Bubbling Noise in My Ears - Symptoms and Causes

I have a bubbling noise in my ears. It started several weeks ago and got worse. It started with a buzzing and now its in my other ear. It has gotten much worse. My head hurts and I feel all blocked up, but don’t have a cold. Thank you for your help!


There are different problems that can cause these symptoms. We can have noises such as you describe from having something as simple as wax in the ear canal. Wax can cause symptoms by blocking the ability of sound to get through and making your own internal sounds  louder. It can allow water to get into the ear canal and then not get out.

Another problem may be fluid behind the ear drum- or otitis media. We make fluid in the little space behind the ear drum, which then drains through the eustachian tube to the back of the nose-  the tube should open every time we yawn or swallow. If that tube gets blocked, the middle ear cannot drain, and then the space typically fills with fluid. It makes us feel like we are hearing under water, and often creates a bubbling and crackling sound as the tube struggles to open.

Hearing losses from actual damage to the inner ear can cause us to hear noises and buzzing- and finally, a problem with the jaw joint may cause one to hear crackling noises opening the jaw and/or chewing. This can often affect both ears as cause head ache as well.

So, when someone just says “I have a bubbling noise in my ears”, fthere is no simple answer other than have a doctor take a look and tell you. It’s not hard to figure out which is causing your problem with a simple exam.

R Pincus MD