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Man on plane whose ringing in the ears worsened.

With tinnitus, it’s common to have good and bad days but why? Tinnitus is the technical term for ringing in the ears, a condition that more than 45 million Americans endure, according to the American Tinnitus Association, and comes along with hearing loss by about 90 percent of them.

But that doesn’t explain why the ringing is invasive some days and almost non-existent on others. It is not completely clear why this happens, but some typical triggers may explain it.

What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus describes a condition where the patient hears phantom noises such as:

  • Roaring
  • Ringing
  • Clicking
  • Buzzing
  • Hissing

You hear it, the person beside you doesn’t, which is one thing that makes tinnitus so disturbing. The noise can vary in pitch and volume, too. One day it may be a roar and the next day be gone completely.

What is The Cause of Tinnitus?

Alterations in a person’s hearing are the most prevalent cause. These changes could be due to:

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

There are other likely causes, also, such as:

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

Sometimes there is no apparent explanation for tinnitus.

See your doctor to have your ears tested if you suddenly notice the symptoms of tinnitus. The issue could be a symptom of a life threatening condition like heart disease or it might be something treatable. It may also be a side effect of a new medication.

Why Does the Ringing Get Worse on Some Days?

The explanation for why tinnitus gets worse on some days is somewhat of a medical mystery. The reason may be different for each person, also. However, there could be some common triggers.

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 option is to use ear protection. You can enjoy the music at a concert, for example, without harming 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 concert or up front at a fireworks display. With this and ear protection, the impact to your ears will be decreased.

Loud Noises at Home

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

  • Laundry – For example, if you fold clothes while the washer is running.
  • Woodworking – Power tools are loud enough to be an issue.
  • Wearing headphones – It might be time to get rid of the earbuds or headphones. Their function is to increase the volume, and that might be irritating your ears.

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

Noises at Work

Loud noises at work are just as damaging as any other. If you work near machinery or in construction it’s particularly important to wear ear protection. Your employer will most likely provide ear protection if you inform them of your concerns. Spend your off time letting your ears rest, too.

Changes in Air Pressure

When most people fly they experience ear popping. An increase in tinnitus can happen from the noise of the plane engine and the shift 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, too. Taking the proper medication to relieve sinus pressure is also helpful.


Speaking of medication, that might also be the issue. Some medications are ototoxic, meaning they have an impact on the ears. Some prevalent medications on the list include:

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

Consult your doctor if you experience a worsening of tinnitus after you start taking a new medication. It may be feasible to change to something else.

For some people tinnitus is not just annoying it’s debilitating. To be able to determine how to control it from day to day, step one is to figure out what’s causing it.