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Crackling in the Ear

Tilottama Chatterjee
If your ear is making a crackling, popping, or an unusual noise, chances are it is an indication of a serious issue. Read this story to find out the possible causes and treatment options so that you can deal with it at the earliest.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.
Hearing a consistent crackling sound in your ear can be a cause for concern. Many of us tend to ignore such afflictions hoping that it'll go away on its own. Or, perhaps the sound is not disrupting the daily routine that much. However, it's always better to treat a symptom rather than a condition, and arrest it before it has a chance to become a serious health concern.


There can be a variety of reasons why you are experiencing such an issue. So, if you wish to get some information about it, before you'd like to visit your doctor, we would be happy to help you in any way possible. Below we have listed certain causes for the crackling sound along with some treatment options.
However, we do urge you to visit a trusted healthcare provider to get a better diagnosis.
  • Eustachian tube inflammation
  • Mucus accumulation
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Earwax
  • Congestion
  • Sinusitis


Depending on the cause, which we hope you have some idea about, finding the correct treatment method becomes simpler. If you are not aware of how and/or why behind the crackling noise, here are some at-home remedies to try.

  1. If you feel that earwax buildup might the issue here, you can purchase an ear wash system from a local drugstore.
Also, you can use a cotton swab to clean your ear with. But do make sure that you're not pushing it too deep inside the ear.
2. For congestion or sinusitis, you can try steam inhalation as it can provide some relief from the symptom.
3. The Eustachian tube is a thin tube that connects the middle ear to the throat.
If there is a fluid build up in this tube, chances are the crackling noises may be experienced. In such a case, you can try to open your jaw as widely as you can and then stretching it to pop the ear can help. If there is any pressure in that ear, this action will help open the passageway and rid you of the noise.

4. Yawning or stretching your jaw: Sometimes this simple action can cause a popping sound in your ear and put an end to the crackling sound you hear.
5. Chewing gum or sucking on a lozenge are other common treatment options. If your ear is blocked because you were in a high-speed elevator or on a plane, doing either of these things can help you find some relief.

6. Lastly, you can try the Valsalva maneuver which requires you to pinch your nostrils together as you keep your mouth closed. Next, you need to exhale with some amount of force. This, hopefully, relieves the pressure from the ear and inwardly, stop the annoying noise altogether.
Even after trying all these above mentioned remedies didn't help, and you have been experiencing the issue for about 12 to 48 hours, you should definitely make it a point to consult with your doctor or an ENT specialist.