With tinnitus, it’s typical 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 comes along with hearing loss by about 90 percent of them.
But what’s tough to comprehend is why it’s nearly non-existent on some days and on others the ringing is so invasive. It is not entirely clear why this happens, but some ordinary triggers may explain it.
What Is Tinnitus?
The following phantom noises are heard by people who suffer from tinnitus:
One of the things that makes tinnitus so disturbing is that you hear it but no one else does. Also, the pitch and volume can vary. It may be gone one day and the next it’s a roar.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Changes in a person’s hearing are the most prevalent cause. These changes may be due to:
- Earwax build up
- Noise trauma
- Ear bone changes
Some other potential causes include:
- Meniere’s disease
- Acoustic neuroma
- Head trauma
- Tumor in the neck or head
- TMJ problems
- High blood pressure
- A problem with the carotid artery or jugular vein
For a certain percentage of people, there isn’t any apparent reason for them to have tinnitus.
Consult your doctor to have your ears checked if you suddenly observe the symptoms of tinnitus. The issue could be a symptom of a life threatening condition like heart disease or it might be something treatable. A side effect of a new medication may also be the cause.
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. The reason might be different for each person, too. However, there might be some common triggers.
Your tinnitus can be aggravated by loud events like concerts, club music, and fireworks. If you expect to be exposed to loud noise, your best option is to use hearing protection. They make earplugs, for example, that will permit you to enjoy music at a concert but reduce the impact it has on your ears.
Another thing you can do is to put some distance between you and the source of the noise. When you go to a fireworks show don’t sit up front and stay away from the front row when you’re at a concert. With this and ear protection, the damage to your ears will be reduced.
Loud Noises at Home
Loud noises around your house can also be harmful. Tinnitus can be triggered by a lawn mower for instance. Here are a few other sounds from around the house that can cause injury:
- Wearing headphones – It might be time to get rid of the earbuds or headphones. Their function is to increase the volume, and that might be irritating your ears.
- Laundry – For example, if you fold clothes while the washer is running.
- Woodworking – Power tools are loud enough to be an issue.
If you can’t avoid loud noises at least wear hearing protection.
Noises at Work
Loud noises at work are just as damaging as any other. It’s particularly crucial to wear hearing protection if you work in construction or are around machinery. Your employer will most likely provide hearing protection if you make them aware of your worries. Let your ears rest during your off time.
Air Pressure Changes
When most people go on a plane they experience ear popping. 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 equalize the air pressure and think about hearing protection.
You can experience changes in pressure without leaving your home, too. If you have sinus troubles, for instance, think about taking medication to help alleviate them.
Medication could also be the problem. Some medications impact the ears and are known as ototoxic. Some prevalent medications on the list include:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
If you’re experiencing a worsening of your tinnitus after you start taking a new medication, talk to your doctor. It might be possible to switch to something else.
For some people tinnitus is not just aggravating it’s debilitating. To be able to figure out how to control it from day to day, step one is to figure out what’s causing it.