Do you hear a crackling noise? Buzzing, crackling, “static”, or whooshing noises in your ear can all be indications of a condition known as tinnitus. Here’s some info.
Do you hear phantom sounds such as thumping, ringing, or buzzing in your ears? If this is occurring with hearing aids, it may mean you need to come in and get an adjustment. But if you don’t use hearing aids, those noises might just be coming from inside of your ear.
This doesn’t mean you should panic. Even though we mostly think of our ears in terms of 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 sounds and here are some indications of what they might be telling you about your hearing. Though most are harmless (and short-term), it’s a good idea to see us if any of these noises are persistent, cause pain, or are otherwise diminishing your quality of life.
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 in your ears changes, whether from altitude, going underwater, or just yawning, you could hear crackling or popping noises. These noises are caused by a tiny part of your ear called 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 too much mucus inside of these passages, often as a result of allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, they can get clogged and the ordinarily automatic process will get interrupted. In serious cases where decongestant sprays, chicken soup, or antibiotics don’t give relief, a blockage could require surgery. If you’re experiencing persistent ear pain or pressure and haven’t been able to find any relief, you should schedule an appointment with us to get diagnosed.
I’m hearing vibrations in my ear – what does that mean?
Vibrations in the ear are sometimes a telling sign of tinnitus. Technically speaking, tinnitus is the medical name for when someone hears abnormal noises, such as vibrations, in their ears that don’t originate from any outside sources. The intensity of the sound can range from extremely quiet to earsplitting and most individuals will refer to it as ringing in the ears.
Is the ringing and buzzing in my ear tinnitus?
Once again, if you wear hearing aids, you may hear these types of sounds for a number of reasons: your batteries might be running low, you need a volume adjustment, or perhaps your hearing aids aren’t fitting right in your ear. But if you don’t have hearing aids and you’re hearing this type of sound, it could also be due to excess earwax.
Excess earwax is well known to cause itchiness and to make it harder to hear, as well as the possibility of an ear infection, but how can it create sounds. Your eardrum can be impeded if wax is pressing against it and that can create these sounds.
Ongoing buzzing or ringing is an indication that you are coping with tinnitus. Even ringing from excessive earwax counts as a kind of tinnitus. Keep in mind that tinnitus isn’t itself a disorder or disease, rather, it’s a symptom of something else happening with your health. Your tinnitus may be triggered by simple earwax accumulation but it can also be associated with more severe problems like depression and anxiety. Let us help you diagnose and find some relief for your tinnitus symptoms by helping you determine what the root health condition might be.
What are the weird rumblings in my ear?
This next symptom is less common than others, and if you’re hearing it, you’re the one making the sound happen. Occasionally, if you have a really big yawn, you will hear a low rumble in your ears. Your body is trying to dampen sounds you make and the rumbling is your ears contracting little muscles in order to accomplish that. Some of these sounds include your own voice, chewing, and yawning.
These sounds happen so frequently, and are so near to your ears, without these muscles your ears could be damaged. In extremely rare cases, some individuals can control one of these muscles, the tensor tympani, and generate that rumble at will. In other cases, people suffer from tympani muscle spasms caused by tonic tensor tympani syndrome, or TTTS. People dealing with tinnitus or hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to certain wavelengths of sound, commonly experience TTTS.
What about a fluttering sound?
Have you ever felt a flutter in your legs or arms after a workout? Those flutters are typically 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 option if the medications don’t work, but results vary from procedure to procedure.
Why are my ears drumming, pumping, and pulsing so much?
You’re probably not off base if you think you hear your own pulse or heartbeat in your ears. Your ears are very close to some major veins and arteries and if you just worked out, have high blood pressure, or are very anxious you will probably hear your own heartbeat.
Most types of tinnitus can’t be heard by others but that’s not the situation with pulsatile tinnitus. 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. 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 thumping or pulsing every day, it’s probably a smart move to come in and see us. If it continues, pulsatile tinnitus could be an indication of high blood pressure or other health concerns. It’s essential to tell us about your heart health history as pulsatile tinnitus can indicate a heart condition. But if you just had a good workout (or a good scare), you should stop hearing the pulsing or pumping as soon as your heart rate goes back to normal.
What’s this clicking sound?
As noted above, the Eustachian tube helps keep equal pressure in your ears. If you have a muscle spasm in the muscles that are close to the Eustachian tube, like for instance in the roof of your mouth, it can cause a repeated clicking sound. Clicking can also occur when you swallow for the same reasons. What you’re hearing, is the Eustachian tube opening and closing. A clicking can sometimes be heard when mucus empties from the head. A clicking can, in rare cases point to a fracture of one of the small bones of the ears.
Does it mean I’m dealing with an infection if my ears are popping?
Sometimes, an ear infection produces the feeling that your ears are clogged and the inflammation can make your ears pop. Popping in your ear can be an indication of an acute infection. If you have any other symptoms, such as ear pain, sudden hearing loss, or fever, you should schedule a consultation immediately. 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 suspect that the crackling noise in your ears is tinnitus? Come in and consult with us and we can help you determine what treatments are best for your situation.