The human ear is a delicate structure, and it has the essential function of hearing. Without adequately functioning ears, your life can get really difficult. It is imperative to know about some common problems regarding your ears and how to get rid of them so you can take care of your ears in a proper way.
In this article, we will explain some of the reasons behind crackling sounds in your ear and how you can get rid of them.
What is Crackling Sound?
Crackling sounds are disturbing sounds in your ears that are produced due to some irregularity occurring inside the delicate structures of your ears. Apart from crackling sounds, you may hear popping, hissing, whistling, and ringing sounds. Medically this phenomenon is named as Tinnitus. Crackling sounds in your ear are often harmless and very rarely lead to any severe medical conditions or health issues regarding your ears. However, prolonged crackling sounds after initial treatments may indicate some infection or abnormality inside your ears.
Read more: Fluttering in Ear: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
Crackling sounds inside your ears are bothersome and reduces your productivity and decrease your concentration. A continuous disturbance inside your head also increases stress and anxiety and impacts your personal and professional lives.
Causes of Crackling Sounds
If you are disturbed by crackling sounds inside your ears, you may think that they happen due to some external factors. The upsetting sounds you hear are a result of the factors that are associated with some problems of the internal structure of your ears and are not external. Following are the reasons behind the hearing of such sounds inside your ears.
- Wax Problem
The most common reason behind the appearance of crackling sounds in your ears is the wax accumulation. While some wax is right to fight the bacteria and infection in your ears, when the quantity of earwax increases and it gets dried, it becomes the reason for the production of crackling sound in your ears. Dry ear wax covers the eardrum; eardrum is a vital structure in your ears and helps in the process of conduction of sound. Presence of wax on eardrum creates pressure and alters the way eardrum usually works, and hence you hear the crackling sounds in your ears.
- Issues with Eustachian Tube
Apart from the eardrum, the Eustachian tube is another vital structure that helps in the hearing process. It is a small tube that passes from your ears towards your nose and assists in maintaining the pressure inside your ears and thus keeps the eardrum in its place when you swallow, yawn and sneeze. The Eustachian tube can face some issues during a respiratory infection or an allergic reaction; this can cause a disturbance in the pressure and fluid accumulation inside the tube. Such changes in the composition of Eustachian tube can cause you to hear crackling and popping sounds inside your ears. Changes in the internal pressure of the Eustachian tube can also occur during your visit to hilly areas.
- Muscle Weakness
There are tiny muscles inside your ears. These muscles can get weak sometimes due to exposure to loud voices for a more extended period of times, and they may not get the required nutrition. Weak muscles often start to vibrate involuntarily, and you may hear crackling and popping sounds due to their movement.
- Ear Infections
Some bacteria and viruses can enter your ears and infect the internal structure of your ears. Such infections often create problems like the crackling sounds and may lead to some hearing problems during infection.
- Side Effects of Medicines
Some medicines have side effects that damage the auditory nerve. Diuretic drugs, painkillers, and certain antibiotic medications, when taken for more extended periods can damage your auricular nerve, and as a consequence, you can hear crackling, popping or ringing sounds inside your ears.
- Jaw Problems
Sometimes jaw problems can also become a reason behind hearing of crackling noises. We use our jaw muscle daily while speaking, eating and drinking. Pain occurring in jaw muscle can cause you to hear popping and ringing sounds inside your ears. This happens because the jaw and ear muscles are linked together.
- Death of Sensory Cells
Our ears consist of sensory cells that help in the conduction of sound and transfer of signals to the brain; these cells may die due to a serious infection, an injury or with age. When the number of these cells reduces, you start to hear less and may also experience drumming sounds inside your ears.
- Intrusion in the Ear
Though it happens very rarely, sometimes a foreign object may enter the internal structures of your ears. When these objects rub against eardrums, you are likely to hear popping sounds inside your ears.
- Exposure to Loud Noise
If you expose your ears to thunderous noises for a more extended period daily, the sensory cells of your ear can get damaged, and you may experience vibration and ringing in your ears. People who work in heavy metal industries, musicians working with loud music and people who use hands-free or headphones at unusually high volume are more prone to suffer from partial hearing loss or crackling sounds in the ears.
There are various remedies for crackling sounds inside your ears. However, the best way to treat them depends upon the underlying cause. In this section, we will explain some of the methods that you can use to get rid of the crackling sound inside your ears. We will define the treatment methods concerning the cause behind them and also some general methods later on.
Treatment of Crackling Sounds due to Earwax
If you hear crackling sounds due to the accumulation of ear wax on your eardrum. You can use an ear wax removal kit or visit your doctor for this purpose. Doctors do not suggest the use of earbuds for this purpose as they can push the wax further inside your ears and cause some problems. You can also use the following methods to get rid of earwax
Olive Oil – Olive oil can help in wax removal by softening up the dried wax on your eardrum. You can warm up some olive oil and pour two drops of hated olive oil inside your ears, and after 10-15 minutes, you can use a tissue paper or a soft cotton cloth to clean the wax from your ears. You will notice that the crackling sounds will disappear soon after the application of this method.
Hydrogen Peroxide – Hydrogen peroxide is easily available at a nearby medical store. You can use this method by dropping 2-3 drops of the solution inside your ears and let it rest for ten minutes. You will notice popping sounds in your ears which will indicate that hydrogen peroxide is doing its work, after ten minutes you can tilt your head in the other direction to ensure that the liquid leaves your ears. Use a tissue paper to get rid of the remaining liquid.
Warm Water – You can also use warm water to ease up the dried wax inside your ears. Let the warm water rest in your ears for around 15 minutes and then clean your ears with the help of tissue papers.
Treatment of Eustachian Tube Problems
Eustachian tube infections usually go away on their own, but if they persist for more than two weeks, you must visit your doctor and discuss this problem with him. Your doctor will usually prescribe you some over the counter medicines. Make sure that you inform your doctor about all the medications that you are currently prescribed because the prolonged problems with Eustachian tube may be a side effect of these medicines.
Treatment for Ear Infections
If you are suffering from an ear infection, visiting your doctor is always the best option. Ear infection happens due to bacteria or virus, and each of them needed to be treated with some specific medicines.
Relaxing Jaw Muscles
If you hear crackling sounds due to jaw pain, you need to take medicines or therapies that help in relaxing jaw muscles. You can try some basic muscle relaxants to get rid of jaw pain and also some jaw exercises that help in relieving the pain.
Some other Methods
Some other methods to deal with the crackling sounds inside your ears include
Valsalva maneuver – This is a method aimed to open the closed Eustachian tubes. It is achieved by closing your mouth and pinching your nostrils. Now take a deep breath and blow the air through your nose. You may notice a slight popping sound in your ears which indicate that the Eustachian tubes are now open.
Use Steam-It is very likely that the reason behind the crackling in your ears is the sinus congestion. Steam is the best remedy to open up your clogged sinus. You can get steam from a steam machine or by simply pouring steaming water in a bowl and using a towel to take steam. Steam can also help you cleanse your skin. Be careful if you are using steaming water in a bowl as it may cause some serious burn injuries if it spills on you.
Change in Eating Habits and Lifestyle – Eat healthily and stay healthy. Most of our health problems emerge from our eating habits. Make sure that you are taking the required daily dose of calcium and magnesium as their deficiency has been identified as a cause behind the crackling sound in your ears. Getting enough sleep and keeping the volume low of the music you hear can also help reduce the occurrence of crackling sounds in your ears.
Crackling sounds, though harmless to your health, can impact your daily life. It can reduce your productivity and keep you occupied. We are confident that you will be able to deal with crackling sounds after reading our well-researched article.