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Enhanced Hearing Center - Springfield, MO

Man on plane whose ringing in the ears worsened.

You have good days, and you have bad days, that’s normal for people who suffer from tinnitus but why? More than 45 million Americans suffer from ringing in their ears from a condition called tinnitus, according to the American Tinnitus Association, and comes along with hearing loss by around 90 percent of them.

But what’s hard to comprehend is why it’s virtually non-existent on some days and on others the ringing is so invasive. Some typical triggers might explain it but it’s still unclear as to why this happens.

What Is Tinnitus?

The following phantom noises are heard by people who suffer from tinnitus:

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Roaring
  • Hissing
  • Clicking

One of the things that makes tinnitus so disturbing is that you hear it but no one else does. The noise can vary in pitch and volume, too. It might be gone one day and the next it’s a roar.

What is The Cause of Tinnitus?

Alterations in a person’s hearing are the most prevalent cause. These changes might be due to:

  • Ear bone changes
  • Noise trauma
  • Earwax build up
  • Aging

There are other possible causes, also, including:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • An issue with the carotid artery or jugular vein
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Tumor in the neck or head
  • TMJ problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Head injury
  • Acoustic neuroma

Sometimes there is no obvious explanation for tinnitus.

See your doctor to have your ears examined if you suddenly observe the symptoms of tinnitus. The problem may be something treatable or it might be a symptom of a life-threatening condition including high blood pressure or heart disease. A side effect of a new medication could also be the cause.

Why Does the Ringing Get Worse on Some Days?

It’s a bit of a medical mystery as to why certain days are worse than others for those who have tinnitus. The reason might be different for each person, too. There are common triggers that could explain it, though.

Loud Events

Your tinnitus can be aggravated by loud events like concerts, club music, and fireworks. If you expect to be subjected to loud noise, your best choice is to use hearing protection. You can enjoy the music at a concert, for instance, without hurting your ears by wearing earplugs.

You can also stay away from the source of the sound. For instance, don’t stand next to the speakers when attending a live performance or up front at a fireworks show. With this and ear protection, the damage to your ears will be decreased.

Loud Noises at Home

Things at home can be just as harmful as a loud concert. For instance, mowing the lawn is enough to induce tinnitus. Consider other things you do at home that could be an issue:

  • Woodworking – Power tools are loud enough to be an issue.
  • Wearing headphones – The purpose of headphones is to increase the volume of your audio which could be irritating your tinnitus so it could be time to lose those earbuds.
  • Laundry – For instance, if you fold clothes while the washer is running.

If there are activities you can’t or aren’t willing to avoid like woodworking, wear hearing protection.

Noises at Work

Loud noises at work have the same effect as a concert or the lawnmower. It’s especially crucial to wear hearing protection if you work in construction or are around machinery. Your employer will probably provide ear protection if you let them know your concerns. Spend your personal time giving your ears a rest.

Air Pressure Changes

Many people have experienced ear popping when they fly. An increase in tinnitus can happen because of the noise of the plane engine and the shift in pressure. If you are traveling, take some gum with you to help neutralize the air pressure and think about hearing protection.

Changes in air pressure happen everywhere not just on a plane. If you have sinus issues, for instance, think about taking medication to help relieve them.


Speaking of medication, that might also be the problem. Certain drugs are ototoxic, meaning they have an impact on the ears. Some prevalent drugs on the list include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Diuretics

If you’re experiencing a worsening of your tinnitus after you begin taking a new medication, talk to your doctor. Changing to something else may be feasible.

For some people tinnitus is not just aggravating it’s debilitating. The first step is to figure out why you have it and then consider ways to control it from day to day.

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