rice Krispies, that’s for sure. You could hear crackling or popping when you have a pressure change, whether from going underwater, a change in altitude, or just yawning. The eustachian tube, which is a tiny tube in your ear, is the cause of these sounds. The crackling happens when these mucus-lined passageways open, allowing air and fluid to circulate and equalize the pressure inside your ears.

If you have too much mucus inside of these passages, frequently due to allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, they can become gummed-up and the ordinarily automatic process will get disrupted. In extreme cases where decongestant sprays, chicken soup, or antibiotics don’t provide relief, a blockage may require surgical intervention. You should make an appointment with us if you can’t get any relief from the constant ear pain and pressure.

I’m hearing vibrations in my ear – what does that mean?

Vibrations in the ear are in some cases a telltale sign of tinnitus. Technically, tinnitus is the medical term for when someone hears unusual sounds, such as vibrations, in their ears that do not come from any outside sources. The intensity level of the sound can range from really quiet to earsplitting and most individuals will refer to it as ringing in the ears.

Is the buzzing and ringing in my ear tinnitus?

There are also numerous reasons why you may hear these sounds if you use hearing aids: the hearing aids aren’t sitting securely within your ears, the volume is too loud, or your batteries are getting low. But if you don’t use hearing aids and you’re hearing this type of sound, it could also be due to accumulated earwax.

Too much 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 create sounds. Your eardrum can be restricted if wax is pressing against it and that can produce these sounds.

And yes, significant, chronic buzzing or ringing is indicative of tinnitus. Even buzzing from excessive earwax counts as a kind of tinnitus. Bear in mind that tinnitus isn’t itself a disorder or disease, instead, it’s a symptom of something else going on with your health. Your tinnitus might be caused by simple earwax accumulation but it can also be linked to more severe problems like depression and anxiety. Let us help you diagnose and find some relief for your tinnitus symptoms by helping you understand what the underlying health condition might be.

What’s causing rumbling in my ears?

This specific symptom is self-produced. Occasionally, if you have a really big yawn, you can hear a low rumble in your ears. Your body is attempting to soften 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 close to your ears and so often that the level of noise would be damaging without these muscles. One of these muscles, known as the tensor tympani can, in very rare situations, be intentionally controlled to produce this rumbling. In other cases, individuals suffer from tympani muscle spasms caused by tonic tensor tympani syndrome, or TTTS. Studies have revealed that TTTS happens frequently in individuals with tinnitus and those dealing with hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to particular sound volumes and wavelengths.

What causes a fluttering noise in my ear?

Have you ever felt a flutter in your legs or arms after exercising? 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, impacts 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. Inner ear surgery to eliminate 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 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 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 pulsitile tinnitus. If your heart is racing, it’s not abnormal to hear your own heartbeat, but if you’re hearing this thumping at other times that’s not normal.

If you do experience this thumping or pulsing every day, it’s probably a good idea to come in for a consultation. If it continues, pulsatile tinnitus may be an indication of high blood pressure or other health concerns. It’s important to tell us about your heart health history as pulsatile tinnitus can indicate a heart condition. But if you just had a hard workout (or a good scare), you should stop hearing the pulsing or pumping as soon as your heart rate goes back to normal.

Why does my ear keep clicking?

As mentioned above, the Eustachian tube helps keep equal pressure in your ears. Repeated clicking can frequently be heard when you get muscle spasms in the muscles close to the eustachian tubes (like in the roof of your mouth). Clicking can also take place when you swallow for similar reasons. This is a result of the opening and closing of the eustachian tubes. A clicking can occasionally be heard when mucus drains from the head. A clicking can, in rare instances indicate a fracture of one of the fragile bones of the ears.

Is ear popping a symptom of infection?

Sometimes, an ear infection causes the feeling that your ears are full and the swelling can make your ears pop. Popping in your ear can be a symptom of a severe infection. If you are dealing with any other symptoms, such as ear pain, sudden hearing loss, or fever, you need to schedule a consultation right away. Sometimes, your ears will pop after an infection or cold as your head drains of mucus.

Can I stop this crackling in my ears?

Do you believe that the crackling sound in your ears is tinnitus? Come in and see us and we can help you learn what treatments are best for your situation.

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References

https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uf9680
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24289817/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23571302/

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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