The Science Behind Crackling Ears: Causes and Treatments

Have you ever experienced crackling sounds in your ears? If you haven’t then let me tell you that it’s the most annoying feeling in the world. People who experienced this have narrated the feeling to be an obnoxious feeling.

But what is the exact reason behind the crackling in ears? You need to know about those reasons if you want to avoid hearing crackling sounds in your ears.

For your convenience, I’ll explain the exact reason behind the crackling sounds in your ears and I’ll also tell you how to treat this problem. So, keep reading to know everything about this heinous problem that we face often.

Reason Behind Crackling Ears:

The science behind crackling ears is not very difficult to understand. Let’s see how crackling sounds in our ears occurs,

  • Eustachian Tube Stops Working:

Let’s get introduced to this Eustachian tube first. It is a tiny, narrow tube in your ear that connects the back of your nose and upper throat with the middle part of your ear. We all have one of these in each ear. This tube plays a vital role in your ears.

The main thing that this tube does is it keeps the pressure of the surrounding environment and the pressure in your ears equalized, it drains fluid from your ear that can cause severe discomfort and it also prevents any infection in your ear.

Now if this Eustachian tube stops working properly, I mean if it doesn’t open or close properly it can cause crackling in the ears.

  • Acute Otitis Media Infection:

The big reason behind this infection is eustachian tube dysfunction. Because when the tube is narrowed or blocked, the fluid in the ears bulk and causes this infection.

This infection usually occurs in the middle part of our ears. Children suffer from this infection more than adults do.

This infection can lead to a crackling sound in the ears with fever and headache. You’ll also face difficulty in hearing if you have this infection in your ears.

  • TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Disorders:

This temporomandibular joint attaches our jaw to our skull and we have this joint on each side of our head. This joint is located in front of our ears. This joint works like a hinge and also can perform sliding motions.

Any kind of injury or damage to the joint can lead to temporomandibular disorders. People who have TMJ disorders hear popping or crackling sounds in their ears. Especially when they open their mouth wide or chew something.

TMJ disorder can also lead to much discomfort in our jaw. We can experience pain in our jaw, and stiffness in the jaw muscles, we won’t be able to move our jaw much and our jaw will get locked.

  • Increasing Ear Wax In Ears:

Cleaning earwax from ears regularly is a very important part of our body hygiene. The mass amount of earwax can cause several serious malfunctions in our ears and it’s also unhygienic to keep your ears uncleaned.

The minimum amount of earwax will help protect your ear canals from getting infected. But when the amount gets increased, it’s not so good for you. Earwax usually gets out of our ears naturally but sometimes it can get stuck in our ear canal and cause a massive blockage.

The major reason for ear wax getting stuck in the ear canal is pushing the earwax deeper into the ear mistakenly by objects like a cotton swab. That’s why you need to be more careful while cleaning your ears or it’ll be best if you get your ears cleaned by professionals.

The discomforts that excess earwax can lead to are, popping or crackling sounds in the ears, severe ear pain, partial hearing loss, itching, and ears feeling plugged.

It can be a major cause of the crackling in ears. So it’s gravely important for you to stop earwax from getting built up in your ears.

  • Middle Ear Myoclonus AKA MEM:

Middle ear myoclonus is a type of tinnitus and it’s a very rare type. Mainly spasms of two specific muscles in our ear cause this problem. The muscles are known as stapedius and tensor tympani.

The major responsibility that these two muscles have is to help transmit the vibration from the eardrum bones and bones in the middle ear into the inner ear. It’s a vital responsibility.

Spasms of stapedius can lead to crackling in ears and many minor discomforts. Due to the spasm of the tensor tympani, we can hear a clicking sound in our ears.

This kind of noise in ears can vary from person to person. For example, some can hear the sound rhythmically or irregularly, some may hear the sounds continuously and some can hear the sounds in only one ear while others can hear in both ears.

Treatments For Crackling Ears:

  • See A Doctor:

If the crackling sounds in your ears get intensely painful, rush to a doctor. If you’re not sure of when is the right time to see a doctor for this problem, then let me help you with that problem too. If you’re hearing crackling sounds continuously in your ear and this is interfering with your day-to-day activities or if the infection in your ears has lasted for more than one day and blood or pus is coming out of your ears then it is time to rush to a doctor.

  • Home Remedies for Crackling Ears:

There are a lot of effective home remedies for treating crackling ears that can give you relief for at least a while.

The most important ones are: popping ears, sinus flush, earwax removal, TMJ exercise, hot oil massage, etc. These will give you instant relief from hearing cracking sounds in your ears.


The ears are one of the most vital organs in our body. It helps us with hearing but the discomforts that can occur in the ears are the worst kind. Crackling in the ears is one of those vicious discomforts that we often feel in our ears.

Now that you know what causes this uneasiness in your ears, it’ll be easy for you to prevent this from occurring. There’s a proverb that prevention is better than cure. That’s why you should try to be careful about the causes and prevent this discomfort.