You have good days, and you have bad days, that’s par for the course for people with 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 that’s accompanied by hearing loss by around 90 percent of them.
But that doesn’t explain why the ringing is intrusive some days and virtually non-existent on others. Some normal triggers might explain it but it’s still not clear as to why this happens.
What Is Tinnitus?
The following phantom noises are heard by people who suffer from tinnitus:
You hear it, the person beside you can’t, which is one thing that makes tinnitus so disturbing. Also, the pitch and volume can vary. One day it might be a roar and the next day be gone completely.
Exactly What is The Cause of Tinnitus?
Alterations in a person’s hearing are the most common cause. These changes might be due to:
- Noise trauma
- Ear bone changes
- Earwax build up
There are other potential causes, as well, such as:
- Head injury
- An issue with the carotid artery or jugular vein
- Tumor in the head or neck
- Acoustic neuroma
- High blood pressure
- TMJ problems
- Meniere’s disease
Sometimes there is no apparent explanation for tinnitus.
If your tinnitus has just started, see your doctor and find out what is happening with your ears. The problem might be something treatable or it might be a symptom of a life-threatening condition like high blood pressure or heart disease. It might also be a side effect of a new medication.
Why Does the Ringing Get Worse on Some Days?
For those who have tinnitus it’s a medical mystery why it gets worse on some days. And there may be more than one reason depending on the person. However, there could be some common triggers.
Loud events such as concerts, club music, and fireworks are enough to irritate your tinnitus. The best way to go is to wear ear protection if you expect to be exposed to a lot of noise. You can enjoy the music at a live performance, for example, without hurting your ears by using earplugs.
You can also keep away from the source of the sound. For instance, don’t stand right beside the speakers at a live performance or up front at a fireworks show. Combined with hearing protection, this will diminish the impact.
Loud Noises at Home
Things around the house can be just as harmful as a loud concert. Tinnitus can be triggered by a lawn mower for example. Think about other things you do at home that may be a problem:
- Woodworking – The tools you use can cause a hearing problem
- Wearing headphones – It might be time to lose the earbuds or headphones. Their function is to increase the volume, and that could be irritating your ears.
- Laundry – For instance, if you fold clothes while the washer is running.
If there are activities you can’t or don’t want to avoid such as woodworking, wear hearing protection.
Loud noises at work are just as damaging as any other. If you work near machinery or in construction it’s particularly important to wear ear protection. Your employer will most likely provide ear protection if you inform them of your concerns. Spend your personal time giving your ears a rest.
Changes in Air Pressure
Many people have experienced ear popping when they take a plane. An increase in tinnitus can happen from the noise of the plane engine and the shift in pressure. If you are traveling, take 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. If you have sinus problems, for example, think about taking medication to help alleviate them.
Speaking of medication, that may also be the issue. Some drugs are ototoxic, meaning they have an impact on the ears. Included on this list are these common medications:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
If you’re experiencing an intensifying of your tinnitus after you begin taking a new medication, consult your doctor. Changing to something else may be possible.
Tinnitus is an aggravation for some people, but for others, it can be disabling. The first step is to figure out what’s causing it and then look at ways to keep it under control from day to day.