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

Where is that crackling, ringing, or buzzing noise coming from? If you use hearing aids, it can mean that they require adjustment or aren’t properly fitted. For everybody else, tinnitus might be the answer.

There’s a lot more to the ear than what you see on the outside. Here are a few of the more common sounds you might hear in your ears, and what they may indicate is going on.

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 an altitude change, going underwater, or simply yawning – you may hear crackling or popping noises. These sounds are caused by a small part of your ear called the eustachian tube. The crackling is caused by mucus-lined passageways opening up, permitting air and fluid to circulate and neutralize the pressure in your ears.

Sometimes, such as when you have allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, an excess of mucus in your system can gum up the eustachian tubes and impede what is normally an automatic process (don’t forget, that there’s a connection between your ears, throat, and nose). In serious cases where decongestant sprays, chicken soup, or antibiotics don’t provide relief, a blockage might require medical intervention like surgery.

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

Vibrations in the ear are sometimes a telling sign of tinnitus. Technically, tinnitus is the scientific term for when someone hears unusual sounds, like vibrations, in their ears that don’t 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?

If you use hearing aids, again, checking those is the first task. You may hear these kinds of sounds for a number of reasons: your batteries need to be recharged, the hearing aids aren’t properly seated in your ears, the volume is too high, or your hair is rubbing up against it. If you don’t have hearing aids, excessive earwax may be the issue.

Dull hearing, itchy ears, and ear infections can often be caused by too much earwax but how could it be responsible for tinnitus sounds? If it is touching your eardrum, it can actually inhibit the eardrum’s ability to function, which is what causes the buzzing or ringing. Fortunately, dealing with earwax is usually pretty simple.

If you’re hearing unusual noises, call us. We can examine your hearing aid to make sure it’s functioning correctly.

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