Cracking in the ear when swallowing: symptoms, possible causes, medical advice, diagnosis and treatment

Cracking, crunching, clicking in the ears during swallowing are considered safe if they occur once. If this is repeated systematically, then you should be wary of identifying the cause of this phenomenon. Some people experience a crunch in their ear when swallowing. This phenomenon may indicate a violation in the body. Its causes and treatment are described in the article.

Ear structure

The human ear has a complex structure, but performs only 2 functions: it perceives sound vibrations, provides balance.

The ear includes 3 sections:

  • external;
  • average;
  • internal.
crunching in the ear when swallowing

Each department has its own structural features, as well as its own functions. Externally, the ear includes 2 sections: the auricle and the external auditory canal. The ear shell is presented in the form of an elastic cartilage, covered with skin and having a complex structure. At the bottom of it is a lobe, which has a high sensitivity to injuries. The main function of the auricle is the perception of sounds.

The cartilage of the external auditory meatus is no longer than 3 cm long. The sebaceous and sulfur glands are on the skin. The ears are separated from the middle part by the eardrum. In the middle ear there is:

  • tympanic cavity;
  • Eustachian tube;
  • mastoid.

These sites are interconnected. The drum cavity is represented as a space bounded by a membrane and the wall of the inner ear. It is located in the place of the temporal bone. Ahead, the tympanic cavity is combined with the nasopharynx, communication is due to the Eustachian tube. Air enters the tympanic cavity through the Eustachian tube.

The inner ear is considered to be a complex part of the ear. It includes a vestibule, a cochlea with a cortic organ, and semicircular canals filled with fluid. The inner ear performs a vestibular function.

Crunch reasons

Often patients complain to doctors: "When I swallow, my ears are crunching." Also, with this phenomenon, other symptoms can be observed, such as pain, tinnitus. Before prescribing treatment, a diagnosis is required.

crunching in the ears when swallowing and yawning

Why does it crunch in the ear when swallowing? This phenomenon can be objective and subjective. To determine the type of sound allows phonendoscopic diagnosis. Subjective noise is felt only by the patient, and the attending physician can listen to objective noise, these noises are rare in the otolaryngological sphere.

Auditory tube dysfunction

This is also one of the reasons if you hear a sharp crack in the ear when swallowing. This violation is recognized as dangerous and can lead to negative consequences, including hearing loss and deafness. Such a violation occurs with infectious processes that cover the outer and middle ear. In the Eustachian tube and auditory cavity, fluid accumulates. With such a lesion, the appearance of:

  • swelling
  • sensations of stuffy ear;
  • the complexity of jaw movements;
  • pain and crunch in the ear.

With dysfunction of the auditory tube, dangerous complications can occur. Probable include the appearance of:

  • otitis media of the middle and inner ear;
  • aerootite;
  • meningitis;
  • sepsis.

A sign of an auditory tube dysfunction is a runny nose. The patient has a strong mucus from the nose. If crunching in the ear when swallowing for this reason, timely medical attention is needed.


In some patients, crunching occurs only during flight. This phenomenon indicates the presence of aerootite. Symptoms are more intense during yawning and turning the head at height. The course of this pathology should not be ignored. The course of the disease is sometimes exacerbated. Often this leads to other complications.

crunch in the ears when swallowing saliva

During the flight, there is a deterioration in well-being:

  • intense crackling and crunching in the ear begins;
  • swelling of the ear canal appears, which causes a deterioration in the perception of sounds;
  • there is pain in the temporal part and occiput.

A person constantly flying on an airplane should not ignore even the occurrence of a crunch in his ear. Aerootitis can lead to complete or partial hearing loss.


A cause of a crunch in the ears when swallowing and yawning may be malocclusion. Injuries, dental procedures, and congenital changes can lead to this phenomenon. This pathology is not associated with impaired sound perception quality, but attention needs to be paid to its elimination. This requirement is due to the fact that malocclusion can lead to a weakening of the auditory nerve. Change is the cause of its atrophy.

Pathology of the nervous system

Crunching in the ear during swallowing arises from pathologies of the nervous system. In this situation, unpleasant sensations are provoked by nervous or physical overstrain. Often the cause of this change is prolonged stress.

why crunches in the ear when swallowing

In this case, a crunch usually appears in the evening. With a violation, pain and fever do not appear, but treatment is nevertheless necessary. Prolonged occurrence of sound leads to mental disorders in the patient.

