Gold Country Hearing - Gold Country Valley, CA

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

Do you ever hear noises that seem to come from nowhere, like crackling, buzzing or thumping? Possibly, if you wear hearing aids, they need a fitting or need adjustment. But it could also be possible that, if you don’t wear hearing aids, the sounds may be coming from inside your ears. But don’t freak out. Our ears are a lot more complex than most of us may think. Different sounds you might be hearing in your ears could indicate different things. Here are a few of the most common. You should talk with a hearing specialist if any of these are lowering your quality of life or are painful and chronic, even though the majority are short-term and harmless.

Popping or Crackling

You might hear a crackling or popping when the pressure in your ear changes, possibly from an altitude change or from going underwater or even from a yawn. These noises are caused by a small part of your ear called the eustachian tube. The crackling takes place when these mucus-lined passageways open up, enabling fluid and air to circulate and equalizing the pressure in your ears. Occasionally this automatic process is interrupted by inflammation brought about by an ear infection or a cold or allergies that gum up the ears. sometimes surgery is needed in serious situations when the blockage isn’t helped by antibiotics or decongestants. You probably should see a specialist if you feel pressure or persistent pain.

Could The Buzzing or Ringing be Tinnitus?

It might not be your ears at all if you have hearing aids, as previously mentioned. But if you’re not wearing hearing aids and you’re hearing this type of sound, it could be because of too much earwax. It makes sense that excessive wax could make it difficult to hear, and cause itchiness or even infections, but how can it make a sound? If wax is pressing on your eardrum, it can inhibit the eardrum’s ability to work properly, that’s what produces the buzzing or ringing. But not to worry, the extra wax can be removed professionally. (Don’t attempt to do this by yourself!) Tinnitus is the name for persistent buzzing or ringing. There are several types of tinnitus including when it’s caused by earwax. Tinnitus isn’t itself a disease or disorder; it’s a symptom that signifies something else is taking place with your health. Besides the buildup of wax, tinnitus can also be related to depression and anxiety. Diagnosing and treating 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. Do you know that rumbling you can hear sometimes when you have a really big yawn? There are little muscles in the ear that contract to help decrease the internal volume of some natural actions such as your own voice or yawning or chewing, It’s the contraction of these muscles in response to these natural sounds that we hear as rumbling. We’re not claiming you chew too loudly, it’s just that those noises are so close to your ears that without these muscles, the volume level would be harmful. (And since you can’t stop speaking or chewing, we’ll stay with the muscles, thanks!) These muscles can be controlled by certain people, even though it’s very unusual, they’re called tensor tympani, and they’re able to create that rumble whenever they want.

Thumping or Pulsing

If you at times feel like you’re hearing your heartbeat in your ears, you’re most likely right. The ears have some of the bodies largest veins running very close them, and if your heart rate’s high, whether from that important job interview or a difficult workout, the sound of your pulse will be detected by your ears. This is called pulsatile tinnitus, and unlike other forms of tinnitus, it’s one that not only you hear, if you go to see a hearing professional, they will be able to hear it too. 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 practical step to see a doctor. Like other kinds of tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus is not a disease, it’s a symptom; if it persists, it may suggest a health issue. Because your heart rate should come back to normal and you should stop hearing it after your workout when your heart rate comes back to normal.

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