With tinnitus, it’s normal to have good and bad days 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 about 90 percent of them.
None of that clarifies why the ringing is intrusive some days and nearly non-existent on others. Some typical triggers could explain it but it’s still unclear why this happens.
What Is Tinnitus?
The following phantom noises are heard by people who suffer from tinnitus:
One of the things that makes tinnitus so troubling is that you hear it but no one else does. The noise can vary in pitch and volume, too. One day it may be a roar and the next day be gone completely.
Exactly What is The Cause of Tinnitus?
The most prevalent cause is a change in a person’s hearing. These changes could be due to:
- Noise trauma
- Ear bone changes
- Earwax build up
There are other possible causes, also, including:
- Tumor in the neck or head
- Head injury
- High blood pressure
- Acoustic neuroma
- An issue with the carotid artery or jugular vein
- Meniere’s disease
- TMJ problems
Sometimes there is no apparent reason for tinnitus.
If your tinnitus is new, see your doctor to find out 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 may also be a side effect of a new medication.
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 with tinnitus. The reason could be different for each person, too. However, there might be some common triggers.
Loud events like concerts, club music, and fireworks are enough to aggravate your tinnitus. If you expect to be subjected to loud noise, your best option is to use ear protection. They make earplugs, for example, that will permit you to enjoy music at a live performance but reduce the impact it has on your hearing.
You can also stay away from the source of the sound. For example, don’t stand next to the speakers at a concert or up front at a fireworks show. Combined with hearing protection, this will diminish the effect.
Loud Noises at Home
Stuff around the house can be equally as harmful as a loud concert. For instance, mowing the lawn is enough to induce tinnitus. Here are various other sounds from around the house that can cause damage:
- Laundry – For instance, if you fold clothes while the washer is running.
- Wearing headphones – The purpose of headphones is to raise the volume of your audio which could be irritating your tinnitus so it might be time to lose those earbuds.
- Woodworking – The tools you use can cause a hearing problem
If there are things you can’t or don’t want to avoid like woodworking, wear hearing protection.
Loud noises at work have the same effect as a concert or the lawnmower. If you work around machinery or in construction it’s especially crucial to use ear protection. Talk to your boss about your ear health; they will probably supply the ear protection you need. Spend your personal time letting your ears rest, too.
Air Pressure Changes
Many people have experienced ear popping when they fly. The change in air pressure and the noise from the plane engines can lead to an increase in tinnitus. If you are traveling, bring some gum with you to help neutralize the air pressure and consider ear protection.
Changes in air pressure happen everywhere not only on a plane. Taking the proper medication to relieve sinus pressure is also helpful.
Medication might also be the problem. Some medications are ototoxic, meaning they have an impact on the ears. Included on this list are these common medications:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
Have a talk with your doctor if you experience an intensifying of tinnitus after you start taking a new prescription. It might be feasible to switch to something else.
Tinnitus is an aggravation for some people, but for others, it can be debilitating. To be able to figure out how to control it from day to day, the first step is to find out what’s causing it.