What Are Those Sounds in My Ear?

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

Do you ever hear sounds that appear to come out of nowhere, such as buzzing, thumping, or crackling? It’s possible, if you use hearing aids, they might need a fitting or require adjustment. But if you don’t have hearing aids the sounds are coming from inside your ear. You don’t have to panic. 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 some of the most prevalent. You should schedule a consultation with a hearing specialist if any of these are impeding your quality of life or are irritating and chronic, though most are short-term and harmless.

Popping or Crackling

When the pressure in your ears changes, whether from altitude, going underwater or simply yawning, you could hear crackling or popping noises. The eustachian tube, a tiny part of your ear, is where these sounds are produced. The crackling sound happens when these mucus-lined passageways open up, enabling fluid and air to circulate and equalizing the pressure in your ears. It’s an automatic process, but sometimes, like if you have inflammation from allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, the passageway can literally get gummed up. sometimes surgery is needed in extreme cases when the blockage isn’t helped by antibiotics or decongestants. If you’re having persistent ear pain or pressure, you really should consult a specialist.

Could The Buzzing or Ringing be Tinnitus?

It might not be your ears at all if you are wearing hearing aids, as mentioned before. If you’re not wearing hearing aids, earwax might be the problem. Itchiness or possibly ear infections make sense when it comes to earwax, and it’s not unexpected that it could make hearing challenging, but how could it cause these sounds? The buzzing or ringing is caused when the wax is pushing on the eardrum and inhibiting its motion. But don’t worry, the extra wax can be professionally removed. (This is not a DIY activity!) Excessive, persistent ringing or buzzing is known as tinnitus. There are a few types of tinnitus including when it’s caused by earwax. Tinnitus isn’t itself a disorder or disease; it’s a symptom that signifies something else is going on with your health. While it may be as simple as wax buildup, tinnitus is also related to afflictions including anxiety and depression. Diagnosing and dealing with the fundamental health issue can help reduce tinnitus; talk to a hearing specialist to learn more.


This sound is caused by our own body and is a lot less common. Have you ever noticed how in some cases, if you have a really big yawn, you hear a low rumble? It’s the sound of little muscles in your ears contracting in order to provide damage control for sounds you make: They turn down the volume of yawning, chewing, even your own voice! We’re not saying you chew too noisily, it’s just that those sounds are so close to your ears that without these muscles, the noise level would be harmful. (But chewing and talking as well as yawning are not optional, it’s lucky we have these little muscles.) These muscles can be controlled by some people, although it’s quite unusual, they’re called tensor tympani, and they’re able to produce that rumble whenever they want.

Thumping or Pulsing

If you sometimes feel like you’re hearing your heartbeat in your ears, you’re probably right. The ears have a few of the bodies biggest veins running near them, and if your heart rate’s high, whether it’s from that big job interview or a tough workout, your ears will pick up the sound of your pulse. This is known as pulsatile tinnitus, and unlike other kinds of tinnitus, it’s one that not only you hear, if you go to a hearing expert, he or she will be able to hear it as well. While it’s completely normal to experience pulsatile tinnitus when your heart’s racing, if it’s something you’re dealing with on a regular basis, it’s a smart move to see your physician. Like other sorts of tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus is a symptom not a disease; there are likely health problems if it persists. But if you just had a good workout, you should not hear it when your heart rate comes 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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