What’s That Crackling Sound?


Bowl of Rice Krispies making noise in your ear.

Crackling in your ear? A disorder called tinnitus can bring about many different sounds in your ears including buzzing, ringing, whooshing, and crackling. Here is what you should know.

Where is that crackling, buzzing, or ringing sound coming from? When it comes to somebody who has hearing aids, it may mean they fitting and adjustments. But if you don’t use hearing aids it could be tinnitus.

Although we mostly think of our ears in terms of what we see on the outside, there’s more than meets the eye – or in this instance, the ear. Here are some of the more common noises you might hear in your ears, and what they could reveal is happening.

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

We can tell you this – it’s not Rice Krispies. When the pressure in your ears changes – whether from a change in altitude, going underwater, or simply yawning – you might hear crackling or popping sounds. A small part of your ear known as the eustachian tube is the source of these noises. When these mucus lined passages open up to neutralize the air pressure, fluid, and air move causing these sounds to manifest.

It’s an automatic process, but sometimes, like if you have congestion from allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, your eustachian tubes can literally get clogged up from the overabundance of mucus in your system (don’t forget, your ears, nose, and throat or all connected). Medical assistance, like surgery, is sometimes necessary in extreme cases where nothing else has helped clear the blockage.

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

Vibrations in the ear are often a telling sign of tinnitus. Tinnitus is the medical term for a disorder that causes people to hear sounds that have no external cause, such as vibrations, inside of the ear. Most people will refer to it as a ringing in the ears and it manifests across the spectrum, from barely there to debilitating.

What Should I do About Noises in my Ear

Again, if you use hearing aids, you should check those first. There might be several reasons that you would hear these noises: the hearing aids aren’t sitting correctly within your ears, the volume is too high, your hair is brushing against them, or your batteries are running low. If you don’t have hearing aids, excessive earwax might be the problem.

Dull hearing, irritated ears, and ear infections can often be caused by excessive earwax but how could it be responsible for tinnitus sounds? The buzzing or ringing can be caused by earwax touching your eardrum and impeding its function. The good thing is, earwax problems are easily fixed.

If you’re hearing unusual noises, contact us. We can examine your hearing aid to make sure 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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