Foreign body

The appearance of a crunch in the ears when swallowing saliva is possible if there is a foreign body in the ear canal. This problem often occurs in children, but it can also be in adults. Foreign body can be:

  • pieces of cotton wool that get into the auditory tube when cleaning;
  • dust particles (this problem often appears among miners and metallurgists);
  • insect larvae penetrating with water when swimming in ponds.

The patient should not fix the problem on his own if the jaw crunches near the ear. There is a risk of pushing the part deep into the auditory tube. The foreign body may be sulfur plug. It can appear for various reasons. To confirm the diagnosis, you need to contact the otolaryngologist. Then the doctor will confirm the likelihood of washing at home.


Sometimes cracking in the ear appears with a sharp allergy to specific irritating factors. A severe attack occurs from a runny nose, rhinitis. Some part of the ENT organs swells, inflammation occurs, and therefore an unpleasant sound. These symptoms are dangerous, so you should contact the ENT specialist as soon as possible.

crunches in the ear when moving the jaw

Should I see a doctor?

Sometimes it crunches in the ear when moving with the jaw, but everything disappears after a few days. If the intensity of the discomfort intensifies or other symptoms appear, a call to the otolaryngologist is required. Determining the cause on your own will be difficult, but choosing an effective method of treatment will not work.


If it crunches in the ear when chewing, treatment can be performed using different methods. Only a doctor can choose the right one. The method of therapy depends on the cause that triggers the crunch:

  1. With dysfunction of the auditory tube, medication is necessary, involving the use of anti-inflammatory and decongestant drugs, vasoconstrictor medications in the form of ear drops. You can restore normal patency of the auditory canal by blowing through the Politzer. If irreversible structural changes occur, surgery is likely.
  2. With aerootitis, experts advise using ear drops with a decongestant effect. If there is a purulent process, antibacterial agents are used.
  3. In case of malocclusion, the help of a dentist is needed. It should be noted that treatment can be performed at any age, but the restoration of anatomical and aesthetic function allows you to get excellent results with an early call to a specialist. Restore the bite allow the bracket system.
  4. In diseases of the nervous system, treatment should be performed with the use of sedatives and nootropic drugs. Such medications are taken only as directed by a specialist, when the cause of the change is identified.
  5. In the presence of a foreign body, its removal is required. Then the unpleasant symptoms disappear immediately. The removal is performed in the otolaryngologist’s office. If the foreign body is a sulfur plug, flushing is performed.
crunches the jaw near the ear


It is difficult to provide specific recommendations for the treatment of this problem, since the final course of therapy is determined due to pathology. Often with a crunch in the ears, doctors prescribe medications depending on what causes it. Often, therapy is performed as follows:

  1. With sulfur cork, special drops are used that soften sulfur masses. It can be either special medicines or warmed oils, it is better to choose almond or any vegetable.
  2. For diseases of the outer or inner ear, otitis media, special drops are used, supplemented by ear compresses. The latter are made of cotton turundas, which are moistened in a solution of propolis in water and inserted into the ear canal for 4-12 hours.
  3. In case of inflammation in the ears, treatment is carried out like the previous method, but it must be borne in mind that in this case it is impossible to apply warming compresses that are placed inside the ear. The warming action is performed using dry warm compresses that are applied to the tragus. The last is heated salt or sand wrapped in napkins.
  4. The doctor may be prescribed narrowly targeted drugs in the form of tablets or syrup. In this case, it all depends on the pathology. For example, for problems with the maxillofacial joint, pills are prescribed to restore its mobility, and maybe an ointment.

Treatment can be performed independently, most importantly, under the supervision of a doctor. You need to know the cause of the disease and properly organize the course of therapy.


In the treatment, special compresses and drops are used. Only these are self-prepared preparations. The most effective means include:

  1. Calamus tincture. It is prepared by infusing grated calamus root (5-10 g) in boiling water (0.5 liters). The tool is instilled 1 drop in each ear 2 times a day. The duration of treatment is 1-2 months.
  2. Birch tar in milk. It will take tar (1 tsp) and milk (1 cup). The tool is used orally during the day. The duration of therapy is 2 weeks.
  3. Tincture of lemongrass. The tool eliminates the problem of noise due to low pressure. Take tincture of 25 drops 3 times a day an hour after eating. Therapy is 2-4 weeks.
crunches in the ear when chewing

Before using any means of traditional medicine, you need to consult a specialist. Only a doctor can determine whether a medicine is suitable for the treatment of a specific ailment.

Doctors hear from many patients: "When I chew, it crunches in my ear." The reasons for this phenomenon are many. The danger is that a symptom can indicate dangerous pathologies. Do not ignore this phenomenon, only with timely access to a doctor can pathology be eliminated without complications.


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