Why is The Buzzing in my Ears Louder at Night?

Tinnitus Articles | Corpus Christi ENT Sinus & Allergy

Man in bed at night suffering insomnia from severe tinnitus and ringing in the ear.

If you are one of the millions of individuals in the U.S. dealing with a medical disorder called tinnitus then you most likely know that it often gets worse when you are attempting to go to sleep. But what’s the reason for this? The ringing is a phantom noise caused by some medical condition like hearing loss, it isn’t an external sound. Of course, knowing what it is won’t explain why you have this buzzing, ringing, or whooshing noise more often during the night.

The real reason is fairly straightforward. To know why your tinnitus increases as you attempt to sleep, you need to understand the hows and whys of this extremely common medical issue.

What is tinnitus?

For most people, tinnitus isn’t an actual sound, but this fact just compounds the confusion. It’s a sound no one else is able to hear. Your partner lying next to you in bed can’t hear it although it sounds like a maelstrom to you.

Tinnitus is a sign that something is wrong, not a disorder on its own. It is typically associated with substantial hearing loss. Tinnitus is frequently the first indication that hearing loss is Taking hold. Individuals with hearing loss often don’t notice their condition until the tinnitus symptoms start because it progresses so gradually. This phantom sound is a warning flag to warn you of a change in your hearing.

What causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus is one of medical science’s biggest conundrums and doctors don’t have a strong comprehension of why it occurs. It may be a symptom of inner ear damage or numerous other possible medical conditions. There are very small hair cells inside of your ears that vibrate in response to sound. Often, when these tiny hairs get damaged to the point that they can’t efficiently send messages to the brain, tinnitus symptoms occur. These electrical messages are how the brain translates sound into something it can clearly interpret like a car horn or somebody speaking.

The absence of sound is the basis of the current theory. Your brain will start to compensate for signals that it’s not getting because of hearing loss. It attempts to compensate for input that it’s not getting.

That would explain some things when it comes to tinnitus. Why it can be a result of so many medical conditions, such as age-related hearing loss, high blood pressure, and concussions, to begin with. It also tells you something about why the ringing gets worse at night for some people.

Why are tinnitus sounds louder at night?

Unless you are profoundly deaf, your ear picks up some sounds during the day whether you know it or not. It will faintly pick up sounds coming from another room or around the corner. At the very least, you hear your own voice, but that all goes quiet during the night when you try to go to sleep.

All of a sudden, the brain is thrown into confusion as it searches for sound to process. When confronted with total silence, it resorts to creating its own internal sounds. Hallucinations, such as phantom sounds, are frequently the outcome of sensory deprivation as the brain tries to produce input where there isn’t any.

In other words, it’s too quiet at night so your tinnitus seems worse. If you’re having a hard time sleeping because your tinnitus symptoms are so loud, producing some noise may be the answer.

Generating noise at night

A fan running is frequently enough to decrease tinnitus symptoms for many individuals. The volume of the ringing is decreased just by the sound of the fan motor.

But, there are also devices made to help people with tinnitus get to sleep. Natural sounds, like ocean waves or rain, are produced by these “white noise machines”. The soft noise calms the tinnitus but isn’t distracting enough to keep you awake like leaving the TV on may do. Your smartphone also has the ability to download apps that will play calming sounds.

What else can worsen tinnitus symptoms?

Your tinnitus symptoms can be exacerbated by other things besides lack of sound. Too much alcohol before bed can lead to more extreme tinnitus symptoms. Tinnitus also tends to worsen if you’re under stress and certain medical problems can trigger a flare-up, also, like high blood pressure. Contact us for an appointment if these suggestions aren’t helping or if you’re feeling dizzy when your tinnitus symptoms are active.

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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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