HEARING TIPS

Why Is the Ringing in My Ears Worse Today?

Man on plane whose ringing in the ears worsened.

With tinnitus, it’s typical to have good and bad days but why? Over 45 million Americans experience ringing in their ears due to a condition called tinnitus, according to the American Tinnitus Association, and 90 percent of them also suffer from some amount of hearing loss.

None of that clarifies why the ringing is invasive some days and nearly non-existent on others. Some normal triggers may explain it but it’s still unclear why this occurs.

What Is Tinnitus?

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

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Roaring
  • Clicking
  • Hissing

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

What is The Cause of Tinnitus?

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

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

There are other potential causes, as well, such as:

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

Sometimes there is no apparent explanation for tinnitus.

If your tinnitus is new, consult your doctor to determine what is happening with your ears. The problem might be a symptom of a life threatening condition like heart disease or it might be something treatable. It could also be a side effect of a new medication.

Why Does the Ringing Get Worse on Some Days?

It’s somewhat of a medical mystery as to why certain days are worse than others for those who have tinnitus. And there could be many reasons depending on the person. However, there may 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 wear hearing protection. You can enjoy the music at a live performance, for example, without harming your ears by wearing earplugs.

Another thing you can do is to put some distance between you and the source of the noise. For example, don’t stand right beside the speakers when attending a concert or up front at a fireworks display. Combined with hearing protection, this will reduce the effect.

Loud Noises at Home

Loud noises in your house can also be harmful. Tinnitus can be triggered by a lawn mower for instance. Here are various other sounds from around the house that can cause injury:

  • Laundry – If you fold clothes while the washer is running, for example.
  • Woodworking – Power tools are loud enough to be an issue.
  • Wearing headphones – It might be time to lose the earbuds or headphones. Their function is to increase the volume, and that could be aggravating your ears.

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

Noises at Work

Loud noises on the job are just as harmful as any other. It’s especially important to use hearing protection if you work in construction or are around machines. Your employer will probably provide ear protection if you make them aware of your worries. Let your ears rest during your off time.

Changes in Air Pressure

Many 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 shift in pressure. If you are traveling, bring some gum with you to help neutralize the air pressure and think about hearing protection.

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

Medication

Speaking of medication, that may also be the issue. Certain drugs affect the ears and are known as ototoxic. Some prevalent medications on the list include:

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

Talk to your doctor if you experience an intensifying of tinnitus after you start taking a new medication. Switching to something else may be possible.

For some people tinnitus is not just annoying it’s disabling. To be able to figure out how to control it from day to day, the first step is to figure out what’s causing it.

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