Do you hear a crackling sound? A condition known as tinnitus can cause you to hear buzzing, crackling, whooshing, or other sounds in your ears. Here’s some info.
Do you hear phantom sounds like thumping, buzzing, or ringing in your ears? If this is happening 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 have hearing aids.
This doesn’t mean you should panic. Your ears have a lot more going on inside than what they appear to be on the outside. You may hear some of these common tinnitus noises and here are some signs of what they may be telling you about your hearing. Most of these noises are temporary and innocuous but if you have tinnitus sounds that cause pain or are persistent you should get 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. You could hear crackling or popping when you have a pressure change, whether from a change in altitude, going under water, or just yawning. These sounds are caused by a small part of your ear known as the eustachian tube. The crackling occurs when these mucus-lined passageways open, letting fluid circulate and equalize the pressure inside your ears.
It’s an automatic system, but sometimes, like if you are dealing with inflammation from allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, your eustachian tubes can literally get clogged from the excess mucus in your system (keep in mind, your ears, nose, and throat are all linked). There may be situations where a surgical procedure is required in more severe cases where decongestant sprays, chicken noodle soup, or antibiotics don’t help. If you’re experiencing chronic ear pain or pressure and haven’t been able to get any relief, you should make an appointment with us to get diagnosed.
I’m hearing vibrations in my ear – what could that mean?
Vibrations in the ear are in some cases a telling sign of tinnitus. Technically speaking, tinnitus is the medical name for when somebody hears unusual sounds, like vibrations, in their ears that do not come from any outside sources. Most individuals will refer to it as a ringing in the ears and it occurs across the spectrum, from barely noticeable to unbearable.
Is tinnitus triggering this ringing in my ears?
Again, if you have hearing aids, you might hear these kinds of sounds for numerous reasons: your batteries might be running low, you need to adjust the volume, or maybe your hearing aids aren’t fitting properly in your ear. But these noises can also be caused by an excessive amount of earwax.
Excess earwax is well known to cause itchiness and to make it more challenging to hear, as well as the potential of an ear infection, but how can it produce sounds. If it is touching your eardrum, it can actually inhibit the eardrum’s ability to function, which is what causes the buzzing or ringing.
Chronic buzzing or ringing is an indication that you are dealing with tinnitus. Even buzzing from too much earwax counts as a type 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 connected to more severe issues such as anxiety and depression. Diagnosing and treating the root health problem can help relieve tinnitus, so you should consult with us to learn more about ways to decrease your symptoms.
What are the weird 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 soften sounds you make and the rumbling is your ears tensing little muscles in order to do that. They turn down the volume on yawning, chewing, and even your own voice.
Those sounds occur so near to your ears and so frequently that the level of noise would be damaging without these muscles. One of these muscles, called the tensor tympani can, in extremely unusual cases, be intentionally controlled to produce this rumbling. In other cases, a condition called tonic tensor tympani syndrome (TTTS) will cause individuals to suffer from tensor tympani muscle spasms. Studies have shown that TTTS happens frequently in individuals who have tinnitus and those dealing with hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to particular sound volumes and wavelengths.
What about a fluttering noise?
Have you ever felt a flutter in your arms or legs after exercising? Muscle spasms cause those flutters just like the ones 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 typically used as an initial treatment to bring the fluttering under control. If medications aren’t helpful, inner ear surgery can have varying degrees of success.
Why are my ears drumming, thumping, and pulsing so much?
You’re probably not off base if you think you hear your own pulse or heartbeat in your ears. Some of the body’s largest veins run very close to your ears, and if your heart rate is high – whether from a hard workout, big job interview, or a medical disorder like high blood pressure – your ears will pick up the sound of your pulse.
Most types of tinnitus can’t be heard by others but that isn’t the case 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 completely normal to experience pulsatile tinnitus when your heart’s pounding, it should not be something you have to live with every day.
It’s a good idea to come see us if you’re hearing this pulsing every day. If it persists, pulsatile tinnitus may be an indication of high blood pressure or other health concerns. In some cases, pulsatile tinnitus is the result of a heart condition, so it’s important to talk about your heart with us. 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 returns to normal.
What’s this clicking sound?
The pressure in your ears is balanced, as previously stated, by the eustachian tubes. Repeated clicking can frequently be heard when you get muscle spasms in the muscles near the eustachian tubes (like in the roof of your mouth). For a similar reason, you might hear clicking when you swallow. This is due to the opening and closing of the eustachian tubes. Some individuals describe hearing a clicking sound when their head drains of mucus. In some rare situations, persistent clicking could be a sign of a fracture in one of the little bones in your ear.
Does it mean I have an infection if my ears are popping?
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 could be a sign of acute infection. You should schedule 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 after an infection or cold as your head clears of mucus.
How can I stop my ears from crackling?
Do you believe 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.