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Crackling in Ear

Crackling in Ear: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Some people will experience crackling in ear after a head injury or because of some form of infection. In either case, the noise is one indicator that something may be wrong.

Have you ever had the experience of a sudden crackling in ear?

This is not as uncommon as you may think. In fact, about 15% of people will experience this phenomenon at some point in their lives. 

The most common cause of crackling in ear is earwax buildup. This condition can be relieved by cleaning out the ears with the help of an audiologist. 

There are cases when the noise produced by crackling in ear indicates that there’s something wrong with your eardrum or middle ear. It could be caused by fluid behind the eardrum or a perforation (hole) in it. 

Some people will experience crackling in ear after a head injury or because of some form of infection. In either case, the noise is one indicator that something may be wrong. See an audiologist as soon possible to have that crackling in ear noise checked out.

Is crackling in ear serious?

It’s hard to say for sure until you get your ears checked out by an audiologist. 

There are some instances in which it may be a sign of something serious, such as fluid behind the eardrum or perforation (hole) on your eardrum and middle-ear infection. 

When you experience crackling in your ears, it may signify many different things – infections, tumors near one’s eardrums , or could be due to decreased moisture brought about by stress and/or diet. It is imperative that you see an audiologist as soon as possible to determine the cause of the crackling in ear.

Common Causes of Crackling in Ears

Ear Infection: When your ears feel like they’re blocked up and you have a fever, it’s possible that there is an infection.  This can happen as the result of bacteria or virus entering through one’s ear canal. Swimming in dirty water or not drying out your ears completely after a swim or a bath can cause crackling in ear.

Middle-ear Infection: A middle ear infection can cause the eardrum to become inflamed and could lead to crackling in ear.

Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorder: A TMJ disorder may be the reason behind limited jaw movement. Common symptoms of TMJ include pain when opening/closing the mouth, crackling in ear and migraines.

Impacted Earwax: Impacted earwax may be difficult to remove without the expertise and equipment of an audiologist. Impacted earwax can produce pressure in the ear canal which may trigger crackling in ear.

Penetrating Ear Injury: The ear canal is an extremely sensitive area of the body. A penetrating injury to this part may lead one with crackling in their ears, and should be treated as a medical emergency.

Shift in Pressure when Changing Altitudes:  Crackling in ear can be experienced when there is a shift in altitudes (e.g traveling in an airplane, mountain climbing, scuba diving).

If you happen to observe that the problem still persists after returning from a high-altitude location, seek medical attention right away.

Hearing Clinic MA

The ears deteriorate as people age but anyone, regardless of age, can be stricken with an ear issue. 

Hearing problems can be due to a number of causes. If you experience hearing loss, tinnitus, crackling in ear or any other ear issue that is affecting your quality-of life, don’t hesitate to reach out to an audiologist. 

Crackling in ear can be triggered by many factors – from injury, impacted earwax to injury. If you hear those crackling sounds, don’t ignore them. Visit a hearing clinic and have your ears checked by an audiologist for proper diagnosis and intervention. 

Atlantic Hearing Care is a hearing clinic located in Massachusetts, with branches in Swampscott and Peabody. Call us today to schedule an appointment! 



Two Convenient Locations

990 Paradise Road, Suite 3A
Swampscott, MA 01907

2 First Avenue, Suite 127-1
Peabody, MA 01960