You have good days, and you have bad days, that’s normal for those who have tinnitus but why? Over 45 million Americans experience ringing in their ears due to a condition called tinnitus, according to the American Tinnitus Association, and comes along with hearing loss by around 90 percent of them.
None of that explains why the ringing is invasive some days and virtually non-existent on others. It is not entirely clear why this happens, but some ordinary triggers may clarify it.
What Is Tinnitus?
The following phantom noises are heard by people who suffer from tinnitus:
You hear it, the guy sitting next to you can’t, which is part of what makes tinnitus so disturbing. 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 Causes Tinnitus?
Changes in a person’s hearing are the most common cause. The cause of these changes could be:
- Earwax build up
- Ear bone changes
- Noise trauma
There are other possible causes, as well, including:
- Meniere’s disease
- Acoustic neuroma
- TMJ problems
- High blood pressure
- Tumor in the head or neck
- Head trauma
- An issue with the carotid artery or jugular vein
For a certain fraction of people, there isn’t any apparent explanation for them to have tinnitus.
If your tinnitus has just started, consult your doctor to learn what is going on with your ears. The problem could be something treatable or it might be a symptom of a life-threatening condition like high blood pressure or heart disease. A side effect of a new medication might also be the cause.
Why Does the Ringing Get Worse on Some Days?
For those who suffer from tinnitus it’s a medical mystery why it gets worse on some days. The reason might be different for each person, too. There are common triggers that could explain it, though.
Your tinnitus can be aggravated by loud events such as concerts, club music, and fireworks. If you expect to be exposed to loud noise, your best option is to wear ear protection. You can enjoy the music at a concert, for example, without harming your ears by wearing earplugs.
You can also keep away from the source of the sound. For instance, don’t stand next to the speakers at a concert or up front at a fireworks show. Combined with hearing protection, this could lessen the effect.
Loud Noises at Home
Loud noises in your home can also be harmful. For instance, mowing the lawn is enough to induce tinnitus. Here are a few other sounds from around the house that can cause injury:
- Wearing headphones – The purpose of headphones is to boost the volume of your audio which could be irritating your tinnitus so it could be time to lose those earbuds.
- Woodworking – The tools you use are enough to cause a problem
- Laundry – For instance, if you fold clothes while the washer is running.
If you can’t avoid loud noises at least wear hearing protection.
Loud noises on the job 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 provide hearing protection if you inform them of your concerns. Let your ears rest during your off time.
Air Pressure Changes
Most 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 change in pressure. Consider hearing protection if you are traveling and bring some gum to equalize the air pressure.
You can experience changes in pressure without leaving your home, as well. Taking the correct medication to alleviate sinus pressure is also helpful.
Speaking of medication, that could also be the problem. Certain medications impact the ears and are known as ototoxic. Included on this list are these common medications:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
If you’re experiencing an intensifying of your tinnitus after you start taking a new prescription, check with your doctor. It may be possible to change to something else.
Tinnitus is an annoyance 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.