Clicking, clicking or crackling sound in the ear: what does it mean?
Having a crackling, crackling, or crackling sound in your ear can be annoying, but it’s nothing to worry about. The popping sound in your ear happens when you swallow, yawn or blow your nose. You may find that when you take off or get off an aircraft, your ears crackle more than usual due to changes in altitude.
The reason for the sound of the click is to let air pass through the Eustachian tubes from the middle ear to the back of the nose. This is completely normal and the clicking or clicking sounds in the ears are nothing to worry about. However, sometimes blocked breasts, a buildup of wax or ear infections can cause more frequent ear crackles, which some describe as having the sound of Rice Krispies in the ear. This can cause you to have a feeling of fullness in your ear as well as over-clicking or clicking noises. In addition, you may also have the feeling that there is water in the ear.
If you have frequent popping or hissing sounds in your ear and if your ears are clogged or full, getting rid of wax or treating an ear infection should help reduce ear cracking when swallowing. Ear infections can be serious, and if you have redness, tenderness, and very sore ears, along with crackling noises, you should consult a doctor.
In this article, I will discuss how our ears work and why your ears make sounds when you swallow. You will also find helpful home remedies to help treat ear conditions that make clicking and popping frequent and loud.
Fullness in the Ear and Crackling, Clicking or Crackling Noise
Your ear is a complex organ composed of 3 parts – the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. According to Dr. William Blahd at WebMD, sounds enter the ear, causing the eardrum and small bones in the middle ear to vibrate. These vibrations are transformed into nerve impulses that are sent to the brain.
The reason for hearing a popping, popping or popping noise upon swallowing is the Eustachian tube in the middle ear. PubMed Health doctors say the Eustachian tube helps keep the pressure between the nose and ear at a constant level. To do this, the ear tube opens and closes momentarily and you hear a click or a small click on both ears.
According to the American Academy of Otorhinolaryngology, the popping noise in the ear is when a small air bubble passes. This helps keep the air pressure behind the eardrum equal. However, if your ears do not crack, you may feel a feeling of fullness in one or both ears and they will feel blocked.
Unsharpened ears can also affect your hearing because the eardrum cannot function properly. You may even feel dizzy if you need to clear your ears.
The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reports that in addition to helping to maintain proper pressure in your ears, the ear tube has other functions. For example, when you hear noises clicking as the tube opens, the ear tube pumps the secretions to help drain the middle ear.
What Causes Crackling or Crackling Sound in the Ear
In addition to the normal popping or crackling in your ear, what are some other reasons why your ears may become clogged?
Ear Wax Accumulation
The most common reason why you hear a crackling sound or whistling in your ear as you swallow is due to a buildup of earwax.
Wax is a natural substance in sebum and dead skin cells that helps keep the ears healthy and free of infections. In fact, a study in a medical journal reported that wax contains antimicrobial properties.
According to Dr. Mary Harding in Patient.info, the wax should drain from the ear alone. However, sometimes wax can block the ear canal, and this can result in hearing sounds popping in your ear. Your balance and hearing may also be affected if you have an ear block.
At the end of the article, you can find home remedies to get rid of ear wax and stop popping sounds in the ears due to a blockage. You should remember to never put any objects such as cotton swabs inside your ears to clean them.
An ear infection may be one reason why you have ear noise such as Rice Krispies along with itching and pain.
Middle ear infections or external ear infections happen when bacteria or fungi enter the ear canal and cause irritation and inflammation.
According to doctors from the National Health Service, ear infections can cause earache and itching around the ear canal. Because ear infections usually affect your Eustachian tube, you may have a feeling of fullness in your ears or an accumulation of pressure in your ear.
Other symptoms of ear infections include acute pain in your ear, discharge from your ears, pain when you move your jaw or swollen glands in the throat.
Some common reasons for ear infections are swimming in dirty water, scratching itchy ears, using cotton buds to clean inside your ears or eczema.
Constant clicking or clicking noises sometimes accompany sinus infections that can make you feel unhappy.
