Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

Woman with tinnitus and ringing in her ears getting a headache.

It’s common knowledge that stress, particularly for extended stretches, can be extremely hazardous to the body. Stress can cause significant muscle pain and headaches. But tinnitus, a clicking, buzzing, or ringing in the ears can also be the result.

Tinnitus can be brought about by numerous different health factors, including stress, sinus infections, or loud noises. Let’s examine a few potential causes of that aggravating ringing in your ears.

How to Recognize Unhealthy Stress

How does stress relate to tinnitus? We generally don’t consider the negative influence stress can have on our bodies or how it can cause troublesome, painful, or even serious medical conditions. Stress is not something you should ignore.

Healthy Stress

Short term stress can actually be a very motivating factor when it comes to accomplishing duties. Stress can provide a boost of energy and adrenalin to complete tasks and projects that really need to get done.

But temporary, healthy stress and long term, harmful stress are two very different things. The ability to complete goals can be helped by healthy stress while unhealthy stress can physically harm you.

Unhealthy Stress

Unhealthy stress is caused by the fear of something that, more often than not, never in fact occurs. Unhealthy stress is created when an individual remains in a heightened state of anxiety for an extended period of time.

In dangerous conditions, the fight or flight response is a normal reaction but it also relates to unhealthy stress. Harmful physical symptoms happen when someone remains in a hyper-stressful circumstance for extended periods.


Unhealthy stress is often caused by worrying. The significance of a relationship or situation can often be exaggerated. We might tell ourselves we wrecked a chance at a promotion because of something we said. Unreasonable worrying can cause invasive, apparently unmanageable thoughts.

Intrusive Thoughts And Unhealthy Stress

We may worry about what we failed to get completed today and worry over what we have to get done tomorrow. We may obsess, talk to ourselves, or even panic. Ultimately, our unhealthy stress wears on our bodies unless we take steps to curtail these thoughts.

Pain and muscle tension on the upper body are common effects of unhealthy stress. Impacted areas might include the head, neck, jaw, or shoulders.

Anger And Jaw Tension

Have you ever read a book where the writer portrays a character as being so angry his jaw clenched in rage? Stress, anger, worry, and intrusive thoughts often come with jaw tension.

Continuous tension can put pressure on the fragile bones of the eardrum and inner ear. Ringing in the ears can be the result.

Ear Strain And Sinus Infections

From sore throats to stuffy noses, sinus infections bring lots of undesired symptoms.

Sinus pressure, headaches, and pressure in the ears are typical symptoms of a sinus infection. A ringing, clicking, or buzzing can be the result.

When you have a sinus infection, your nasal congestion often spreads to your ears. This can produce accumulated earwax, which leads to blockages in the ears and intense pressure on the eardrums. Pressure on the little bones of the inner ear can cause tinnitus symptoms.

You might not need to visit a hearing specialist if the ringing is being caused by a sinus infection, as the symptoms could go away by themselves. But you should certainly schedule an appointment with us if the ringing persists for more than a few days.

Extended Exposure to Loud Noises

Long-term ringing in the ears will probably not occur as a result of the occasional concert. If you repeatedly expose your ears to very loud sounds, however, you may be putting stress on the tender areas of your ears.

Buzzing, Clicking, or ringing can be the outcome when the eardrum and inner ears are put under the incredible strain of frequent exposure to loud noises.

Above and beyond tinnitus, temporary or even permanent hearing loss can be the outcome of repeated exposure to loud sounds. It’s essential to protect your hearing from the elements and listen to music at a reasonable volume level.

Protecting Your Hearing

Whether caused by stress, muscle tension, an illness, or loud noises, tinnitus shouldn’t be ignored. It’s best to get your ears checked by a hearing professional regularly. If you think the ringing in your ears has a serious hidden medical cause, you should have them checked for your peace of mind.

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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.
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