You have good days, and you have bad days, that’s commonplace for individuals with tinnitus 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 comes along with hearing loss by around 90 percent of them.
But what is difficult 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 explain it.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus describes a condition where the patient hears phantom noises such as:
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 might be gone one day and the next it’s a roar.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Changes in a person’s hearing are the most common cause. The cause of these changes could be:
- Noise trauma
- Ear bone changes
- Earwax build up
There are other potential causes, also, such as:
- Head trauma
- High blood pressure
- Acoustic neuroma
- TMJ issues
- Tumor in the neck or head
- Meniere’s disease
- An issue with the carotid artery or jugular vein
For a small fraction of people, there is no obvious reason for them to have tinnitus.
Consult your doctor to have your ears checked if you suddenly observe the symptoms of tinnitus. The problem could be something treatable or even a symptom of a life-threatening condition like 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 many reasons depending on the person. However, there might be some common triggers.
Your tinnitus can be aggravated by loud events like concerts, club music, and fireworks. The number one option is to put in hearing protection if you expect to be exposed to a lot of noise. They make earplugs, for instance, that will allow you to enjoy music at a live performance but reduce the effect it has on your hearing.
You can also keep away from the source of the sound. When you go to a fireworks display don’t go up front and stay away from the front row at a live performance. With this and ear protection, the impact to your hearing will be decreased.
Loud Noises at Home
Loud noises in your house can also be harmful. For example, mowing the lawn is enough to induce tinnitus. Think about other things you do at home that might be a problem:
- 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.
- Laundry – If you fold clothes while the washer is running, for instance.
If you can’t stay away from loud noises at least wear hearing protection.
Noises at Work
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 most likely supply hearing protection if you inform them of your worries. Spend your personal time giving your ears a rest.
Air Pressure Changes
When most people fly they experience ear popping. The change in air pressure and the noise from the plane engines can cause an increase in tinnitus. If you are traveling, take some gum with you to help equalize the air pressure and consider ear protection.
You can experience changes in pressure without leaving your home, as well. If you have sinus problems, for instance, consider taking medication to help relieve them.
Medication might also be the issue. Certain medications are ototoxic, meaning they have an impact on the ears. Some common medications on the list include:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
Consult your doctor if you experience an intensifying of tinnitus after you begin taking a new medication. Switching to something else may be feasible.
For some people tinnitus is not just irritating it’s disabling. To be able to determine how to control it from day to day, the first step is to find out what’s causing it.