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

Ever hear crackling, buzzing, or thumping noises that seem to come from nowhere? Perhaps, if you use hearing aids, they need to be fitted or require adjustment. But if you don’t use hearing aids the sounds are originating from inside your ear. There’s no need to panic. Even though we mostly think of our ears with respect to what they look like on the outside, there’s a great deal more than what you see. Different sounds you might be hearing inside of your ears could mean different things. Here are several 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, though the majority are brief and harmless.

Popping or Crackling

You could hear a popping or crackling if the pressure in your ear changes, possibly from an altitude change or from going underwater or even from a yawn. The eustachian tube, a very small part of your ear, is where these sounds are produced. The crackling occurs when these mucus-lined passageways open up, allowing air and fluid to circulate and relieving the pressure in your ears. At times this automatic process is disturbed by inflammation brought about by an ear infection or a cold or allergies which gum up the ears. sometimes surgery is needed in serious situations when the blockage isn’t helped by decongestants or antibiotics. You should probably see a specialist if you feel pressure or prolonged pain.

Could The Buzzing or Ringing be Tinnitus?

It may not be your ears at all if you have hearing aids, as mentioned before. If you’re not wearing hearing aids, earwax might be your issue. Itchiness or even ear infections make sense with earwax, and it’s not surprising that it could make hearing challenging, but how does it produce these noises? The ringing or buzzing is caused when the wax is pushing against the eardrum and suppressing its movement. But not to worry, the excess wax can be professionally removed. (This is not a DIY procedure!) Excessive, persistent buzzing or ringing is called tinnitus. There are a number of kinds of tinnitus including when it’s caused by earwax. Tinnitus is a symptom of some kind of health problem and isn’t itself a disease or disorder. While it may be as simple as wax buildup, tinnitus is also connected to conditions such as depression and anxiety. Tinnitus can be relieved by treating the root health concern; talk to a hearing specialist to learn more.


This sound is caused by our own body and is much less common. Have you ever observed how occasionally, if you have a really big yawn, you can hear a low rumbling? There are little muscles in the ear that contract to help minimize the internal volume of certain natural actions like your own voice or chewing or yawning, It’s the contraction of these muscles in reaction to these natural noises that we hear as rumbling. Activities, including yawning and chewing, are so close to your ears that although they are not very loud, they can still harming your ears. (And since you can’t stop speaking or chewing, we’ll stay with the muscles, thanks!) It’s very unusual, but some people can control one of these muscles, they’re called tensor tympani, and they’re able to produce that rumble at will.

Pulsing or Thumping

Your probably not far from the truth if you sometimes think you hear a heartbeat in your ears. The ears have a few of the bodies biggest veins running very close them, and if you have an elevated heart rate, whether from that important job interview or a hard workout, your ears will detect the sound of your pulse. Pulsatile tinnitus is the term for this, and when you go to see a hearing specialist, unlike other forms of tinnitus, they will be able to hear it too. If you’re dealing with pulsatile tinnitus but your pulse is not racing, you need to consult a specialist because that’s not common. Like other sorts of tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus is a symptom not a disease; if it continues, it could indicate a health issue. Because your heart rate should go back to normal and you should stop hearing it after your workout 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.