man with ear pain or tinnitus in ears

What Does it Mean When Your Ears Ring?

What does it mean when your ears ring? If you have experienced this strange noise coming from what feels like inside your ear or head, you may be experiencing something called Tinnitus…

Tinnitus is different for everyone. It can come on as a variety of noisy and bothersome sounds depending on your unique situation. Tinnitus can be perceived differently from individual to individual. The most common sounds are likened to: whistling, hissing, wooshing, buzzing, electrical currents, a swarm of bees, running water, dial-up internet, sound of the ocean in a seashell, pulsing, roaring, musical triangles, rain, and gushing. (Source: Friends With Tinnitus.)

So, instead of wondering, “what does it mean when your ears ring?” some of you may be asking, “what is that buzzing sound in my head?” or “what is that pulsing noise in my ear?”

More than 40 million Americans suffer from tinnitus. There is no known permanent cure, however, researchers and organizations such as the Tinnitus Hub, British Tinnitus Association, American Tinnitus Association, among many others, strive to bring awareness to the causes, effects, and remedies for tinnitus.


The Two Kinds of Tinnitus – Subjective and Objective:

Subjective tinnitus, which is the most common, is tinnitus only you can hear. Sounds are created without an external source. This is caused by ear problems in your outer, middle or inner ear, problems with the auditory nerves, or the part of your brain that interprets nerve signals as sound (auditory pathways).

Objective tinnitus, which is very rare and associated with abnormalities, is tinnitus that your doctor can hear in an examination. It may be caused by a blood vessel problem, a middle ear bone condition, or muscle contractions.

List of Potential Causes 

The most common cause is damage to the inner hair cells. But common causes can range from: age-related hearing loss, exposure to loud noise, earwax blockage, and ear bone changes. 

The not so common causes are: Meniere’s disease, TMJ (temporomandibular) disorders, head or neck injuries, acoustic neuroma, eustachian tube dysfunction, and muscle spasms in the inner ear. 

Rare cases of tinnitus are caused by some sort of blood vessel disorder, such as: Atherosclerosis, head and neck tumors, high blood pressure, turbulent blood flow, and the malformation of capillaries. 


List of Medications

Antibiotics, like, polymyxin B, erythromycin, vancomycin (Vancocin HCL, Firvanq), and neomycin. Cancer medications include methotrexate (Trexall) and cisplatin. 

Water pills (diuretics), include bumetanide (Bumex), ethacrynic acid (edecrin), or furosemide (Lasix). 

Others include quinine medications (used for malaria and other health conditions), certain antidepressants (worsen tinnitus), and Aspirin (usually 12 or more a day). 

In addition, there are some common risk factors such as smoking and cardiovascular problems. 


Tinnitus and the Quality of Life

Tinnitus plays a major role in the quality of life. It affects our overall health- mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

A few symptoms are pain, fatigue, stress, sleep disturbances, poor concentration, memory problems, depression, anxiety and irritability, frequent mood swings, social isolation, and problems focusing on work.


What does it mean when your ears ring?

Now that you know the answer to, “What does it mean when your ears ring?,” what can you do about it? What are some of the remedies for tinnitus? Sound therapy, tinnitus retraining therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy are some conventional options recommended by audiologists, neurologists and other professional trained medical personnel

For more of a holistic approach, Friends With Tinnitus provides a list of remedies, which we’ve listed a few here. 

  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Naturopathy
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Herbal supplements
  • Nutrition

We understand that tinnitus affects everyone differently. What works for one person may not work for another. That being said, we hope the list of remedies we’ve provided can help ease some of the effects of tinnitus. If you want to learn more about how to prevent tinnitus, please check out this comprehensive article from our friends over at Producer Hive

If you have tinnitus, or know someone who does, and they’ve got a remedy that we have not listed, please let us know!

AudioCardio is a technology company focused on hearing health and wellness. Learn how AudioCardio can help maintain and strengthen your hearing with your favorite headphones or hearing aids at