Bowl of Rice Krispies making noise in your ear.

Crackling in your ear? A condition called tinnitus can bring about many different sounds in your ears including buzzing, ringing, whooshing, and crackling. Here is some important information.

Where is that crackling, buzzing, or ringing sound coming from? If you have hearing aids, it can mean that they need to be adjusted or aren’t properly fitted. But if you don’t use hearing aids it could be tinnitus.

There’s much more to the ear than what you see on the outside. Here’s what it could mean when some of these more prevalent noises are playing in your ears.

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

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

It’s an automatic process, but in some cases, like if you have congestion from allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, your eustachian tubes can literally get gummed up from an excess of mucus in your system (don’t forget, that there’s a connection between your ears, throat, and nose). In severe cases where decongestant sprays, chicken soup, or antibiotics don’t provide relief, a blockage could call for medical treatment such as surgery.

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

Vibrations in the ear are sometimes a telltale sign of tinnitus. Technically speaking, tinnitus is the scientific term for when someone hears abnormal sounds, such as vibrations, in their ears that do not come from any external sources. It’s typically characterized as a ringing in the ears and can, in some instances, be minimal, and in others, debilitating.

Is There Anything I Can do?

If you use hearing aids, again, checking those is the first step. You may hear these kinds of sounds for a number of reasons: the hearing aids aren’t sitting properly inside of your ears, the volume is too loud, your hair is brushing against them, or your batteries are running low. If you don’t use hearing aids, excessive earwax might be the problem.

It seems logical that too much wax could make it hard to hear and cause irritation or even inner ear infections, but how can earwax make a noise? If it is touching your eardrum, it can actually inhibit the eardrum’s ability to function, which is what causes the buzzing or ringing. The good news is, earwax problems are easily fixed.

If you’re hearing unusual noises, contact us. We can check your hearing aid to make certain it’s working correctly.

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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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