Crackling in Ears Cuts Crystal Clear Hearing

Written by the Nano Hearing Aids Team
Reviewed for Accuracy by Lindsay Roberts, AuD.

Lindsay Roberts
Crackling in Ears Cuts Crystal Clear Hearing

If you love the sound of children giggling, your favorite song blasting out of your speakers, bass thumping, or the sweet lilt of birds chirping in the morning, then you understand that being able to hear things clearly is one of life’s little pleasures that we often take for granted.

One of the most annoying problems that can impede the sweet sound of music, or children laughing, or birds singing, is a crackling sound in your ear.

There could be many reasons for this problem, and you will want to find a solution as soon as possible.

Hearing is a magnificent achievement, and one of our senses that we often think little about.

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What you might not realize is that there is such a long list of bones, muscles, and nerves that all work together in concert to translate sound waves into the distinct notes and pitch that your brain can understand as sounds.

Because the art of hearing clearly is such a delicate process, a crackling sound in the ear or even a bubble popping noise in the ear will be difficult to deal with.

There are many reasons for a crackling in ears, and some of them are more serious than others. 

Causes of Crackling in Ears

If you are experiencing crackling in your ears, then you already understand the annoyance of the problem. What you need to do now is to ascertain the reason for the crackling, so that you can get to work on finding a solution.

The most common causes for crackling in ears are spelled out below, and should give you some indication of how to proceed with solving the problem. 

Eustachian Tube Problems

A small, thin tube connecting the middle area of your ear to the back of your nose and upper throat, your eustachian tube helps to equalize the pressure in your middle ear, drains fluid, and prevents infection.

With so many important tasks, if your eustachian tube malfunctions, a crackling sound in your ear could result.

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In order to do their job, eustachian tubes need to open and close. (When you pop your ears on a plane, or yawn, swallow, or chew, this is actually your eustachian tube opening.)

If the tubes cannot open or close properly, this causes crackling in ears.

Difficulties with your eustachian tube can be caused most commonly by:

  • Colds or infections
  • Chronic allergies
  • Cigarette smoke, pollution, or other air irritants
  • Enlarged tonsils or adenoids

Acute Otitis Media

When your eustachian tube malfunctions, you can develop acute otitis media caused by tubes that are blocked or narrowed.

Because the eustachian tube cannot do its job properly, fluid can build up in the middle ear and cause an infection in that part of your ear.

This can happen in children or adults, but is more common in children. 

Middle Ear Myoclonus

This unusual type of tinnitus can be extremely annoying, and is caused by a spasm of the stapedius or tensor tympani muscles in your ear.

When these muscles shake and your eardrum vibrates, you will hear a crackling sound that can be very unpleasant.

Scientists are still unsure about what causes this. 

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ)

Located right in front of your ears, the temporomandibular joint connects your skull to your jawbone, and you have a TMJ joint on each side of your head.

This joint works like a door hinge, with cartilage in between the skull and jawbones to keep your joint moving and sliding easily.

Any damage or wearing away of this cartilage can lead to TMJ problems, and clicking or popping sounds will be evident. These sounds can be extremely annoying.

Hearing Aid Problems

If you have a hearing aid and are experiencing crackling in your ears, then doing a check of your hearing aid would be smart. If your batteries need to be charged or the hearing aid is not properly set in your ears, this could cause a crackling sound.

Other hearing aid related problems that lead to a crackling sound in the ear include having the volume set too high, or having long hair which is rubbing against the hearing aid.

Hearing Aids 

Ear Wax

Many experts say that ear wax is hands-down the most prolific reason for crackling sounds in ears. Although ear wax is generally a positive, as it lubricates and protects your ear canal from infections, too much of a good thing is never good.

Secreted from glands in the outer ear canal, in general ear wax does its own thing and moves out of your ear canal naturally. But sometimes it gets blocked and stuck, especially if you use a cotton swab to try to clean your ears. 

Treatments for Crackling Sound in Ear

If you are plagued by crackling sounds in your ears, there are several solutions that will restore your hearing to its normal sweet sounds.

  • Give it time: Many times, crackling sounds in ears will resolve on their own with time, especially if they were caused by colds or allergies. 
  • Decongestants: If you have a cold that is lingering, a decongestant can help unclog your ears.
  • Eradicate earwax: Although there are ear wax softening kits available, a professional cleaning from a healthcare professional will take care of the problem more safely and quickly.
  • Antibiotics: If an ear infection is causing the crackling sounds in your ear, a doctor may need to prescribe antibiotics to treat the problem.
  • Doctor consultation: When all else fails, consult your physician to try to figure out the cause of the problem, as a professional opinion should get you moving towards the correct solution. 

Hearing is such a gift to your life, no matter what your personal definition of “music to your ears" is. And hearing is certainly a sense you probably take for granted until it is not performing as you want it to be.

By trouble shooting the situations above, you should be able to identify the crackling in your ears and get back to the sweet sounds of your life sooner rather than later.

If you are having trouble with your hearing, and are ready to get it back on track, check out Nano Hearing Aids for the smooth, silky sounds of your favorite harmonies.

You will be glad you did!

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