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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Crackling Sound in Ear: Common Causes

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Are you hearing a crackling sound in your ear? It can be due to anything from earwax to an infection.

Hearing it all the time or only when eating or swallowing can cause a disruption in your life. Thinking about it constantly can in fact leave you worried, anxious or even sleepless at night. Needless to say, figuring out the cause is imperative so that it may be put to an end accordingly.

This article will get you introduced to some of the most common causes of a crackling sound in the ear, and also some of the steps that may be taken in order to deal with the problem.


In many cases, a crackling sound in the ear can be blamed on earwax. It’s very much possible for earwax to accumulate near the eardrum and harden — it can rub against the eardrum and cause crackling-like sound.

Health experts say that usually it’s due to the use of cotton swabs in cleaning the ear canal. Just like what they say, you should refrain from putting anything into your ear that’s bigger than your elbow, or else a crackling sound due to ear wax may take place among many other problems.

Solution: Place a few drops of baby oil or olive oil in the ear and allow it to drain after a few minutes.

Foreign Object

Just about anything that can fit into your ear may wind up trapped right next to the eardrum, causing a crackling sound each time it rubs against the delicate membrane situated in your middle ear.

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An insect flying or crawling into the ear canal is something that can certainly cause a crackling sound in your ear.

Solution: Using water and a syringe, try to gently flush the foreign object out of your ear canal.


Ear infections are very common in kids, but it doesn’t mean that adults cannot get them, too. If you are suffering from an ear infection, it’s for certain that you will encounter ear pain and a feeling of fullness or pressure, which is something that can cause a popping or crackling sound in your ear.

You can associate a crackling sound with an ear infection if you are also experiencing unusual symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, balance issues, and hearing loss or diminished capacity to hear.

Solution: Report the problem to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist so that you may be given antibiotics.

TMJ Disorders

Your lower jaw connects to your skull by means of what’s referred to as the temporomandibular joint or TMJ. The problem with your TMJ is that it’s susceptible to all kinds of problems referred to collectively as TMJ Disorders or TMJDs.

Excessive chewing, teeth grinding or bruxism, stress, anxiety, poor posture, trauma to the teeth or jaw, arthritis or any other inflammatory disorder of the musculoskeletal system — these are some of the causes of TMJDs.

Solution: Pay your dentist a visit so that the cause may be identified and the right treatment may be provided.

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

There is a tiny canal that connects the cavity of your middle ear to the cavity behind your nose and mouth (pharynx), and it is there in order to maintain normal air pressure on both sides of your eardrums.

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Problems with the eustachian tube can come into being such as those that are due to allergies or upper respiratory tract infections, causing all kinds of symptoms like a crackling sound in the ear. Such is due to the failure of the eustachian tube to maintain correct air pressure in the ear.

Solution: Take your OTC antihistamine or cold medication, or pay your doctor a visit.

Side Effects

In some instances, that crackling sound you are hearing can be linked to an OTC or prescription medication that you are taking. So in other words, it’s just a side effect.

Medications known to cause a crackling, crunching or popping sound in your ear are ibuprofen, antibiotics and diuretics.

Solution: Do not just stop taking your prescription medication without telling the prescribing doctor about it.

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