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

As you most likely recognize, sustained periods of stress are not healthy for the body. Stress can cause severe muscle pain and headaches. But did you realize stress can also trigger tinnitus, a ringing, buzzing, or clicking in the ears?

Stress isn’t the only thing that can cause tinnitus, it can also be caused by a sinus infection, loud noises, and other factors. Let’s take a look at some potential causes.

How to Recognize Unhealthy Stress

You might be wondering how stress lends to tinnitus. We typically don’t consider the negative impact stress can have on our bodies or how it can result in frustrating, painful, or even serious medical problems. Neglecting stress is a bad idea.

Healthy Stress

Stress that persists a few minutes, or even several hours, can actually be helpful in getting necessary tasks completed. Stress can supply a boost of energy and adrenalin to accomplish tasks and projects that really need to get done.

There is a difference, however, between healthy, short-term stress and unhealthy, destructive stress. Healthy stress helps you accomplish a goal without damaging your body. Unhealthy stress is hazardous for your body.

Unhealthy Stress

Often, an irrational fear is the cause of unhealthy stress. When an individual remains in a heightened state of anxiety, the consequence is often unhealthy stress.

In hazardous situations, the fight or flight response is a natural reaction but it also relates to unhealthy stress. Harmful physical symptoms occur when someone stays in a hyper-stressful situation for extended periods.


Unhealthy stress is commonly the result of worrying. The significance of an interaction or situation can often be exaggerated. We may tell ourselves we destroyed a chance at a promotion because of something we said. Too much worrying can lead to invasive, apparently uncontrollable thoughts.

Unhealthy Stress And Invasive Thoughts

We may think that we are falling behind and failing to complete our everyday tasks. We might obsess, lecture ourselves, or even panic. Ultimately, our unhealthy stress wears on our bodies if we don’t take measures to curtail these thoughts.

Typically, unhealthy stress impacts the upper part of the body by producing muscle tension and pain. Impacted areas may include the head, neck, jaw, or shoulders.

Jaw Tension And Anger

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

Pressure can be put on the fragile bones of the eardrum and inner ear by continuous tension. Ringing in the ears can be the consequence.

Sinus Infections And Ear Strain

Sinus infections cause many undesirable symptoms, from a soar throat to a stuffy nose.

Headaches, sinus pressure, and pressure in the ears are common symptoms of a sinus infection. These problems can produce buzzing, clicking, or ringing in the ears.

If you have a sinus infection, your nasal congestion often spreads to your ears. Blockage in the ears and extreme pressure on the eardrum will build up because of the accumulated earwax this causes. And with this comes ringing in the ears.

You might not need to see a hearing specialist if the ringing is the result of a sinus infection, as the symptoms may clear up by themselves. If the ringing lasts for more than a few days, however, you should make an appointment with a hearing professional.

Extended Exposure to Loud Noises

Lasting ringing in the ears will most likely not manifest due to the occasional concert. However, you may be putting stress on the fragile parts of your ear if you frequently expose yourself to intense sound.

When you expose your ears to intense noises frequently, your eardrums and the bones of the inner ears are put under a great deal of strain, which can result in ringing, buzzing, or clicking.

Above and beyond ringing in the ears, temporary or even lasting hearing loss can be the result of continued exposure to loud noises. It’s important to safeguard your ears from the elements and listen to music at a reasonable volume level.

Protecting Your Ears

Whether caused by stress, muscle tension, an illness, or loud noises, tinnitus shouldn’t be ignored. Getting your hearing checked by a hearing professional regularly is the smartest thing you can do. If you suspect the ringing in your ears has a significant underlying medical cause, you should have them examined for your peace of mind.

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