Audiology Ear Care - New Brighton, MN

Man on plane whose ringing in the ears worsened.

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

But that doesn’t explain why the ringing is invasive some days and almost non-existent on others. It is not completely clear why this happens, but some ordinary triggers might clarify it.

What Is Tinnitus?

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

  • Ringing
  • Roaring
  • Buzzing
  • Hissing
  • Clicking

You hear it, the person beside you doesn’t, which is part of what makes tinnitus so disturbing. The noise can vary in pitch and volume, too. One day it might be a roar and the next day be gone completely.

Exactly What Causes Tinnitus?

The most prevalent cause is a change in a person’s hearing. These changes may be due to:

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

There are other possible causes, as well, including:

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

For a certain percentage of people, there isn’t any apparent explanation for them to have tinnitus.

If your tinnitus is new, see your doctor and find out what is happening with your ears. 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 could also be a side effect of a new medication.

Why Does the Ringing Get Worse on Some Days?

For those who suffer from tinnitus it’s a medical mystery why it gets worse on some days. And there might be many reasons depending on the person. However, there could be some common triggers.

Loud Events

Your tinnitus can be aggravated by loud events such as 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 injuring your ears by using earplugs.

Another thing you can do is to put some distance between you and the source of the loud sound. For example, don’t stand next to the speakers at a concert or up front at a fireworks show. With this and hearing protection, the damage to your hearing will be reduced.

Loud Noises at Home

Things at home can be equally as harmful as a loud concert. For example, mowing the lawn is enough to trigger tinnitus. Think about other things you do at home that could be a problem:

  • Woodworking – The tools you use are enough to cause a problem
  • Wearing headphones – It might be time to get rid of the earbuds or headphones. Their function is to increase the volume, and that could be irritating your ears.
  • 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 such as woodworking, wear hearing protection.

Noises at Work

Loud noises on the job are just as damaging as any other. If you work near machinery or in construction it’s particularly crucial to use hearing protection. Talk to your manager about your ear health; they will probably supply the ear protection you need. Let your ears rest during your off time.

Changes in Air Pressure

Most people have experienced ear popping when they take a plane. An increase in tinnitus can happen because of the noise of the plane engine and the change in pressure. Think about ear protection if you are traveling and bring some gum to neutralize the air pressure.

You can experience changes in pressure without leaving your home, too. If you have sinus problems, for instance, consider taking medication to help relieve them.


Medication may also be the problem. Some medications are ototoxic, meaning they affect the ears. Some common medications 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 prescription, check with your doctor. It may be feasible to change to something else.

Tinnitus is an irritation for some people, but for others, it can be debilitating. To be able to determine how to control it from day to day, the first step is to figure out what’s causing it.

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