With tinnitus, it’s normal to have good and bad days but why? Over 45 million Americans suffer from ringing in their ears due to a condition called tinnitus, according to the American Tinnitus Association, and 90 percent of them also have some degree of hearing loss.
But that doesn’t make clear why the ringing is intrusive some days and virtually non-existent on others. It’s not completely clear why this occurs, but some ordinary triggers may clarify 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 can. Also, the pitch and volume can vary. One day it may be a roar and the next day be gone completely.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Changes in a person’s hearing are the most common cause. The cause of these changes could be:
- Earwax build up
- Noise trauma
- Ear bone changes
There are other likely causes, also, such as:
- Head injury
- High blood pressure
- Meniere’s disease
- TMJ problems
- Tumor in the head or neck
- A problem with the carotid artery or jugular vein
- Acoustic neuroma
Sometimes there is no apparent 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 even a symptom of a life-threatening condition such as high blood pressure or heart disease. It might also be a side effect of a new medication.
For some reason the ringing gets worse on some days.
For those who have tinnitus it’s a medical mystery why it gets worse on some days. The reason may be different for each person, too. However, there may be some common triggers.
Loud events such as concerts, club music, and fireworks are enough to irritate your tinnitus. If you expect to be exposed to loud noise, your best option is to wear hearing protection. You can enjoy the music at a live performance, for instance, without injuring your ears by using earplugs.
You can also stay away from the source of the sound. For example, don’t stand next to the speakers at a live performance or up front at a fireworks show. With this and ear protection, the damage to your ears will be decreased.
Loud Noises at Home
Things at home can be equally as harmful as a loud concert. For instance, mowing the lawn is enough to trigger tinnitus. Here are a few other sounds from around the house that can cause damage:
- Wearing headphones – The purpose of headphones is to raise the volume of your audio which could be irritating your tinnitus so it could be time to lose those earbuds.
- Woodworking – The tools you use can cause a hearing problem
- Laundry – If you fold clothing while the washer is running, for instance.
If you can’t avoid loud noises at least use hearing protection.
Loud noises at work are just as harmful as any other. It’s particularly crucial to wear ear protection if you work in construction or are around machines. Your employer will probably supply hearing protection if you make them aware of your worries. Let your ears rest during your off time.
Air Pressure Changes
Most 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 change in pressure. Think about ear protection if you are traveling and bring some gum to neutralize the air pressure.
You can experience changes in pressure without leaving your home, as well. If you have sinus problems, for instance, think about taking medication to help alleviate them.
Speaking of medication, that could also be the issue. Certain drugs impact the ears and are known as ototoxic. Included on this list are these common medications:
- 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. Switching to something else may be feasible.
Tinnitus is an annoyance 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.