What’s That Crackling Noise?

Bowl of Rice Krispies making noise in your ear.

Are you hearing crackling in your ear? Buzzing, crackling, “static” or whooshing noises in your ear can all be indications of a condition called tinnitus. Here is what you need to know.

Do you ever hear crackling, buzzing, or thumping noises that seem to come out of nowhere? When it comes to someone who uses hearing aids, it may mean they fitting and adjustments. But if you don’t use hearing aids it might be tinnitus.

There’s a lot more to the ear than what you see on the outside. Here are some of the more prevalent sounds you might hear inside your ears, and what they may reveal is happening.

What’s Causing The Snap, Crackle, And Pop in My Ear?

We can tell you this – it’s not Rice Krispies. It isn’t unusual to hear a popping or crackling sound when there’s a change in pressure in your ear. This can happen because you had an altitude change, went underwater, or just yawned. A tiny part of your ear called the eustachian tube is the source of these noises. The crackling is caused by mucus-lined passageways opening up, allowing air and fluid to circulate and equalize the pressure in your ears.

It’s a natural process, but in some cases, like if you’re dealing with inflammation from allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, your eustachian tubes can literally get gummed up from an excess of mucus in your system (remember, your ears, nose, and throat or all connected). Medical help, like surgery, is sometimes necessary in severe cases where nothing else has helped clear the blockage.

What Does it Mean When I Hear Vibrations in My Ear?

Sometimes tinnitus manifests as a vibration in the ears. Technically speaking, tinnitus is the medical term for when somebody hears unusual noises, such as vibrations, in their ears that don’t come from any external sources. It’s commonly described as a ringing in the ears and can, in some instances, be mild, and in others, debilitating.

Is There Anything I Can do?

Again, if you have hearing aids, you should first check those. You may hear these types of sounds for a number of reasons: the hearing aids aren’t sitting properly within your ears, the volume is too loud, your hair is brushing against them, or your batteries need to be charged. But if you don’t have hearing aids and you’re hearing this kind of sound, it may also be caused by accumulated earwax.

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

Reach out to us if you have unusual sounds in your ears. We can examine your hearing aid to make certain it’s functioning properly.

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.