With tinnitus, it’s normal to have good and bad days but why? Over 45 million Americans suffer from ringing in their ears from a condition called tinnitus, according to the American Tinnitus Association, and 90 percent of them also suffer from some level of hearing loss.
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 explain it.
What Is Tinnitus?
The following phantom noises are heard by people who suffer from tinnitus:
You hear it, the person beside you doesn’t, which is part of what makes tinnitus so disturbing. Also, the pitch and volume can vary. One day it could 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. The cause of these changes could be:
- Noise trauma
- Ear bone changes
- Earwax build up
Some other possible causes include:
- TMJ issues
- High blood pressure
- A problem with the carotid artery or jugular vein
- Tumor in the neck or head
- Acoustic neuroma
- Head trauma
- Meniere’s disease
Sometimes there is no apparent explanation for tinnitus.
See your doctor to have your ears examined if you suddenly observe the symptoms of tinnitus. The problem could 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.
For some reason the ringing gets worse on some days.
For those who have tinnitus it’s a medical mystery why it gets worse on some days. And there might be many reasons depending on the person. There are common triggers that might explain it, though.
Loud events like concerts, club music, and fireworks are enough to irritate your tinnitus. The best way to go is to put in ear protection if you expect to be exposed to a lot of noise. You can enjoy the music at a concert, for example, without injuring your ears by using earplugs.
You can also stay away from the source of the sound. For instance, don’t stand right beside the speakers when attending a live performance or up front at a fireworks display. With this and hearing protection, the damage to your ears will be reduced.
Loud Noises at Home
Loud noises in your house can also be a problem. Tinnitus can be triggered by a lawn mower for example. Here are various other sounds from around the house that can cause injury:
- Wearing headphones – It could be time to get rid of the earbuds or headphones. Their job is to increase the volume, and that might be irritating your ears.
- Laundry – If you fold clothes while the washer is running, for example.
- Woodworking – The tools you use can cause a hearing problem
If there are things you can’t or don’t want to avoid such as woodworking, wear hearing protection.
Loud noises on the job are just as damaging as any other. It’s especially crucial to use hearing protection if you work in construction or are around machines. Talk to your employer 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 change in pressure. Think about ear protection if you are traveling and bring some gum to neutralize the air pressure.
Changes in air pressure happen everywhere not just on a plane. If you have sinus problems, for instance, consider taking medication to help relieve them.
Speaking of medication, that might also be the problem. Certain medications impact the ears and are known as ototoxic. Some common drugs on the list include:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
Consult your doctor if you experience a worsening of tinnitus after you start taking a new prescription. It may be possible to switch to something else.
For some people tinnitus is not just irritating it’s disabling. The first step is to find out what’s causing it and then look at ways to control it from day to day.