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Man on plane whose ringing in the ears worsened.

With tinnitus, it’s typical to have good and bad days but why? Tinnitus is the technical term for ringing in the ears, a condition more than 45 million Americans experience, according to the American Tinnitus Association, and 90 percent of them also have some level of hearing loss.

But that doesn’t explain why the ringing is intrusive some days and virtually non-existent on others. It’s not completely clear why this happens, but some common triggers may clarify it.

What Is Tinnitus?

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

  • Hissing
  • Roaring
  • Ringing
  • Clicking
  • Buzzing

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

Exactly What is The Cause of Tinnitus?

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

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

There are other likely causes, also, including:

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

Sometimes there is no obvious reason for tinnitus.

If your tinnitus is new, consult your doctor and learn what is going on with your ears. The problem may be something treatable or even a symptom of a life-threatening condition like high blood pressure or heart disease. A side effect of a new medication may also be the cause.

Why Does the Ringing Get Worse on Some Days?

It’s a bit of a medical mystery as to why some days are worse than others for those with tinnitus. The reason could be different for each person, also. However, there might be some common triggers.

Loud Events

Loud events like concerts, club music, and fireworks are enough to irritate your tinnitus. The number one option is to put in hearing protection if you expect a lot of noise. They make earplugs, for example, that will allow you to enjoy music at a live performance but reduce the effect it has on your hearing.

You can also keep away from the source of the sound. For instance, don’t stand next to the speakers when attending a live performance or up front at a fireworks show. Combined with hearing protection, this will lessen the impact.

Loud Noises at Home

Things around the house can be just as harmful as a loud concert. For example, mowing the lawn is enough to trigger tinnitus. Here are some other sounds from around the house that can cause injury:

  • Laundry – For example, if you fold clothes while the washer is running.
  • Wearing headphones – It could be time to lose the earbuds or headphones. Their job is to increase the volume, and that could be aggravating your ears.
  • Woodworking – The tools you use are enough to cause a problem

If you can’t avoid loud noises at least put in hearing protection.

Noises at Work

Loud noises at work have the same effect as a concert or the lawnmower. It’s particularly crucial to wear ear protection if you work in construction or are around machinery. Your employer will most likely supply hearing protection if you inform them of your worries. Spend your personal time giving your ears a rest.

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 trigger an increase in tinnitus. If you are traveling, bring some gum with you to help neutralize the air pressure and think about hearing protection.

Changes in air pressure occur everywhere not just on a plane. If you have sinus issues, for instance, consider taking medication to help alleviate them.


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

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

If you’re experiencing an intensifying of your tinnitus after you start taking a new medication, consult your doctor. It might be feasible to switch to something else.

Tinnitus is an irritation for some people, but for others, it can be disabling. The first step is to find out why you have it and then consider ways to control it from day to day.