HEARING TIPS

Sometimes my Ears Ring And Other Times They Don’t

Man on plane whose ringing in the ears worsened.

You have good days, and you have bad days, that’s normal for people who suffer from tinnitus but why? Tinnitus is the medical name for ringing in the ears, a condition that more than 45 million Americans experience, according to the American Tinnitus Association, and that’s accompanied by hearing loss by around 90 percent of them.

But that doesn’t explain why the ringing is intrusive some days and virtually non-existent on others. Some typical triggers could 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:

  • Buzzing
  • Clicking
  • Ringing
  • Hissing
  • Roaring

You hear it, the guy sitting next to 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?

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

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

A few other possible causes include:

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

For a certain percentage of people, there isn’t any apparent reason for them to have tinnitus.

If your tinnitus has just started, consult your doctor and determine what is going on with your ears. The issue may be a symptom of a life threatening condition like heart disease or it might be something treatable. A side effect of a new medication might also be the cause.

For some reason the ringing gets worse on some days.

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

Loud Events

Your tinnitus can be aggravated by loud events like concerts, club music, and fireworks. The best way to go is to put in ear protection if you expect a lot of noise. They make earplugs, for instance, that will allow you to enjoy music at a live performance but reduce the impact 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 attend a fireworks show don’t sit up front and stay away from the front row when you’re at a live performance. With this and hearing protection, the damage to your hearing will be decreased.

Loud Noises at Home

Stuff at home can be just as harmful as a loud concert. Tinnitus can be triggered by a lawn mower for example. Consider other things you do at home that could be an issue:

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

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

Workplace Noise

Loud noises at work have the same impact as a concert or the lawnmower. It’s particularly important to wear ear protection if you work in construction or are around machinery. Talk to your boss about your ear health; they might supply the ear protection you need. Spend your off time letting your ears rest, too.

Air Pressure Changes

When most people fly they experience ear popping. 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 equalize the air pressure.

Changes in air pressure occur everywhere not just on a plane. If you have sinus troubles, for example, think about taking medication to help relieve them.

Medication

Speaking of medication, that may also be the issue. Some drugs are ototoxic, meaning they have an impact on the ears. Some common drugs on the list include:

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

If you’re experiencing an intensifying of your tinnitus after you start taking a new medication, seek advice from your doctor. It may be feasible to change to something else.

For some people tinnitus is not just irritating it’s disabling. To be able to understand how to control it from day to day, the first step is to find out what’s causing it.

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