Man touching ear in response to crackling noises in his ear.

Ever hear thumping, buzzing, or crackling sounds that seem to come from nowhere? It’s possible, if you use hearing aids, they need a fitting or need adjustment. But if you don’t wear hearing aids the noises are coming from inside your ear. But don’t stress. Our ears are a lot more complex than most of us may think. Different sounds you may be hearing in your ears could mean different things. Here are a few of the most typical. You should talk with a hearing specialist if any of these are lessening your quality of life or are irritating and chronic, even though the majority are brief and harmless.

Crackling or Popping

You might hear a crackling or popping when the pressure in your ear changes, possibly from a change in altitude or from swimming underwater or even from a yawn. The eustachian tube, a very small part of your ear, is where these sounds are produced. When the mucus-lined passageway opens enabling air and fluid to pass, these crackling sounds are produced. Occasionally this automatic process is interrupted by inflammation caused by an ear infection or a cold or allergies which gum the ears up. In severe cases, where antibiotics or decongestants don’t provide relief, a blockage could call for surgical intervention. If you’re experiencing persistent ear pain or pressure, you really should consult a specialist.

Could The Buzzing or Ringing be Tinnitus?

Again, if you have hearing aids, you may hear these types of sounds if they aren’t sitting properly in your ears, the volume is too loud, or your batteries are running low. If you’re not using hearing aids, earwax might be the problem. It makes sense that excessive wax could make it tough to hear, and cause itchiness or even infections, but how can it make a sound? If wax is pressing on your eardrum, it can suppress the eardrum’s ability to work properly, that’s what causes the buzzing or ringing. But don’t worry, the extra wax can be removed professionally. (Don’t try to do this by yourself!) Tinnitus is the name for prolonged buzzing or ringing. Even noise from too much earwax counts as a type of tinnitus. Tinnitus is a symptom of some sort of health concern and is not itself a disorder or disease. Besides the buildup of wax, tinnitus can also be linked to depression and anxiety. Diagnosing and treating the fundamental health problem can help alleviate tinnitus; talk to a hearing specialist to learn more.


This one’s significantly less prevalent, and if you can hear it, you’re the one making the sound to happen! Have you ever observed how sometimes, if you have a really big yawn, you can hear a low rumble? It’s the sound of little muscles in your ears which contract in order to provide damage control on sounds you make: They lessen the volume of chewing, yawning, even your own voice! We’re not suggesting you chew too loudly, it’s just that those sounds are so near to your ears that without these muscles, the noise level would be damaging. (But talking and chewing not to mention yawning are not optional, it’s a good thing we have these little muscles.) It’s very unusual, but certain people can control one of these muscles, they’re called tensor tympani, and they’re able to create that rumble whenever they want.

Pulsing or Thumping

Your most likely not far of the mark if you sometimes think you hear a heartbeat in your ears. The ears have a few of the bodies largest veins running very close them, and if your heart rate’s up, whether it’s from a hard workout or an important job interview, your ears will detect the sound of your pulse. Pulsatile tinnitus is the name for this, and when you consult a hearing professional, unlike other types of tinnitus, they will be capable of hearing it as well. While it’s absolutely normal to experience pulsatile tinnitus when your heart’s racing, if it’s something you’re dealing with on a daily basis, it’s a smart step to see your physician. Like other sorts of tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus is not a disease, it’s a symptom; there are likely health issues if it continues. Because your heart rate should go back to normal and you should stop hearing it after your workout when your heart rate goes back to normal.

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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