Man on plane whose ringing in the ears worsened.

With tinnitus, it’s typical to have good and bad days but why? More than 45 million Americans suffer from ringing in their ears from a condition called tinnitus, according to the American Tinnitus Association, and 90 percent of them also suffer from some degree of hearing loss.

But that doesn’t explain why the ringing is invasive some days and virtually non-existent on others. Some common triggers may explain it but it’s still unclear as to why this happens.

What Is Tinnitus?

The following phantom noises are heard by people who suffer from tinnitus:

  • Buzzing
  • Clicking
  • Hissing
  • Roaring
  • Ringing

One of the things that makes tinnitus so troubling is that you hear it but no one else does. The noise can vary in pitch and volume, too. 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:

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

There are other possible causes, also, like:

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

Sometimes there is no obvious reason for tinnitus.

If your tinnitus is new, see your doctor and learn what is happening with your ears. The issue may be something treatable or it might be a symptom of a life-threatening condition such as high blood pressure or heart disease. It may also be a side effect of a new medication.

Why Does the Ringing Get Worse on Some Days?

It’s somewhat of a medical mystery as to why certain days are worse than others for those who have tinnitus. The reason may be different for each person, too. There are common triggers that may explain it, though.

Loud Events

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 choice is to wear hearing protection. You can enjoy the music at a live performance, for example, without hurting your ears by wearing earplugs.

Another thing you can do is to put some distance between you and the source of the noise. When you attend a fireworks display don’t sit up front and avoid the front row when you’re at a concert. Combined with hearing protection, this could diminish the impact.

Loud Noises at Home

Stuff at home can be equally 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 might be a problem:

  • Laundry – If you fold clothing while the washer is running, for instance.
  • Woodworking – The tools you use can cause a hearing problem
  • Wearing headphones – The function of headphones is to increase the volume of your audio which could be irritating your tinnitus so it might be time to lose those earbuds.

If you can’t avoid loud noises at least wear hearing protection.

Noises at Work

Loud noises on the job are just as harmful as any other. If you work around machinery or in construction it’s especially important to wear hearing protection. Talk to your boss about your hearing health; they might supply the hearing protection you need. Spend your off time giving your ears a rest.

Air Pressure Changes

Most people have experienced ear popping when they fly. An increase in tinnitus can happen because of the noise of the plane engine and the change in pressure. If you are traveling, bring some gum with you to help neutralize the air pressure and consider hearing protection.

Changes in air pressure happen everywhere not just on a plane. If you have sinus problems, for example, consider taking medication to help relieve them.


Speaking of medication, that could also be the problem. Some drugs affect the ears and are known as ototoxic. Included on this list are these common medications:

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

Consult your doctor if you experience an intensifying of tinnitus after you start taking a new medication. Switching to something else might 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 consider ways to control it from day to day.

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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