Have you ever been startled by a random noise in your ear? Whether it’s a ringing, crackling, popping or other noise, let’s look at a few causes of noises in the ear as well as potential treatment options.
Ringing or Buzzing
Ringing in the ears is typically associated with tinnitus. However, some people experience hissing, buzzing, roaring, sizzling, clicking or another noise 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, some cases of tinnitus are objective, meaning a medical provider can hear it as well when performing an exam. Objective tinnitus is usually caused by problems with your blood vessels, a middle ear bone condition or muscle contractions.
Management of tinnitus will partially depend on whether or not a cause can be determined. Potential managements include tinnitus retraining therapy, acoustic therapy, hearing aids and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Crackling in One or Both Ears
If you experience crackling in one or both ears, it may be due to a condition called Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD). ETD is the result of blocked Eustachian tubes. This blockage is often caused by the common cold or other virus and usually resolves itself after you recover from your illness.
Other symptoms of Eustachian tube dysfunction include:
- Ear pain or pressure
- The feeling of fullness in the ear
- Temporary hearing loss or muffled hearing
Rarely, a person may experience symptoms that last several weeks to months or longer. In that case, you should see a doctor to examine your ears and see if you need further medical treatment to prevent damage to your eardrum.
Experiencing a popping noise in your ear usually indicates that the ear is clogged. When your ear is clogged, your Eustachian tube opens to allow air to pass from the middle of your ear to the back of the nose in order to equalize pressure. This action may cause a popping noise.
Your ears can become clogged for many different reasons, some of which include:
- Middle ear infection
- Change in altitude (like when flying or scuba diving)
- Sinus infection
- Earwax buildup
If this happens occasionally or only when you fly and resolves upon landing, you don’t need to seek additional treatment. However, if you have frequent fullness or popping in your ears that’s distracting you from work or making it harder to hear what’s being said when out with friends at The Brick Coffee & Bar, make an appointment with a medical provider. You may need earwax removal or other treatments to improve your symptoms.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Center For Hearing today.