What’s Causing That Aggravating Sound in my Ears?

Woman with tinnitus and ringing in her ears getting a headache.

As you probably know, sustained periods of stress are not good for the body. Stress can produce severe muscle aches and headaches. But did you realize stress can also lead to tinnitus, a ringing, buzzing, or clicking in the ears?

Stress isn’t the only thing that can trigger tinnitus, it can also be brought about by a sinus infection, loud noises, and other variables. Let’s take a look at a few potential causes of that irritating noise in your ears.

How to Recognize Unhealthy Stress

How does stress relate to tinnitus? We generally don’t consider the negative effect stress can have on our bodies or how it can lead to frustrating, painful, or even severe medical conditions. Stress is not something you should ignore.

Healthy Stress

Temporary stress can actually be a very motivating factor when it comes to completing duties. If you’re facing a deadline and have to focus on accomplishing a project, stress can be an ally by providing the boost of energy needed to finish the job.

But short term, healthy stress and chronic, harmful stress are two very different things. Healthy stress helps you complete a goal without damaging your body. Unhealthy stress is hazardous for your body.

Unhealthy Stress

Normally, an irrational fear is the source of unhealthy stress. Unhealthy stress is generated when a person remains in a heightened state of anxiety for a long period of time.

In hazardous situations, the fight or flight response is a normal reaction but it also relates to unhealthy stress. When an individual remains in a hyper-stressful condition for a long period, it can result in harmful physical symptoms.


Unhealthy stress is often caused by worrying. We might exaggerate the significance of a situation or an interaction with other people. We might tell ourselves we destroyed a chance at a promotion because of something we said. Excessive worrying can cause invasive, apparently unmanageable thoughts.

Invasive Thoughts And Unhealthy Stress

We may worry about what we failed to accomplish today and stress over what we need to do tomorrow. Obsession, perpetual internal dialog, and even panic attacks are a common part of this kind of stress. Eventually, our unhealthy stress wears on our bodies unless we take steps to curb these thoughts.

Pain and muscle tension on the upper body are typical effects of unhealthy stress. Impacted areas could include the head, neck, jaw, or shoulders.

Jaw Tension And Anger

Have you ever read a book where the author describes a character as being so angry his jaw clenched in rage? Stress, anger, worry, and invasive thoughts frequently come with jaw tension.

Pressure can be put on the fragile bones of the eardrum and inner ear by sustained tension. Over time, this strain can cause ringing in your ears.

Sinus Infections And Ear Strain

From sore throats to stuffy noses, sinus infections bring lots of unwelcome symptoms.

Headaches, sinus pressure, and pressure in the ears are common symptoms of a sinus infection. These issues can lead to ringing, buzzing, and clicking in the ears.

Nasal congestion frequently spreads to the ears during a sinus infection. This can generate excess earwax, which leads to blockages in the ears and extreme pressure on the eardrums. Pressure on the fragile bones of the inner ear can trigger tinnitus symptoms.

You might not need to visit a hearing specialist if the ringing is the result of a sinus infection, as the symptoms may go away naturally. But you should absolutely make an appointment with us if the ringing continues for more than a few days.

Extended Exposure to Loud Noises

The intermittent music concert is probably not going to cause lasting ear-ringing. If you regularly expose your ears to intense sounds, however, you might be introducing stress to the tender parts of your ears.

When you expose your ears to loud noises on a regular basis, your eardrums and the bones of the inner ears are put under a great deal of strain, which can result in buzzing, ringing, or clicking.

Beyond the occasional ringing in your ears, exposure to intense sounds over a prolonged period of time can lead to temporary or permanent loss of hearing. It’s essential to protect your hearing from the elements and listen to music at a reasonable volume level.

Safeguarding Your Hearing

Whether caused by stress, muscle tension, an illness, or loud noises, tinnitus shouldn’t be ignored. It’s best to have your ears examined by a hearing specialist regularly. For your peace of mind, you should get examined, especially if you suspect that your tinnitus is being triggered by a significant underlying medical problem.

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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.