You have good days, and you have bad days, that’s normal for individuals who have tinnitus but why? Tinnitus is the technical term for ringing in the ears, a condition more than 45 million Americans endure, according to the American Tinnitus Association, and that’s accompanied by hearing loss by around 90 percent of them.
But what is difficult to comprehend is why it’s nearly non-existent on some days and on others the ringing is so invasive. Some typical triggers may explain it but it’s still not clear as to why this occurs.
What Is Tinnitus?
The following phantom noises are heard by people who suffer from tinnitus:
One of the things that makes tinnitus so troubling 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?
Alterations in a person’s hearing are the most prevalent cause. These changes may be due to:
- Ear bone changes
- Earwax build up
- Noise trauma
A few other possible causes include:
- Acoustic neuroma
- Head injury
- Tumor in the head or neck
- An issue with the carotid artery or jugular vein
- High blood pressure
- TMJ issues
- Meniere’s disease
For a small percentage of people, there is no obvious explanation for them to have tinnitus.
See your doctor to have your ears tested if you suddenly notice the symptoms of tinnitus. The issue may be a symptom of a life threatening condition like heart disease or it could be something treatable. It could also be a side effect of a new medication.
For some reason the ringing gets 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. The reason could 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 aggravate your tinnitus. The best way to go is to use hearing protection if you expect a lot of noise. You can enjoy the music at a concert, for instance, without injuring your ears by putting in earplugs.
You can also keep away from the source of the sound. For instance, don’t stand right beside the speakers when attending a live performance or up front at a fireworks display. Combined with hearing protection, this will reduce the effect.
Loud Noises at Home
Stuff around the house can be equally as aggravating as a loud concert. Tinnitus can be triggered by a lawn mower for example. Here are a few other sounds from around the house that can cause injury:
- Wearing headphones – The purpose of headphones is to raise the volume of your audio which could be aggravating your tinnitus so it may be time to lose those earbuds.
- Laundry – If you fold clothing while the washer is running, for example.
- Woodworking – Power tools are loud enough to be a problem.
If you can’t stay away from loud noises at least put in hearing protection.
Noises at Work
Loud noises at work have the same effect as a concert or the lawnmower. If you work around machinery or in construction it’s particularly crucial to use hearing protection. Your employer will probably supply ear protection if you inform them of your worries. Let your ears rest during your off time.
Changes in Air Pressure
When most people go on a plane they experience ear popping. The shift in air pressure plus the noise from the plane engines can lead to an increase in tinnitus. If you are traveling, take some gum with you to help neutralize the air pressure and think about hearing protection.
You can experience changes in pressure without leaving your home, as well. Taking the proper medication to alleviate sinus pressure is also helpful.
Medication might also be the problem. Some drugs are ototoxic, meaning they have an impact on the ears. Included on this list are these common medications:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
Talk to your doctor if you experience a worsening of tinnitus after you begin taking a new prescription. Changing to something else might be a possibility.
For some people tinnitus is not just aggravating it’s debilitating. The first step is to find out what’s causing it and then consider ways to control it from day to day.