What’s That Crackling Sound?

Bowl of Rice Krispies making noise in your ear.

Crackling in your ear? Crackling, Buzzing, “static” or whooshing sounds in your ear can all be indications of a disorder called tinnitus. Here is what you need to know.

Do you ever hear crackling, thumping, and buzzing noises that seem to come from nowhere? If you use hearing aids, it can mean that they require adjustment or aren’t properly fitted. But if you don’t have hearing aids it could be tinnitus.

There’s a lot more to the ear than what you see on the outside. Here are a few of the more prevalent noises you may hear inside 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?

It’s not Rice Krispies that’s for sure. When the pressure in your ears changes – whether from a change in altitude, going underwater, or just yawning – you might hear crackling or popping noises. 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 equalize the air pressure, fluid, and air move causing these noises to occur.

It’s an automatic process, but occasionally, like if you have inflammation 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, that there’s a connection between your ears, throat, and nose). Medical assistance, 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, tinnitus is the medical term for when somebody hears unusual noises, 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 manifests across the spectrum, from barely there to debilitating.

Is There Anything That Can be Done?

Again, if you have hearing aids, you should first check those. 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 may be the problem.

It seems logical that too much wax could make it hard to hear and cause itchiness or even inner ear infections, but how can earwax cause a noise? The buzzing or ringing can be caused by earwax touching your eardrum and impeding its function. Fortunately, managing earwax is frequently pretty simple.

Reach out to us if you have odd sounds in your ears. We can check your hearing aid to make sure it’s working correctly.

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.