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Man on plane whose ringing in the ears worsened.

With tinnitus, it’s common to have good and bad days but why? Tinnitus is the medical name for ringing in the ears, a condition more than 45 million Americans experience, according to the American Tinnitus Association, and that’s accompanied by hearing loss by around 90 percent of them.

None of that explains why the ringing is intrusive some days and nearly non-existent on others. Some typical triggers might explain it but it’s still unclear as to why this occurs.

What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus describes a condition where the patient hears phantom noises such as:

  • Clicking
  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Roaring
  • Hissing

You hear it, the guy beside you doesn’t, which is one thing that makes tinnitus so disturbing. The noise can vary in pitch and volume, too. It might be gone one day and the next it’s a roar.

Exactly What is The Cause of Tinnitus?

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

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

There are other possible causes, also, including:

  • TMJ issues
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • High blood pressure
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Tumor in the head or neck
  • Head trauma
  • A problem with the carotid artery or jugular vein

For a certain fraction of people, there is no apparent reason for them to have tinnitus.

Consult your doctor to have your ears examined if you suddenly notice the symptoms of tinnitus. The problem may be something treatable or it might be a symptom of a life-threatening condition like high blood pressure or heart disease. It might also be a side effect of a new medication.

For some reason the ringing gets worse on some days.

The explanation for why tinnitus is more severe on some days is somewhat of a medical mystery. And there could be more than one reason depending on the person. However, there could be some common triggers.

Loud Events

Your tinnitus can be aggravated by loud events like concerts, club music, and fireworks. If you expect to be exposed to loud noise, your best option is to wear hearing protection. They make earplugs, for example, that will permit you to enjoy music at a live performance but reduce the effect it has on your ears.

You can also stay away from the source of the sound. For example, don’t stand right beside the speakers at a concert or up front at a fireworks display. With this and ear protection, the damage to your ears will be reduced.

Loud Noises at Home

Loud noises around your house can also be harmful. For instance, mowing the lawn is enough to trigger tinnitus. Think about other things you do at home that could be an issue:

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

If you can’t stay away from loud noises at least wear hearing protection.

Noises at Work

Loud noises on the job have the same effect as a concert or the lawnmower. It’s particularly crucial to use hearing protection if you work in construction or are around machines. Talk to your boss about your hearing health; they will probably provide the ear protection you need. Let your ears rest during your off time.

Air Pressure Changes

When most people fly they experience ear popping. An increase in tinnitus can happen from the noise of the plane engine and the shift in pressure. Think about hearing protection if you are traveling and bring some gum to equalize the air pressure.

You can experience changes in pressure without leaving your home, too. Taking the correct medication to alleviate sinus pressure is also helpful.


Medication might also be the problem. Certain medications are ototoxic, meaning they affect the ears. Included on this list are these common medications:

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

Consult your doctor if you experience a worsening of tinnitus after you begin taking a new prescription. Switching to something else could be feasible.

For some people tinnitus is not just irritating it’s debilitating. The first step is to find out what’s causing it and then look at ways to control it from day to day.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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