Upper respiratory infections can cause inflammation in your breasts and cause them to fill with mucus and become blocked. However, sinus infections can also affect your ears and cause popping or whistling noises when you swallow or blow your nose.
According to Dr. Jennifer Robinson at WebMD, your breasts and ears are connected. When your breasts are blocked, it increases the pressure in the ears and makes the hearing muffled. You may have a constant click as if you are getting off a plane.
You may be able to snap your ears and relieve some of the pressure by gently blocking one nostril and blowing the other. You should also avoid shaking your head to try to get rid of the ear snap.
Crackling noises in one or both ears may be due to fluid accumulation in the ears.
According to doctors at Mayo Clinic, a buildup of fluid in the middle ear is usually the result of an infection. However, fluid accumulation may persist long after an ear infection has been treated. Middle ear inflammation and fluid accumulation can also occur without infection.
So what kind of annoying noises in your ear infections cause? Dr. Rod Moser, the author of the book “Ears: Owner’s Manual and Primary Care for Medical Assistants,” says that an accumulation of fluid in the ear can cause crackling noises when the individual moves the mouth.
Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
Problems with one or both Eustachian tubes can cause popping noises in the right or left ear.
Colds, sinus infections, allergies or ear infections can cause blockages in the Eustachian tubes. Dr. John Mersch of MedicineNet reports that Eustachian tube dysfunction will cause a popping or popping sensation. A vacuum may develop in the middle ear, which will cause the sounds to be muffled and the ears to become full.
Some people may describe the popping sensation as a tickle in the ear.
Sometimes just swallowing is enough to help open the Eustachian tube and alleviate the ear discomfort it causes.
Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
Temporomandibular joint syndrome (or TMJ syndrome) is a dysfunction in the jaw bone that can affect your ears and cause popping noises.
According to Dr. Donna Bausista on eMedicineHealth, TMJ syndrome causes symptoms similar to an ear infection. This can cause neck pain behind the ear, muffled hearing and ringing in the ears. However, moving the jaw can result in cracking or clicking of the jaw movement.
There are some natural ways to help alleviate TMJ symptoms naturally and get rid of popping sounds when you move your jaw. Dr. Bausista recommends finding ways to control stress to help relax the jaw, avoid chewing chewable foods, and using a hot compress on the jaw to relieve pain.
Something Stuck in Your Ear
Something as simple as a small object lodged in your ear can cause strange popping sounds when you swallow.
For example, Dr. Rod Moser says that even a loose hair on your eardrum may be one of the reasons you have ear cracks. This can affect the eardrum vibrations and create unusual ear noises.
How to Treat Crackling, Snapping or Clicking Ear Noise
It is completely natural for your ears to make clicks or clicks when you swallow. Air needs to pass through the eustachian tubes to control pressure in the ears and help maintain proper balance.
What should you do if an ear infection, a buildup of wax, changes in altitude, or other reasons cause fullness in your ears as if they are clogged? Here are some natural ways to unzip your ears and ease the feeling of fullness in your ears.
Unveil Your Ears
The easiest way to remedy the feeling of having full or clogged ears is to discourage them.
Mayo Clinic doctors say that to get rid of pressure buildup in the middle ear, you can try the Valsalva maneuver. This can help get rid of a feeling of fullness in your ears and reduce the muffled sounds you hear.
To unzip your ears naturally, this is what you should do:
- Pinch both nostrils so that they are closed.
- Gently blow your nose to force air into your nostrils.
- The gentle pressure should force open the eustachian tubes and you should hear a crackling in the ears.
Remove the Wax with Olive Oil
If too much wax is blocking your ears and causing your ears to pop all the time, you can dissolve excess ear wax with olive oil.
According to the British Journal of General Practice, olive oil is a recommended natural remedy for wax removal. In fact, many studies have shown that heated olive oil is as effective as commercial preparations in helping to drain ear wax.
How to use olive oil to unlock the ears:
For this natural remedy to stop the crackling sounds in your ear, you will need some olive oil and a dropper. This is the method to remove the wax:
- Heat some extra virgin olive oil, making sure it is not too hot.
- Put your head to one side and, using a dropper, put a few drops in your ear.
