why do I hear crackling in my ears

Is It Normal to Hear Crackling In My Ears?

Probably, some of us had experienced hearing crackling sounds in the ears. At first, it seems normal and that there’s nothing to panic about. But as it frequently happens, it’s hard to ignore because it starts to give you discomfort. Then as this happens more often, you may wonder if it’s still normal or could it is already a sign of something that can be life-threatening. In this article, we will share common hear crackling sounds in your ears from this article.

5 Common Reasons Why You Hear Crackling In Your Ears:

The crackling sound that you may experience that is not due to external factors in the hearing system may be described as an audible sound like clicking or crunching sound in your ear. Others refer to it as a “Krispie rice” sound. Following are common reasons why you hear crackling in your ears:

1. Earwax Buildup or blockage

Secretions from glands in your outer ear canal produce earwax. It cleans and lubricates as it protects your ear canal. Bacteria growth is slow down by earwax. Thus, preventing us from having infections.

Typically, earwax naturally pushes itself out of your ear but can cause blockage when pushed back in. When we push earwax deeper into our ears when we try to clean it with a cotton swab or by using earphones and earplugs for long hours every day. The pressure leads you to hear crackling sounds in your ears.

You could also feel discomfort or pain, itching, feeling of fullness, ringing noise, and partial hearing loss. When these symptoms happen, consult a doctor because it may not always cause by earwax blockage. Furthermore, the doctor is the one who can most safely done removing your earwax.

2. Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorder

Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorder or TMJ, is a condition that causes pain when we move our jaw. When the jaw joint and muscles that control jaw movement dysfunctions, it caused the pain and crackling sound in the ear.

Here are possible causes of TMJ :

  • Arthritis (degenerative/inflammatory joint disorders)
  • Displaced disc and jaw due to injury.
  • Injury in the jaw and its muscles.
  • Tight pressure on the teeth or pressing teeth to each other.
  • Stress as many people would clench their jaws when stressed

3. You Hear Crackling In Your Ears Because of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

Eustachian tubes are small tubes that can be found between your middle ears and upper throat. Their responsibility is to equalize ear pressure and drains fluid from the center ear. Once you don’t seem to be chewing, swallowing, and yawning these tubes are usually closed. Due to their small size, these passageways for several reasons can get plugged. It can cause pain, difficulty in hearing, and a sense of fullness within the ears if blocked. This kind of symptom is referred to as eustachian tube dysfunction or ETD.

ETD could be a relatively common condition. Reckoning on the cause, it should resolve on its own or through simple at-home treatment measures. Visit a doctor if severe or recurring cases persist. Large adenoids, allergies, or a cold can cause Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. Crackling sounds will result in such dysfunction. And since the tubes are lined with moist mucosa that is often sticky, it also causes the crackling and popping noises while they are moving.

4. Meunière’s Disease

Assumed to occur due to the accumulation of fluid in the middle ear, this disease is still unknown until this day. Most often it occurs between young and middle-aged adults. This disorder of the inner ear can lead to dizziness or vertigo and hearing loss. Meunière’s disease in most cases affects only one ear. Although considered a chronic condition, but various treatments can help relieve symptoms and minimize the long-term impact on one’s life.

5. Crackling in your ears can also be caused by drugs or medications.

Some drugs can cause damage to the auditory nerve in the inner ear. Aside from causing crackling in the ears, it can also cause sudden loss of hearing or tinnitus. Research shows that even the most popular pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can also cause deafness. For non-prescriptive drugs, the hearing problems that includes the uncomfortable crackling sounds in the ear will be temporary and soon go will away over time.

However, when ibuprofen is used for extended periods and on high doses, it may potentially cause loss of hearing that gradually can result in permanent deafness. Other drugs such as antibiotics and diuretics can also cause deafness. While Aspirin will only pose such a consequence if used oftentimes or in too high doses.


Crackling in the ears can be harmless as it sounds, but can cause great discomfort in your daily function. If it’s a recurring case already, it is advisable to see a doctor for a check-up. While some causes can be treated, some can get worse if not treated early.

Speaking of ears, do you ever wondered why singers would wear earpieces when they perform? Read from our previous article here if you are curious to know.

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