What’s That Crackling Sound? - Main Line Audiology Skip to Main Content

What’s That Crackling Sound?

– 2.5 minute read

Crackling in your ear? Buzzing, crackling, “static” or whooshing noises in your ear can all be signs of a disorder known as tinnitus. Here is some essential facts.

Ever hear crackling, buzzing, or thumping sounds that seem to come out of nowhere? In the case of somebody who uses hearing aids, it might mean they fitting and adjustments. But if you don’t use hearing aids it might be tinnitus.

There’s much more to the ear than what you see on the outside. Here are a few of the more prevalent noises you might hear inside your ears, and what they may indicate is happening.

I’m Hearing a Snap, Crackle, And Pop in my Ears But What’s The Cause?

It’s not Rice Krispies that’s for certain. When the pressure in your ears changes – whether from a change in altitude, going underwater, or just yawning – you may hear crackling or popping sounds. These sounds are caused by a small part of your ear known as the eustachian tube. The crackling is caused by mucus-lined passageways opening up, allowing air and fluid to disperse and equalize the pressure in your ears.

It’s an automatic process, but occasionally, like if you have congestion from allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, your eustachian tubes can literally get gummed up from the overabundance of mucus in your system (don’t forget, that there’s a connection between your ears, throat, and nose). Medical assistance, like surgery, is occasionally called for in severe cases where nothing else has helped clear the blockage.

I’m Hearing Vibration in my Ears – What Does That Mean?

Vibrations in the ear are often a telling indication of tinnitus. Tinnitus is the technical name for a disorder that causes people to hear noises that have no outside cause, such as vibrations, inside of the ear. It’s typically described as a ringing in the ears and can, in some cases, be minimal, and in others, debilitating.

Is There Anything That Can be Done?

Again, if you use hearing aids, you should first check those. There might be a number of reasons that you would hear these noises: the hearing aids aren’t sitting properly inside of your ears, the volume is too loud, your hair is rubbing against them, or your batteries are running low. But if you don’t have hearing aids and you’re hearing this type of noise, it might also be the result of excess earwax.

Dull hearing, irritated ears, and ear infections can frequently be caused by excessive earwax but how could it be responsible for tinnitus noises? If it’s pushing against your eardrum, it can actually restrict the eardrum’s ability to function, which is what causes the buzzing or ringing. Fortunately, earwax issues are easily fixed.

Reach out to us if you have odd noises in your ears. We can examine your hearing aid to make certain it’s functioning correctly.

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