The human body produces a cacophony of sounds which we don’t know the meaning of. From a joint pop to tummy rumbling, each and every sound the body makes is either normal or a sign of some kind of problem. Kurt Hafer, MD, says that the context of the sounds can help you figure if it’s caused by a problem. Here are 13 weird noises the body makes and what they mean:
The whistling in your nose is usually caused by obstruction in the airflow due to excess mucus in the airways. In this case, an antihistamine or a decongestant can help. However, the whistling may also be caused by a tear in the cartilage between the nostrils due to trauma, so make sure to get it examined by a doctor if it goes on for a while.
Sneezing can be caused by anything from viruses to bright lights and is a reflex response which runs from the brain to the diaphragm. However, if it’s chronic, you might be suffering from some kind of allergy.
Whooshing in the ears
The whooshing you hear in your ears when lying in bed is the sound of blood flowing through the carotid artery. The sound is more noticeable when external noise is eliminated, and if it goes on for a full day it might indicate allergies. Congestion in the Eustachian tube may block the external sounds and can be cleared with a decongestant or antibiotic. The whooshing may also indicate some kind of blood vessel abnormality, so it’s best to check it at a doctor.
Ringing in the ears
Ringing in the ears is known as tinnitus and can be caused by loud noises, aging or infections. These conditions can damage the cells in your inner ear that transform sound waves into electrical signals, which results in ringing. If the ringing lasts for more than 2 days and is accompanied by vertigo or pain, you should see your doctor.
Belching is a term which describes the growling in your stomach caused by air escaping from it. It comes as a result of swallowing excess amounts of air and can be avoided by not talking when your mouth is full. It usually passes on its own, but if it goes on for a longer period it might be a sign of GERD (gastrointestinal reflux disease).
Hiccups occur due to spasms in the diaphragm caused by a stop in the inhaling process by a part of the larynx called glottis. The diaphragm is regulated by the phrenic and vagus nerves and stimulated by anxiousness, stress or excitement. Hiccups can be stopped by holding in your breath. They are generally not harmful, but if they last for more than 2 days, you need to visit a doctor as there might be something wrong with your central nervous system.
Rumbling in the gut
If your stomach rumbles, you’re hearing the sound of fluid and air moving around in it. If you hear this sound on an empty stomach, the gut might be sweeping out excess debris, or it can also mean that you’re hungry. If the rumbling goes on for a longer period and is accompanied by pain and nausea, it may indicate bowel obstruction which may require surgery.
Farting is actually a sound the gut makes when processing fiber from foods such as vegetables. The by-products of this process are gasses such as methane, hydrogen and nitrogen. Farting is actually a sign that your digestive system is working perfectly, so there’s nothing unpleasant in it. However, if you experience flatulence after consuming dairy products, it may indicate lactose intolerance which can have serious effects on your health.
A queefing vagina
Queefing is a result of trapped pockets of air coming out of the vagina. The vaginal canal isn’t straight – it has wrinkle-shaped folds called rugae which can trap air inside and release it later, resulting in the weird sound. Doctors recommend doing Kegel exercises in order to strengthen your pelvic muscles and keep air away from your vagina. This sound is nothing to worry about except if it’s accompanied by a foul odor or stool – in this case, the link between the vagina and rectum is torn, resulting in a dangerous condition known as rectovaginal fistula.
Popping joints are nothing to worry about. Our joints are lubricated by fluid that forms bubbles when under pressure which results in the familiar pop. However, if the popping is accompanied by pain or locking, you need to visit your doctor. This could indicate anything from ligament or tendon rupture that can seriously harm your joints.
Allergies or asthma can inflame your bronchi and cause a familiar wheezing sound which can be a symptom of a bigger problem. If you experience the sound often, we suggest visiting a doctor who can locate and treat the problem appropriately.
Snorting or gasping at light
Both sounds are related to sleep apnea, and should be checked by a doctor if they’re accompanied by fatigue.
Whooping is a sound caused by a condition called pertussis and occurs when a person tries to inhale through an inflamed airway. The condition gets worse overnight and should be checked by a doctor.