Geneva Hearing Services - Geneva, IL

Man on plane whose ringing in the ears worsened.

You have good days, and you have bad days, that’s normal for individuals who suffer from tinnitus but why? More than 45 million Americans endure ringing in their ears due to a condition called tinnitus, according to the American Tinnitus Association, and 90 percent of them also suffer from some degree of hearing loss.

None of that explains why the ringing is invasive some days and virtually non-existent on others. It is 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:

  • Buzzing
  • Clicking
  • Ringing
  • Hissing
  • Roaring

You hear it, the person sitting next to you doesn’t, which is one thing that makes tinnitus so disturbing. Also, the pitch and volume can vary. One day it could 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. The cause of these changes could be:

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

There are other likely causes, as well, such as:

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

Sometimes there is no apparent explanation for tinnitus.

Consult your doctor to have your ears examined if you suddenly observe the symptoms of tinnitus. The problem could be something treatable or it might be a symptom of a life-threatening condition such as 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 somewhat of a medical mystery as to why some days are worse than others for those who have tinnitus. And there might be more than one reason depending on the person. There are known triggers that might explain it, though.

Loud Events

Loud events like concerts, club music, and fireworks are enough to irritate your tinnitus. If you expect to be exposed to loud noise, your best choice is to wear ear protection. You can enjoy the music at a concert, for example, without harming your ears by using earplugs.

Another thing you can do is to put some distance between you and the source of the noise. When you go to a fireworks display don’t sit up front and stay away from the front row at a live performance. With this and ear protection, the damage to your ears will be reduced.

Loud Noises at Home

Loud noises around your home can also be harmful. For instance, mowing the lawn is enough to induce tinnitus. Think about other things you do at home that could be an issue:

  • Wearing headphones – The function of headphones is to increase the volume of your audio which could be aggravating your tinnitus so it could be time to lose those earbuds.
  • Woodworking – Power tools are loud enough to be an issue.
  • Laundry – For instance, if you fold clothes while the washer is running.

If you can’t stay away from loud noises at least wear hearing protection.

Workplace Noise

Loud noises at work have the same impact as a concert or the lawnmower. It’s especially crucial to use ear protection if you work in construction or are around machines. Talk to your manager about your ear health; they will probably supply the ear protection you need. Let your ears rest during your off time.

Changes in Air Pressure

Many people have experienced ear popping when they take a plane. The shift in air pressure combined with the noise from the plane engines can lead to an increase in tinnitus. Think about ear 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. If you have sinus troubles, for instance, consider taking medication to help alleviate them.


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

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

Have a talk with your doctor if you experience a worsening of tinnitus after you start taking a new prescription. It may be feasible to switch to something else.

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, the first step is to figure out what’s causing it.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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