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"What's this cracking in my ear?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat's this cracking in my ear?


A few days ago, a crackling noise started in my right ear. I haven't gone traveling recently, haven't been sick, and haven't went swimming. Assuming it was a wax buildup, I cleaned out my ear. But that didn't help. I have not shown any signs of being sick. This crackling is driving me insane. What is it?


I am sorry to hear that you have been dealing with a crackling noise in your right ear despite being healthy and not traveling recently. I will give you some of my thoughts about what might be going on, but in order to get the most accurate opinion possible I am going to recommend that you make an appointment with an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) physician, or otolaryngologist. They will be able to take a history and examine your ears, and are well equipped to diagnose and manage ear problems. My initial thought with the information that you gave me is that you may be suffering from some eustachian tube dysfunction. The eustachian tube is a small tube that normally brings air form the back of your nose to your middle ear. This equalizes the pressure in your middle ear and is necessary for a normal functioning ear. It is closed most of the time and periodically opens to equalize the pressure. This happens when you swallow or chew. When the tube is not functioning properly, the individual will often times hear a pop or a click in their ear. There are a number of other possibilities as to what might be going on, but they all depend on what the ear exam looks like. Your ENT should be able to examine you and give a good opinion about what they think is happening. Best of luck.

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