Rumbling Noise in Ear: Vibration and Weird Sound

Millions of people around the world experience strange sounds in their ears. While these sounds are easy to dismiss, they could be the result of a more serious condition. Ignoring a vibrating or rumbling noise in the ear may even lead to permanent hearing loss. If you are experiencing involuntary ear rumbling, here’s what you need to know about potential causes and whether it’s time to contact a medical professional.

What Causes a Rumbling in the Ear?

A rumbling sound in the ear can be disconcerting. In many cases, a vibrating ear is a natural reaction to activities like yawning and chewing. However, there are situations where that weird sound in the ear, like wind, could be a problem.

Tensor Tympani Muscle Contraction

Within the ear, there are tiny muscles called tensor tympani. Ordinarily, they are designed to tighten when yawning or chewing to protect your hearing. Some people can even control the contraction of these muscles, but this is extraordinarily rare. The root cause of that rumbling sound is the tensor tympani muscle contraction. Since many normal daily activities occur so close to the ear, this contraction defends the inner ear from being damaged. There are some scenarios where the contraction of the tensor tympani could indicate a severe problem, however.

Ear Infection

A middle ear infection is an all too common occurrence. These infections can make your ear extremely sensitive to touch and are incredibly uncomfortable. Middle ear infections also alter the way you hear things. Many sufferers of ear infections report hearing a rumbling sound or a vibration in the ear.

Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s disease is a serious condition that can cause severe difficulties in everyday life, including:

  • Ear rumbling
  • Loss of hearing
  • Vertigo
  • A feeling of fullness in the ear

This disease requires medical treatment as sufferers often report finding accomplishing daily tasks problematic


Tinnitus is one of the most common conditions impacting hearing. There are two types of tinnitus: objective and subjective. Objective tinnitus occurs when the hearer picks up small sounds emanating from the body or the ear. For example, some sufferers of objective tinnitus may hear the blood pumping through their blood vessels.

Subjective tinnitus, on the other hand, is often due to an ear nerve issue, and the sufferer begins hearing sounds that are not there. This rumbling noise in the ear can be highly problematic as they are likely the only person who can hear these sounds. The sounds a tinnitus sufferer hears differs from person to person. Some hear clicking sounds, whereas others may hear a hissing sound.

Several causes have been attributed to the development of tinnitus, including:

  • Exposure to loud sounds
  • Aging
  • Ear infections
  • Eustachian tube malfunction
  • Antidepressants

There are treatments for tinnitus, including hearing aids, medication, or even surgery.

When Should You See a Doctor for Ear Rumbling?

If you’re experiencing a rumbling noise, you’re likely wondering: “Should I see a doctor for the vibration in my ear?” The short (and perhaps frustrating) answer is: it depends. In most cases, a consultation with your primary care physician can help determine whether there is a severe problem threatening your ability to hear. Early treatment can limit the damage and improve your quality of life. Your doctor may perform several tests, such as a CT scan, MRI scan, hearing test, or a blood vessel study, before deciding on the right course of treatment.

Solutions for Rumbling in the Ear

A rumbling or vibration in the ear can be debilitating, particularly if it’s persistent. Modern solutions have helped ease the symptoms of these sounds, and depending on the cause of the sounds, your treatment will differ. Here are a few common options:

Hearing Aids

State-of-the-art hearing aids have evolved to incorporate tinnitus masking. This feature uses sound therapy to reduce and eliminate the symptoms of tinnitus. Over time, tinnitus masking features have become more effective, making the wearer immune to these persistent sounds.


While some medications may lead to rumbling, roaring, or hissing sounds, there are also medications available to you that can lessen your symptoms. Speak to your doctor to learn more about potential medications that could help.


Whether it’s ear wax removal or a full rebuild of a malfunctioning Eustachian tube, some surgical options could provide relief. These procedures may be costly, so it’s important to check the status of your health insurance plan.


A rumbling noise in the ear is, naturally, a cause for concern. In any case, you should make an appointment with your doctor because allowing the symptoms to persist could harm your hearing permanently. One of the best solutions to unwanted sounds like rumbling or tinnitus is a hearing aid. Modern hearing aids are equipped with benefits designed to make tackling daily life easier. Schedule a free consultation with EarPros to work with a licensed hearing professional and start your journey to better hearing today.
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