Do you ever get a ringing in your ear?  Whether it is a temporary ringing or a chronic problem, tinnitus is a common complaint.  Sometimes tinnitus reveals itself as a buzzing sound, hissing, whistling, swooshing, or clicking noise.  No matter what the actual sound is, the fact remains that it is annoying.  Here are some of the causes:

Hearing Loss:

Most tinnitus is thought to be due to hearing loss in the inner part of the ear (cochlea) and the cochlear nerve. When the hair cells in the cochlea become damaged, the brain doesn’t get clear signals of sound.  To compensate for these abnormal signals the brain produces abnormal sounds, which is the tinnitus.

Exposure to Loud Sounds:

Exposure to loud sounds (like after a loud concert) can cause damage to the hair cells in your ears resulting in sending random electrical impulses to your brain which in turn causes tinnitus.  To fix this, limit exposure to loud sounds (power tools, construction sites, leaf blowers, chain saws, concerts, music etc.). Use hearing protection such as earplugs or earmuff-style head sets.


If your ears produce an excessive amount of wax or it does not wash away or fall out naturally, it can accumulate and block your ear canal.  Anything that blocks normal hearing can result in ringing in the ear.

Certain Medications:

Some drugs can cause or make tinnitus worse including over the counter pain medications, some antibiotics, high doses of diuretics, some antidepressants, and some chemotherapy.

Dental Issues:

Some dental issues such as temporomandibular joint disorders and teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and muscle tension can make tinnitus more noticeable.

Head Injuries:

Ringing in your ear could be a result of trauma to the head or neck.

Underlying Medical Conditions:

Tinnitus could be a sign of other health issues such as Meniere’s disease (a build up of fluid pressure in the inner ear), high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, and certain tumors.

Certain Vitamin Deficiencies:

A deficiency in certain vitamins can cause or contribute to tinnitus including vitamin D and B12.

If you experience symptoms of tinnitus, contact your health care provider to help determine the cause and how to manage it.