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Man on plane whose ringing in the ears worsened.

You have good days, and you have bad days, that’s commonplace for people who suffer from tinnitus but why? Tinnitus is the medical name for ringing in the ears, a condition 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 what’s tough to comprehend is why it’s nearly non-existent on some days and on others the ringing is so intrusive. It is not completely clear why this occurs, but some ordinary triggers may explain it.

What Is Tinnitus?

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

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Roaring
  • Clicking
  • Hissing

You hear it, the person beside you doesn’t, which is one thing that makes tinnitus so disturbing. Also, the pitch and volume can vary. It might be gone one day and the next it’s a roar.

What is The Cause of Tinnitus?

The most common cause is a change in a person’s hearing. The cause of these changes could be:

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

A few other possible causes include:

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

For a small percentage of people, there is no obvious explanation for them to have tinnitus.

If your tinnitus has just started, consult your doctor and learn what is happening with your ears. The problem may be a symptom of a life threatening condition like heart disease or it might be something treatable. It might also be a side effect of a new medication.

For some reason the ringing gets worse on some days.

It’s a bit 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. However, there might be some common triggers.

Loud Events

Your tinnitus can be aggravated by loud events like concerts, club music, and fireworks. If you expect to be subjected to loud noise, your best choice is to use hearing protection. They make earplugs, for instance, that will permit you to enjoy music at a live performance but reduce the effect it has on your ears.

Another thing you can do is to put some distance between you and the source of the loud sound. When you go to a fireworks display don’t sit up front and stay away from the front row when you’re at a concert. Combined with hearing protection, this could reduce the impact.

Loud Noises at Home

Loud noises in your home can also be harmful. For example, mowing the lawn is enough to trigger tinnitus. Here are a few other sounds from around the house that can cause injury:

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

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

Noises at Work

Loud noises at work are just as damaging as any other. If you work around machinery or in construction it’s especially crucial to use ear protection. Your employer will probably supply hearing protection if you make them aware of your worries. Spend your off time letting your ears rest, too.

Changes in Air Pressure

Most people have experienced ear popping when they take a plane. The shift in air pressure combined with the noise from the plane engines can trigger an increase in tinnitus. If you are traveling, take some gum with you to help equalize the air pressure and think about hearing protection.

You can experience changes in pressure without leaving your home, as well. If you have sinus problems, for example, consider taking medication to help alleviate them.

Medication

Speaking of medication, that could also be the issue. Some medications are ototoxic, meaning they affect the ears. Some prevalent drugs on the list include:

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

Have a talk with your doctor if you experience a worsening of tinnitus after you begin taking a new prescription. Switching to something else could be feasible.

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