We’ve all at some point experienced a strange noise in our ears.
Sometimes the noise is present after listening to pretty loud music, being in a loud environment, or even when you’re in a silent room.
The noise can either sound like static, a ringing, buzzing, thumping, or wheezing noise that no one else can hear.
Have you ever found yourself asking why do I hear static?
Are you tired of hearing static and is it driving you crazy?
Today we’ll discuss what this noise is, the causes, and how to prevent it from happening.
In some cases, it may not be preventable but don’t worry, we’ll discuss ways to make it manageable.
If you are tired of dealing with ear static, you’ll want to give this article a read and see how to prevent or manage any strange sounds you hear.
- What is ear static?
- What are some of the sounds you might hear?
- What causes ear static?
- How to quiet static sound in ear
- Tips to prevent you from hearing static in the first place
- When to see a doctor for ear static?
What is ear static?
Ear static is quite common and in some severe cases leads to Tinnitus.
Tinnitus, simply put is when you hear sounds without a visible external source of sound present.
This condition varies from person to person with some having a very mild case while others suffer from a severe case of tinnitus.
Tinnitus is not a disease but can happen due to numerous underlying health conditions.
Sometimes it can even happen due to external sources like working or spending a long time in loud environments.
If you are suffering from a severe case of tinnitus, it is best to book an appointment and go visit your doctor.
However, simple things can cause that static sound in ears and these things can be solved right at home.
On the other hand, if you aren’t sure whether it is just ear static or tinnitus, continue reading for tips on what to do.
What are some of the sounds you might hear?
Crackling or popping
Crackling and popping sounds are heard when the pressure in your air changes.
This can happen when there’s a change in altitude or going underwater and in common cases, from yawning.
There is a small part of the ear called the eustachian tube which is responsible for these sounds.
The mucus line passageways open up which allows air and fluid to circulate and as a result you hear a popping or crackling sound as the pressure is being released.
Buzzing or ringing
Intense persistent ringing and buzzing may be tinnitus.
You will need to visit a doctor to be sure but you should be able to identify the degree of ringing and buzzing you hear.
This condition can happen due to various factors from health concerns to external sources.
If you hear a rumbling noise when you have a big yawn, this is because the little muscles in your ear contract to ensure that the noise doesn’t damage the frail components inside your ear.
These muscles can turn the volume down when you are chewing, yawning, or even talking.
Since most of these actions are done by mouth, these muscles do damage control so that the noise we produce don’t affect our ear.
Thumping or Pulsing
The ears have some of the biggest veins in the body running right by them.
So if you hear a thumping or pulsing noise like a heartbeat, that is the sound of your heart pumping blood through your veins to other parts of the body.
This sound can become louder if you are scared, nervous, or just finished an intense workout.
This is called pulsatile tinnitus.
If it is indeed pulsatile tinnitus the hearing specialist should also hear the sound.
If you are experiencing this type of sound in your ear, see a doctor as soon as possible.
What causes ear static?
Now that you know what the noise in your ear is and what it can sound like, let’s take a look at some of the common causes of tinnitus.
While these may not be all the causes, they are some of the most common.
1. You’re always around loud noises
If you experience a high-pitched buzzing or ringing, loud noises may be the cause.
Those working in factories, in construction, road works, in the music industry, and hunters are most at risk.
This is due to tiny hair-like cells in the inner ear that are responsible for responding to different ranges of sounds.
The hair-like cells are arranged in a specific way to absorb sound energy from the lowest to the highest pitches.
Since the low pitch hair-like cells absorb sound energy first then pass it to the high pitch hair-like cells, the lower ones can become worn out over time.
As a result, the person suffers from high-pitched ringing in the ears with serious cases leading to some level of hearing loss.
2. Head injury
Another possible cause can be a head or neck injury of any sort.
Have you been in a car crash, had a fall, or any type of accident where you hurt your head or neck?
Was it soon after that you started hearing noises in your ear?
If your answer is yes to both these questions then that injury is indeed the cause of your tinnitus.
The buzzing noise you hear can happen due to damage to your inner ear, hearing nerve, or parts of your brain.
This form of tinnitus is possibly the worse type and cannot be prevented but managed as we’ll discuss later in this article.
3. Blocked ears
Wax build-up or in some rare cases, a tumor can be the cause of the ringing or buzzing noise in your ear.
This can happen if the tumor is putting excess pressure on the nerves that run through the length of your ear canal.
In the other case, it could be that wax has built up so much that it prevents you from hearing outside sounds.
If this is the case, then the removal of either the tumor or wax build-up can fix this issue.
Of course, removing a tumor will be a lot more difficult than wax build-up and require surgery.
4. You’re extremely congested
Are you suffering from a severe cold, flu, sinus infection, or allergies?
These can be the cause for the strange sounds you hear when no one else can.
That congested feeling creates a build-up of pressure in your middle air and your nasal passage can trigger your nerves to produce the ringing sensation you hear.
5. Side effect of medication
Some ototoxic medications can also be the cause of your tinnitus.
These medications can disrupt the delicate chemical balance of the inner ear or kill the hair-like cells and damage the ear structure.
If it is a side effect of these medications, you will also experience hearing loss, dizziness, and issues maintaining your balance.
A few examples of ototoxic medication include cisplatin which is a type of chemotherapy, aminoglycoside for serious infections, and loop diuretics for heart failure.
