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

It’s common knowledge that stress, especially for extended periods, can be very hazardous to the body. When you suffer from persistent stress, everything from headaches to severe muscle aches can be the outcome. But did you realize stress can also bring about tinnitus, a ringing, buzzing, or clicking in the ears?

Tinnitus can be caused by many different health factors, such as stress, sinus infections, or loud noises. Let’s have a look at several potential causes of that annoying ringing in your ears.

How to Distinguish Unhealthy Stress

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

Healthy Stress

Stress that lasts a few minutes, or even a few hours, can actually be helpful in getting necessary tasks completed. If you’re dealing with a deadline and need to focus on completing a project, stress can be an ally by providing the boost of energy necessary to get the job done.

But short term, healthy stress and chronic, unhealthy stress are two very different things. Healthy stress helps you reach a goal without damaging your body. Unhealthy stress is hazardous for your body.

Unhealthy Stress

Unhealthy stress is caused by the fear of something that, more often than not, never actually occurs. When someone remains in a heightened state of anxiety, the result is usually unhealthy stress.

In dangerous conditions, the fight or flight response is a natural reaction but it also is associates with unhealthy stress. When someone stays in a hyper-stressful state for an extended period, it can lead to harmful physical symptoms.


Unhealthy stress is often the result of worrying. We may exaggerate the importance of a situation or an interaction with another person. We might have ourselves convinced that we did or said something to ruin our chances at a promotion. Unreasonable worrying can produce intrusive, apparently uncontrollable thoughts.

Unhealthy Stress And Intrusive Thoughts

We may think that we are falling behind and failing to accomplish our day-to-day schedule. Fixation, endless internal dialog, and even panic attacks are a common part of this type of stress. If we don’t take some positive steps to manage this stress it will keep wearing down our body.

Pain and muscle tension on the upper body are normal effects of unhealthy stress. The shoulders, neck, head, and jaw are areas that can be affected.

Jaw Tension And Anger

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

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

Ear Strain And Sinus Infections

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

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

Nasal congestion often spreads to the ears during a sinus infection. This can produce excess earwax, which leads to clogged ears and extreme pressure on the eardrums. And with this comes ringing in the ears.

If the ringing is triggered by a sinus infection it will probably clear up by itself and you won’t have to see a hearing specialist. If the ringing continues for more than a few days, however, you should schedule an appointment with a hearing professional.

Prolonged Exposure to Loud Noises

Long-term ringing in the ears will probably not occur due to the occasional concert. If you routinely expose your ears to intense sounds, however, you may be putting stress on the tender parts of your ears.

Buzzing, Clicking, or ringing can be the result when the eardrum and inner ears are put under the tremendous strain of repeated exposure to intense noises.

Above and beyond tinnitus, temporary or even lasting hearing loss can be the outcome of repeated exposure to loud sounds. Listening to music at a reasonable volume and wearing ear protection when necessary is essential for hearing health.

Protecting Your Hearing

Whether caused by stress, muscle tension, an illness, or loud noises, tinnitus is nothing to ignore. It’s best to get your ears tested by a hearing professional regularly. If you think 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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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.