Why Does The Ringing in my Ears Come And go?

Man on plane whose ringing in the ears worsened.

With tinnitus, it’s normal 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 around 90 percent of them.

But what’s hard to comprehend is why it’s nearly non-existent on some days and on others the ringing is so intrusive. It’s not completely clear why this happens, but some common triggers may explain it.

What Is Tinnitus?

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

  • Ringing
  • Clicking
  • Hissing
  • Buzzing
  • Roaring

You hear it, the person right 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 could be a roar and the next day be gone completely.

Exactly What Causes Tinnitus?

Changes in a person’s hearing are the most prevalent cause. The cause of these changes could be:

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

There are other possible causes, also, like:

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

Sometimes there is no obvious reason for tinnitus.

See your doctor to have your ears tested if you suddenly observe the symptoms of tinnitus. The problem could be something treatable or even a symptom of a life-threatening condition such as high blood pressure or heart disease. A side effect of a new medication could also be the cause.

Why Does the Ringing Get Worse on Some Days?

For those who suffer from tinnitus it’s a medical mystery why it gets worse on some days. The reason might be different for each person, also. There are common triggers that may explain it, though.

Loud Events

Loud events like concerts, club music, and fireworks are enough to aggravate your tinnitus. If you expect to be exposed to loud noise, your best option is to wear hearing protection. You can enjoy the music at a concert, for instance, without harming your ears by putting in earplugs.

You can also stay away from the source of the sound. When you attend a fireworks show don’t sit up front and avoid the front row when you’re at a concert. With this and hearing protection, the impact to your hearing will be decreased.

Loud Noises at Home

Stuff at home can be just as aggravating as a loud concert. Tinnitus can be triggered by a lawn mower for instance. Think about other things you do at home that may be a problem:

  • Woodworking – The tools you use can cause a hearing problem
  • Laundry – For example, if you fold clothes while the washer is running.
  • Wearing headphones – It could be time to get rid of the earbuds or headphones. Their job is to increase the volume, and that might be aggravating your ears.

If there are activities you can’t or don’t want to avoid such as woodworking, wear hearing protection.

Workplace Noise

Loud noises on the job are just as harmful as any other. It’s particularly important to use ear protection if you work in construction or are around machines. Your employer will most likely provide hearing protection if you inform them of your worries. Spend your off time giving your ears a rest.

Changes in Air Pressure

Most people have experienced ear popping when they fly. The change in air pressure plus the noise from the plane engines can cause an increase in tinnitus. If you are traveling, bring some gum with you to help equalize the air pressure and think about ear protection.

Changes in air pressure happen everywhere not just on a plane. Taking the proper medication to alleviate sinus pressure is also helpful.


Speaking of medication, that could also be the problem. Certain drugs affect the ears and are known as ototoxic. Included on this list are these common medications:

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

If you’re experiencing an intensifying of your tinnitus after you begin taking a new prescription, check with your doctor. It may be feasible to switch to something else.

Tinnitus is an aggravation for some people, but for others, it can be disabling. To be able to understand how to control it from day to day, step one is to figure out what’s causing it.

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