If you are suffering from the symptoms and using any of the medications mentioned, keep using the medication until you meet with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss how to move forward.
6. Jaw problems
There may be times when you get ringing in your ears, pain in your face and jaw, or weird popping sensations when you try to eat or talk.
This can be caused by issues with your jaw.
Any problem with muscles, ligaments, or cartilage in your temporomandibular joint(TMJ) may be at fault.
The TMJ is where your lower jaw connects to your skull so from time to time various things can go wrong.
The nerves for biting and chewing are connected to the structure in your ear so it is not surprising that you hear sounds when you try to chew.
If this is the case for you, you’ll need to see your doctor or a specialist and once the issue is resolved so will the tinnitus.
7. Blood sugar levels
Your inner ear needs a steady supply of oxygen and glucose to function properly.
A diabetic person’s body does not make enough insulin or use it correctly to transport glucose to the cells where it will be used as energy.
As a result, you develop tinnitus.
If you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes, this can be the first sign to let you know that your body isn’t processing glucose as it should.
Again, a visit to your doctor is in the cards to discuss ways to cope and manage symptoms.
7. Old age
As we get older, just as other parts of our body becomes worn, the same happens with our ears.
After years and years of working, the nerves and cells in the air can become worn out leading to hearing loss.
It is worse if you were someone who was always surrounded by loud noises.
A talk with your doctor can determine the level of hearing loss or sounds you’re hearing and find ways how to manage it.
8. Inner ear disorder
Last but not least, it could mean that you have an inner ear disorder.
Ménière is a disorder of the inner ear that can lead to tinnitus, hearing loss, and spells of dizziness.
It is caused by an imbalance of the fluid in the inner ear.
This condition is chronic so the only thing to do is find ways to manage the symptoms.
How to quiet static sound in ear
If your ear sounds like static and your symptoms aren’t severe, you may not want to visit your doctor.
In this instance, you may turn to home remedies and see if it rectifies the situation.
Do note that it is recommended to check with your doctor even at the very beginning just in case it is something serious.
1. Pop your ears
A simple fix is popping your ear.
Try swallowing, yawning, or chewing to unclog your ears.
This equalizes the pressure in your ear and eliminates the static.
2. Flush your nose
If you’re severely congested, flush your nasal passage with a nasal wash system and a saline solution.
The saltwater will help get rid of excess mucus from your nose and sinus to release pressure build-up.
- Built-in water filter
- Fast relief
- Easy to use
3. Remove ear wax
Softening and removing ear wax can make a huge difference especially if it’s a lot of pressing on the nerves in the ear.
You can use mineral oil, hydrogen peroxide or any over the counter ear drops to soften the wax.
- Microfoam action
- Safe and gentle
- Easy to use
4. Try OTC medication
You can try using over-the-counter medication like NSAIDs and decongestants or antihistamines.
NSAIDs reduce pain and inflammation while the others reduce congestion.
5. Strengthen your TMJ
If you are dealing with TMJ disorders, you can try doing specific exercises to strengthen the area.
You can also try massaging the area or applying an ice pack to alleviate pain and discomfort.
- Hot and cold
- Reusable and durable
- Flexible when frozen
Tips to prevent you from hearing static in the first place
While some form of tinnitus can’t be prevented, there are a few causes of this condition that can be taken care of so that you do not hear strange sounds in your ear.
1. Prevent respiratory infections
Try to keep your immune system strong so that you aren’t constantly getting sick with the common cold or flu.
Take your daily vitamins including vitamin c, wash your hands regularly and stay away from those who may be sick.
2. Do not use cotton swabs
Time and time again, it has been advised to never use cotton swabs to clean your ear.
However, against our better judgment, we still use them.
The problem with cleaning your ear with cotton swabs is that it can push earwax deeper into the ear canal.
This can cause a blockage and lead to ear static.
3. Stay away from irritants
If you suffer from allergies or asthma, try to stay away from environments that can trigger an attack.
Not only allergy sufferers need to stay clear of irritants like dust, smoke, and other pollutants.
In a normal person, these irritants can cause a sinus infection as well.
4. Stay away from loud noises
Static noise in ear when loud noises are present is the main cause of tinnitus.
Avoid spending too much time in environments where loud noises are constant. or even when using common kitchen equipment like blenders.
To silence blender noise, click the link.
If you can’t help being in a loud environment e.g for work, then use noise cancelling headphones or earplugs.
For more on how noise cancelling headphones work click on the link.
On the other hand, if you live in a noisy neighborhood, read this how to block noise from next door neighbors post.
- Reduce noise by 90%
- Sturdily built
When to see a doctor for ear static?
We mentioned throughout this article that a visit to the doctor even with mild ear static is a must.
However, here are some telltale signs that you need to visit the doctor.
Noises that affect daily life
If you find that the noise in your ear is preventing you from performing day to day activities then you need to go see your doctor.
This can be from constant sounds while concentration or not being able to hear sounds or others around you.
If the noises in the ear come and go frequently, it’s worth getting it checked out early.
Once it keeps coming back, it means something is wrong.
Who knows, you and your doctor may catch it early and prevent something more serious from happening like hearing loss.
A doctor will be able to provide the best solution to treat an ear infection.
Any discharge coming from your ear is a cause for concern especially if it contains blood or pus.
In this instance, a doctor will know what to do.