When You Hear Clicking Sounds in Ear

Clicking sounds within an ear or ears may be due to Eustachian tube dysfunction. The middle ear space is an air-filled region of the ear that is cut-off from the outside world except for one passage called the Eustachian tube which opens into the back of the nose. The tube connects the middle ear to thenasopharynx and helps maintain equal air pressure on the two sides of the eardrum thus causing the clicking in ear. Knowing the anatomy of the ear and how the ear works in normal circumstances may help you understand the causes of unusual noises or clicking sounds in the ear/ears. Some refer to it as a morse code or tapping sound.

clicking in ear

Some people only experience the clicking sounds in the ears when chewing, moving their head or laying down. Have you observed that when you swallow, yawn or blow your nose, your ear ‘pops’ or popping in ear when swallowing? When the Eustachian tube functions normally, it opens for a very short time and allows air to pass from the middle ear to the back of the nose, from where the air is passed on to the environment. When the Eustachian tube doesn’t open normally, the middle ear space loses contact with the outside atmosphere. This can lead to a  clicking sound in the ear or the ear may feel full even though there is no earwax. Tinnitus is a condition in which a clicking sound within the ear, without the existence of any external sound, causes discomfort and pain. Noise-induced hearing loss can cause tinnitus. In severe conditions, the person may find it difficult to hear, work, concentrate, or even sleep. The person feels the sound in an ear but actually, the part of the brain that processes the sound is responsible for the disorder. Clicking in the eardrum can be experienced while chewing, swallowing, yawning or even constantly. Here is a list of the causes for a clicking sound in the ear.

ringing in ears

What Causes Clicking in Ear

  • Perforated Eardrum: Perforated eardrum can lead to clicking within an ear. As you know, no pressure can build up in a  balloon if there is a  hole, a perforated eardrum will not be able to balance the pressure. If the pressure difference is severe, thе perforated eardrum bulges to the point it can pop like a balloon. Bу popping the ears, the pressure difference will be minimized.
  • Enlarged Adenoids: Whether it is clicking іn right ear or left ear, you will have to check what causes the Eustachian tube to not open up properly. If the tube is physically blocked towards the opening of the tube in the nose, it must be probably due to large adenoids. In rare cases, the opening of the tube in the nose si blocked due to a tumor.Endoscopy helps detect the exact causes.
  • Common Cold: Thе Eustachian tube does not open properly due to inflammatory conditions, especially due tо cold, sinus problems and allergies which lead to an inflamed and swollen Eustachian tube. This is known as Eustachian tube dysfunction. This can create a problem like ‘clicking sound in ear’.
  • Wrong Diet: Excessive consumption of red wine, cheese, chocolates can lead tо ringing ears. Avoiding excessive intake of coffee, aspirin, spirits made from grain and foods rich in salicylates can help prevent such problems.
  • Structural Problems: People who mainly suffer from constant negative ear pressure, are at risk of developing fluid in the middle ear which may lead to middle ear infection, clicking sound and hearing loss.
  • Muscle Spasms: Spasms of the muscles of the soft palate make them extend towards the ear. Spasms of muscles in the middle or inner ear can create a clicking sound in the ear.
  • Accumulation оf Earwax: If earwax is nit removed properly and regularly, it can block the sounds from reaching the brain, resulting in clicking within an ear.
  • Dental Procedure: Vascular abnormalities and the strain on the temporomandibular joint during a dental procedure can result in clicking in ear.
  • Noise Pollution: Exposure to loud music and noises can lead to a clicking sound in an ear.
  • Excessive Stress: Constant and excessive stress can be the cause of this condition.
  • Medications: Some medications may lead to the inflammation of the Eustachian tube, resulting in abnormal sounds in the ears.
  • Brain Injuries: Brain injuries or brain tumors can cause clicking sounds.
  • Diseases: Many diseases like Meniere’s disease, abnormal blood pressure, fibromyalgia, diseases of the heart or blood vessels, thyroid problems, abnormal interactions between neural circuits, etc., could be the cause.
  • Bad Habits: Excessive consumption оf tobacco and alcohol can lead to ringing in the ears.

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Symptoms

  • Clicking noises in the ear or symptoms of ear fullness are observed when the Eustachian tube does not open up easily, resulting in an inability to pop the ears easily. In severe cases, persistent ear pain is also observed. Ear fullness is noticed if there is a pressure difference between the air pressure in the middle ear and the pressure outside the eardrum. Due to the pressure difference, the eardrum еeither bulges outward (positive pressure) or bulges inward (negative pressure). Basically, an inwardly or outwardly bulged eardrum can create a sensation of fullness for the person.
  • Eardrum Bulges Inward: The ear canal is open to the outside. If the outside pressure іѕ greater than the pressure in the middle ear space, the eardrum bulges inward. You may have experienced this as it occurs when a  plane is landing or if you dive deep into water…. This is just a natural reflex. The eardrum bulges inward until the pressure outside and inside the ear is equal. If the outside pressure is 30 and inside pressure is 10, then the eardrum wіll bulge inward, until the inside pressure is 30.
  • Eardrum Bulges Outward: If the outside pressure is less than the pressure in the middle ear space, the eardrum bulges outward. You may have experienced this during take-off or while driving up a huge mountain. This situation is exactly opposite of the above. If the middle ear pressure is 30 which is more than the outside pressure, which is  10, then the eardrum bulges outward until the pressure inside and outside matches at 10.

Treatment

Thе person suffering from tinnitus may have to undergo several tests. He should provide detailed information about his health and medicines to his doctor for a proper diagnosis. Thе doctor wіll have to find out the exact underlying cause of tinnitus and plan the treatment accordingly. If earwax has blocked the ear canal, it will be removed with the help of advanced techniques and instruments. Sometimes small electronic devices commonly known as a masker that produce a soft, pleasant sound are fitted in the ear to disguise the sounds. A cochlear implant is recommended in case of severe hearing loss. Bypassing the damaged portion of the inner ear, it transmits electrical signals to the auditory nerve. After reading the causes оf clicking in ear, you will  understand that the treatment for this infliction will vary according to the causes, symptoms and severity of the condition.

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