Whether your ear is making a crackling, whistling or muffled roar, it can be more than annoying. The inability to hear clearly can lead to miscommunication or shouting, as if you were going deaf. While it is possible that the noise in your ears is an indication of a more serious problem, it could be that your ears are simply blocked--either by wax, pressure or swelling. Swelling can occur for a variety of reasons, chief among them being allergies. Of course, if allergy medication does not alleviate the problem and the noise persists, there may be other ways of dealing with the issue. If your methods fail to help, always have a doctor check out the problem.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Clear Out the Wax
Ear wash bulbs and ear wash can be found at any drugstore. Follow all printed directions. If earwax buildup is causing the crackle sound you hear, this is a simple problem to remedy. It becomes more of an issue to determine whether you are having an unusual amount of wax buildup and an unusual frequency. If the amount and frequency seem excessive, consider doing more than just treating the symptom and seek the underlying cause by consulting with a doctor.
Try Stretching the Jaw
Some people are more sensitive to pressure changes in the air. Swelling inside the ear canal can cause a loss of hearing that may result in sounds breaking up in a crackling noise. Ever notice how your ear often pops with a yawn? If you can, force a yawn to see if that helps. Otherwise, simulate that same mechanism by opening your jaw wide, then stretching it to pop the ear. Popping the ear equalizes pressure, thus opening up the passageway.
The Valsalva Maneuver
Occasionally, a yawn is not quite enough. You might have tried the stretch and obtained some relief, but your hearing still sounds wrong. Yet, you feel certain that if your jaw could only stretch another inch or so more, you would have opened the passageway. If this is the case, try the Valsalva maneuver--something SCUBA divers use to equalize pressure in the ear canals. Be careful when performing this method because you can damage your eardrums. First, squeeze your nostrils together, forming a seal. Then draw a normal breath, and very, very gently try to blow air out your closed nose. This forces the air back to pop the ears. Note the word "force." That's why you must do this very gently. Do not force the air harder just because it seems as though it might work better.
A Chi-Gong Exercise
A much gentler means of applying pressure on the eardrums is with a simple chi-gong exercise. This puts pressure on the external side of the eardrum, rather than the internal. Many people practice this exercise as a daily means of massaging the eardrum to maintain its health. As such, this can be done on your ears even when you aren't hearing any crackling. Place your fingertips behind your head, touching at the base of your skull. Now let the hands reach over to where the palm cups the whole ear. With the hand cupping the ear you'll hear something like what you'd hear listening to a seashell. Now, gently press your hands firmly against your ear, pressing the ear flat against your head, while maintaining a firm air-seal over your ears. You should only feel a slight pressure on the eardrums. Now, release the pressure quickly. You should hear a popping sound. The exercise should be done properly nine times, according to tradition. It can be repeated throughout the day.
For the oldest of homemade remedies, you can turn to some of nature's solutions. One remedy for earaches involves steeping mullein flowers in olive oil for 21 days. Steep them inside a closed container under the hot sun. Strain out the flowers and apply the oil directly (gently) in the ear and pack with cotton. If you're more inclined to try homeopathic remedies, you can find them at most health food stores. Be sure to read the associated symptoms with each remedy, as there can be a multitude. One old homeopathic remedy for ringing in the ears is made from the iris plant, while one made from the rose is good for hay fever affecting the Eustachian tubes.
Good health has always been linked with maintaining the body's proper nutrients. When it comes to ear health, a deficiency in manganese could be indicated. Such deficiencies has been linked to ear disorders. Vitamin B complex is also key to solid ear health. Besides being an essential vitamin for healing and immune function, it helps relieve ear pressure due to infection.
If earwax buildup is causing the crackle sound you hear, this is a simple problem to remedy. If this is the case, try the Valsalva maneuver--something SCUBA divers use to equalize pressure in the ear canals. A much gentler means of applying pressure on the eardrums is with a simple chi-gong exercise.
- Yawn image by Mykola Velychko from Fotolia.com