- Wait 2-3 minutes to allow the oil to soften the wax.
- Use a cotton swab to remove the dissolved wax from the outside of the ear.
- Use as often as necessary to remove a buildup of wax from your ears and stop excessive noise.
Hydrogen peroxide is another natural remedy that can help clean your ears and get rid of a feeling of fullness in your ears.
According to doctors at the Mayo Clinic, you can soften the wax by placing a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide in your ear.
How to use hydrogen peroxide to stop hearing a noise in your ears:
To use hydrogen peroxide to remove a buildup of earwax and stop ear clicking, this is what you must do:
- Fill a dropper with 1-3 ml of 3% food-grade hydrogen peroxide.
- Tilt your head to the side and place a few drops of hydrogen peroxide solution in the ear canal.
- Press the flap into the ear canal opening to work the hydrogen peroxide and help dissolve the ear wax.
- Continue for 10 to 15 seconds. During this time you should hear snap, crackle and pop sounds like Rice Krispies.
- Tilt your head to the other side and use a cotton pad to clean ear drainage.
- Repeat with the other ear.
Garlic for an Ear Infection
Garlic has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties that can be used to treat a mild ear infection and stop constant clicking in the middle ear.
Medicine magazine reported in 2016 that garlic extract-containing preparations are effective in controlling earache in children. Researchers have found that garlic’s antimicrobial properties can help treat ear infections and inflammation.
According to Letters in Applied Microbiology magazine, garlic contains compounds that are effective in treating ear infections by fungus in the outer ear.
How to use garlic for ear infections:
To use garlic to kill insects and germs in the ear and stop the constant crackling noises when you swallow or move your jaw, this is what you should do:
- Crush 2 cloves of garlic and leave for a few minutes. This allows the allicin antimicrobial ingredient to form.
- Put in a pan with a few spoons of olive oil and cook for a few minutes.
- Strain the garlic oil with a metal tea strainer and leave it until it has a hot but not too hot temperature.
- Lie on your side and, using a dropper, place 2-4 drops of warm garlic oil in your sore ear.
- Leave for 2-3 minutes to let the garlic kill the infection and dissolve any wax buildup.
- Repeat 3 times a day until you have no more pain and you only have normal clicking sounds when swallowing.
Saline Nasal Flush
Because your breasts, nose, and ears are all connected, you can help unclog your ears using a saltwater solution.
Salt is a natural antibacterial agent that can help rid you of a sinus infection and its associated symptoms. According to Dr. Luqman Seidu at WebMD, saltwater nasal irrigation and Neti pot can help alleviate the symptoms of sinusitis.
How to irrigate your nasal passages and soothe your ears
Here’s how to use a Neti pot to help clean unclog your ears naturally :
- Boil 1 liter of water and let cool until warm (or use distilled warm water).
- Mix 1 tsp of salt in the water and fill the Neti pot.
- Tilt your head at a 45-degree angle and place the Neti pot nozzle into the top nostril.
- Gently pour the saltwater solution into your nostril and let it flow out to the other nostril.
- Repeat with the other nostril to help kill germs in your breasts.
Other Ways to Get Rid of Ear-Stamped Sound
There are many other ways to help relieve ear pressure and unpack your ears if you have Eustachian tube dysfunction or a buildup of ear wax.
Yawn or swallow. Opening your mouth wide can help ease ear fullness and get rid of the clicking sounds of your ear. According to Dr. Rod Moser at WebMD, yawning or swallowing activates the muscles in your jaws and ears and can equalize the pressure in your ears.
Decongestants. You can try using steam inhalation as a decongestant to try to clean your eustachian tubes. Some natural ingredients that help break down phlegm and mucus are eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, and tea tree oil. Put a few drops in a bowl of boiling water and inhale to unclog the breasts and relieve pressure on the ears.
Chewing gum. Chewing gum or sucking candy can help get rid of crackling and crackling in the ears. Chewing gum works on the same principle as yawning or swallowing. Bullet sucking can help if your ears are popping when you are on a plane or if you have a constant popping in your ears while you are cold.