Are you bothered by a strange noise in your ears? Sounds like ringing, cackling or popping can be caused by a number of different health conditions. Let’s take a look at what certain noises in the ear might indicate, as well as when to see a hearing health expert.
Your Ears Are Ringing
If your ears are ringing, it’s likely due to tinnitus. However, some people with tinnitus can also experience sensations of hearing buzzing, clicking, humming, roaring or other noises as well.
According to the National Library of Medicine, “Tinnitus is defined as a sound a person hears that is generated by the body, rather than by an outside source. Most tinnitus is subjective. This means the examiner cannot hear it, and there are no tools to measure or hear that sound.”
However, there are exceptions when people experience objective tinnitus, where a doctor can hear the sound upon exam as well. This is usually caused by a problem with the blood vessels or muscle contractions in the ear.
Some cases of tinnitus are mild and resolve quickly. However, other people experience a chronic ringing that can interfere with their daily lives. If you have tinnitus that’s making it harder to sleep, work or spend time with friends at West Grove Diner, schedule an appointment with a medical provider.
Experiencing Crackling in One or Both Ears
A crackling in one or both ears may be caused by Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD). ETD is caused by blocked Eustachian tubes, which can be due to the common cold or other viruses. The crackling will usually go away once you’ve recovered from your virus.
Other symptoms of Eustachian tube dysfunction include:
- Ear pain or pressure
- The feeling of fullness in the ear
- Temporary hearing loss or muffled hearing
If your symptoms don’t clear up within a couple of weeks, schedule an appointment with your medical provider to prevent damage to your eardrum.
Popping in the Ears
If you experience a popping noise, it often means that one or both of your ears are clogged. When you experience a plugged or clogged ear, your Eustachian tube opens to let air pass from your middle ear to the back of your nose to help equalize the pressure.
Popping noises from clogged ears may be caused by the following:
- Sinus infections
- Earwax buildup
- Ear infection
- A change in altitude (often from flying)
While many cases of ear popping will resolve on their own, if it’s persistent or accompanied by other symptoms like muffled hearing or ear pain, schedule an appointment with a hearing health professional.
For more information or to have your symptoms evaluated by one of our specialists, contact Pinnacle ENT today.