What causes tinnitus?
There isn’t a single known cause of tinnitus.
How tinnitus is triggered isn’t completely understood either. It can either come on gradually over a long period of time, or start suddenly without an obvious reason. But there are some factors that are associated with the onset of tinnitus:
- Exposure to loud sounds
- Ear infections
- Emotional stress
- Head or ear injuries
- Hearing loss
- Medication side effects
- Ear wax build-up
- A combination of the above
Some cases of tinnitus might be linked to your posture, the way you sit and your position when you lie down. Even the way you turn your head can affect the intensity of your tinnitus. This could be due to the muscles, nerves and bloodflow in your neck2.
You might develop tinnitus after an ear infection, cold or an injury, but whether the tinnitus you experience will be short-lived cannot be said for certain.
Ear syringing can also trigger tinnitus, although we don’t recommend ear syringing (we use a different type of wax removal).
While there’s no evidence that stress directly causes tinnitus, it can make your current tinnitus worse.