I sometimes get a small crackling sound in my right year when I am talking or yawning. Also when I am cycling I get these small crackling sounds in both of my ears. It don't seem to be congested and it's not allergy season here in Arizona. My hearing is normal. I get ringing in my ears when I am in a very ilent room, but I think everyone does. Right now the little crackling sounds are just annoying but I am afraid they might get worse.
When I was a very small child (I am 18 now) I had tubes put in both ears because of ear infections. I got them taken out before I was five or six. Honestly, I can't even remember this, it is just what I've heard from my mom. However, I have never had any problems until recently.
I see there is another thread with a similar question but there are not very many definite answers, just people who post one question and leave the forum forever! You wonder if they ever got any better.
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