Why Is the Ringing in My Ears Worse Today?

Man on plane whose ringing in the ears worsened.

You have good days, and you have bad days, that’s commonplace for people who have tinnitus 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 that’s accompanied by hearing loss by about 90 percent of them.

None of that clarifies why the ringing is intrusive some days and almost non-existent on others. It’s not entirely clear why this happens, but some common triggers might explain it.

What Is Tinnitus?

The following phantom noises are heard by people who suffer from tinnitus:

  • Hissing
  • Roaring
  • Ringing
  • Clicking
  • Buzzing

You hear it, the person sitting next to you doesn’t, which is one thing that makes tinnitus so disturbing. Also, the pitch and volume can vary. One day it could be a roar and the next day be gone completely.

Exactly What is The Cause of Tinnitus?

The most common cause is a change in a person’s hearing. These changes could be due to:

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

There are other likely causes, also, like:

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

Sometimes there is no obvious reason for tinnitus.

See your doctor to have your ears examined if you suddenly observe the symptoms of tinnitus. The problem might be a symptom of a life threatening condition like heart disease or it could be something treatable. A side effect of a new medication could also be the cause.

Why Does the Ringing Get Worse on Some Days?

The reason why tinnitus gets worse on some days is somewhat of a medical mystery. And there could be many reasons depending on the person. However, there may be some common triggers.

Loud Events

Your tinnitus can be aggravated by loud events such as concerts, club music, and fireworks. The number one option is to put in ear protection if you expect a lot of noise. They make earplugs, for example, that will allow you to enjoy music at a live performance but reduce the impact it has on your hearing.

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

Loud Noises at Home

Things at home can be equally as harmful 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 damage:

  • 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 aggravating your ears.
  • Woodworking – The tools you use are enough to cause a problem
  • Laundry – For instance, if you fold clothes while the washer is running.

If you can’t avoid loud noises at least wear hearing protection.

Noises at Work

Loud noises at work are just as harmful as any other. It’s especially important to wear hearing protection if you work in construction or are around machines. Your employer will probably supply ear protection if you inform them of your worries. Spend your personal time letting your ears rest, too.

Changes in Air Pressure

Many people have experienced ear popping when they fly. An increase in tinnitus can happen because of the noise of the plane engine and the shift in pressure. If you are traveling, take some gum with you to help neutralize the air pressure and consider ear protection.

You can experience changes in pressure without leaving your home, too. If you have sinus issues, for example, think about taking medication to help relieve them.


Medication might also be the problem. Some drugs are ototoxic, meaning they have an impact on the ears. Some prevalent medications on the list include:

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

If you’re experiencing a worsening of your tinnitus after you begin taking a new medication, seek advice from your doctor. Changing to something else may be possible.

Tinnitus is an irritation for some people, but for others, it can be disabling. The first step is to figure out why you have it and then consider ways to control it from day to day.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.