What Causes Ringing In The Ears?
What Causes That Ringing In The Ears And How Can I Avoid It?

The world around us has become incredibly loud and exuberant. You may be hard pressed to find a way to escape all ambient sounds but this just shows how dependent our mood, emotions, movements, balance, and more depend on our hearing to calculate and maintain harmony overall. Many sounds we depend on shape our perception of an area and give us a mental map of where we are relative to everything else.

No time is it more obvious how much our hearing can affect our quality of life then when we find ourselves in the middle of a tinnitus “attack” (it feels like but is more like a sneak attack). Tinnitus is a ringing in the ears that is persistent. It’s generally in the higher ranges, but can and will slide up and down the hearing range. An example of that is crackling or static like sounds and hearing loss that returns abruptly then seems confused.

What causes ringing in the ears can be a number of scenarios. Overall the ears are sensitive and precise mechanisms. They can easily be damaged. Sounds around you or in headphones that are too loud can damage (temporarily or permanently) the inner ear. If that goes it’s not pretty. When sound cannot be processed due to a tensing up of the ear drums what you get is ringing. The more intense ringing can be caused by the inner ear itself being out of balance or damaged.

Most cases are temporary, caused by overexposure of loud sounds. Consistently being exposed to loud tools, nail guns, electric saw, and the like can cause tinnitus temporarily or over time it can cause a tapering up of a condition you don’t notice right away. In this case you may be too late. Paying attention to your hearing loss can help you catch the problem early enough. If loud noises continue to harm your eardrums or inner ear it could cause permanent damage. This would lead to a life time of ringing and pressure in the ears (feeling of being “full” of water).

Noise exposure is the leading cause of tinnitus, especially permanent hearing loss due to damaged (beyond healing) inner ear functions. Wax build up and infections cause the production of mucus in the inner ear. This can become a problem when mucus production and the Eustachian tubes are not removing it fast enough. This will cause a backup. It’s a good idea to clean your ears often, but carefully. Make sure not to push abundant ear wax or hard ear wax into the ear further. This wax hardens as the canal fills with wax and starts to stack up.

The surface layers of earwax can harden but are still free to fall back near the eardrum. Using a Q-tip incorrectly or with haste can easily push it further back without your realizing it until the pain starts, the ringing endures, and you feel “off”, especially when you walk or do things that require balanced attention and audio cues from the environment. Being bombarded with all those sound waves without coherence can push the brain into a confusion state. The brain is used to processing sound fluidly and interpreting it on a regular basis but it’s not used to the ringing or fragmentation of sound waves. This can confuse the brain causing stress, frustration, loss of coordination, and more.

Ringing in the ears causes stress and anxiety but ironically is also worsened by it. You have to meditate or learn to relax to help it heal and recalibrate. If it’s a permanent condition you can still help lower the volume on the symptoms by watching your diet (no/low sugar and salt) as to not antagonize it. The inner ear actually contains a lot of minerals balanced intricately to form a sort of circuit. The introduction of too much salt, sugar, or starch will throw off the chemical/mineral balance and effect hearing. It can cause hearing loss (to varying degrees), or worse, a buzzing, ringing, crackling, static like, sound to persist and drive you mad.

What’s worse, you will likely lose a lot of sleep from the persistent ringing. This can raise blood pressure and cause stress which worsens the condition. It’s a vicious cycle you want to avoid at all costs.

To sum it up, the answer to the question “what causes ringing in the ears?”, anything that disrupts the eardrums or inner ear (including diseases that break the balance in the body/chemicals). Any difficulty hearing outside sounds will often lead to ringing. The ringing, remember, is the absence of the complete set of sound waves hitting the inner ear for processing.

The ear drums tensing up or inability to process sound waves (i.e. imbalanced inner ear fluid) causes only bits and pieces of sound to get through, this is likened to a bunch of people all talking at once in a room, but there is a much larger matrix of sounds around you at all times so this becomes a ringing sound that feels like a splinter in your mind.