Some common ailments have the ability to annoy you and ruin your mood in the few moments that they last. These include popping joints, ringing ears, the dreaded hiccups, and whistling the wrong way – through your nose! None of these are major illnesses, the noise probably affects nobody but you, and they usually cause no pain. But frequent occurrence, with any pain, can mean a possible underlying health issue is at work. Want to be at peace with these pops and whistles? Know what they’re all about and what you can do to prevent or manage them.
What’s With These Noisy Joints?
Your joints can be really noisy, depending on their wear and tear and age. But, why do they make so much noise? The reasons may vary.
1. Repeated Pops When Exercising
Whether you’re new to working out or been at it for a while, you might have noticed a popping sound in one of the joints, repeatedly. These gentle clicks are harmless but might make it seem like you’re wearing out your body. Know that this is not the case! These gentle sounds are because of tight muscles, which are creating a friction against a bone. While these will disappear with practice, practice a few stretching exercises to speed up the process.
Cracking When You Bend The Joints
Most of us are used to making that cracking, popping sound, most often with our knuckles, neck, and back. Is it a harmful habit? Maybe not. When you crack a joint, the nitrogen gas stored as bubbles in the joint pop. If this is the reason for the noise, you won’t be able to crack the joint again till the gas builds up. Addictive as it may be, avoid cracking your joints repeatedly if you are arthritic or if you experience pain, swelling, if the joint gets stuck, or if the ligament tears.1
3. Noisy Joints In Arthritic Patients
Those suffering from arthritis witness the cracking regularly. This is because their joints have lost most of the smooth cartilage and the joint surface has turned rough, causing the sound with movement. In this case, it is advisable to not crack your joints intentionally as it may cause pain or induce further damage to the ligaments.
Why Are My Ears Ringing?
Does a constant sound in your ears, which nobody else can hear, make you question your sanity? This is nothing but a mostly harmless condition called tinnitus. As with the popping, snapping, cracking joints, the noise in your ear will also differ. Here are some of its common characteristics:
- Sound: A ring, whistle, hum, roar, chirp, shriek, or a buzz
- Source: Either from inside the head or outside, from a distance
- Type: Constant or at certain periods; continuous or in beats or pulses
Common causes for this annoying sound include listening to loud noise (like a concert) for a long duration or certain antibiotic, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory drugs. While it is more common in old people going through hearing loss, it can occur in youngsters too. While tinnitus is mostly harmless, in rare cases, it can be indicative of a tumor, blood vessel damage, or just turn chronic. Most of the time, tinnitus vanishes on its own. If it turns chronic, consult a doctor.2
How Do I Stop Hiccuping?
Hiccups occur a little too often for comfort. Even if it’s just once in a while, hiccups leave you irritated and extremely annoyed. Why does it happen? Commonly, hiccups occur as a result of extreme stress, extreme excitement, or due to eating or drinking in a hurry. Hiccups don’t last more than a few minutes. If they do, there are ways to put a stop to them without going to the doctor. Here’s how:3
- The most effective way is to breathe into a plastic/paper bag until you feel unable to breathe. The lack of oxygen will automatically stop the hiccups.
- Eat some sugar or drink cold water.
- Touch your chest with your knees and bend forward.
Why Am I Whistling Through My Nose?
You hear a whistling through your nose most often when you have a cold, an allergy, or simply when you lay down. Some of the common causes of the whistling are an obstructed nasal passage due to mucus/dirt buildup or a tear in the septum when you don’t have a cold. The mucus buildup is quite common and can be cleaned easily. But the septum tear, which is in the right spot to cause the whistling sound, is something of a rarity.
All of these noisy ailments are common and painless, most of the time. If they’re not causing you much trouble, do not freak out but just give it some time to go down. If it doesn’t, consult your doctor to figure out the presence of any possible underlying health condition.