With tinnitus, it’s typical to have good and bad days but why? More than 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.
But what is hard to comprehend is why it’s virtually non-existent on some days and on others the ringing is so intrusive. It is not entirely clear why this occurs, but some ordinary triggers might clarify it.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus describes a condition where the patient hears phantom noises such as:
One of the things that makes tinnitus so troubling is that you hear it but no one else does. Also, the pitch and volume can vary. One day it might be a roar and the next day be gone completely.
What is The Cause of Tinnitus?
The most prevalent cause is a change in a person’s hearing. The cause of these changes could be:
- Noise trauma
- Ear bone changes
- Earwax build up
There are other potential causes, also, including:
- TMJ problems
- An issue with the carotid artery or jugular vein
- Meniere’s disease
- Acoustic neuroma
- High blood pressure
- Tumor in the neck or head
- Head injury
Sometimes there is no apparent reason for tinnitus.
Consult your doctor to have your ears checked if you suddenly observe the symptoms of tinnitus. The problem might be a symptom of a life threatening condition like heart disease or it could be something treatable. A side effect of a new medication could also be the cause.
For some reason the ringing gets worse on some days.
It’s a bit of a medical mystery as to why certain days are worse than others for those who have tinnitus. And there may be more than one reason depending on the person. However, there might be some common triggers.
Loud events like concerts, club music, and fireworks are enough to irritate your tinnitus. The number one way to go is to wear ear protection if you expect a lot of noise. You can enjoy the music at a live performance, for instance, without injuring your ears by putting in earplugs.
Another thing you can do is to put some distance between you and the source of the noise. When you attend a fireworks show don’t sit up front and avoid the front row when you’re at a concert. Combined with hearing protection, this could lessen the impact.
Loud Noises at Home
Loud noises in your house can also be a problem. For example, mowing the lawn is enough to induce tinnitus. Here are some 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 job is to increase the volume, and that might be irritating your ears.
- Woodworking – Power tools are loud enough to be an issue.
- Laundry – For example, if you fold clothes while the washer is running.
If you can’t stay away from loud noises at least use hearing protection.
Loud noises at work have the same impact as a concert or the lawnmower. If you work near machinery or in construction it’s particularly important to use hearing protection. Your employer will most likely supply hearing protection if you let them know your concerns. Let your ears rest during your off time.
Air Pressure Changes
Many people have experienced ear popping when they take a plane. The change in air pressure and the noise from the plane engines can trigger an increase in tinnitus. Think about 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 right medication to relieve sinus pressure is also helpful.
Speaking of medication, that could also be the issue. Some medications impact the ears and are known as ototoxic. Included on this list are these common medications:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
Talk to your doctor if you experience an intensifying of tinnitus after you start taking a new medication. Changing to something else may be feasible.
Tinnitus is an aggravation for some people, but for others, it can be debilitating. To be able to determine how to control it from day to day, step one is to figure out what’s causing it.