What are the causes of sudden ear ringing?

Updated April 17, 2017

Tinnitus, or ear ringing, is a ringing noise in the ears. For the most part, ear ringing is not a serious condition, and it will usually go away on its own. However, ear ringing can be a symptom of an underlying disorder.

Location of Ringing

Ear ringing can occur in various parts of the ear, like the outer, inner and middle ear, as well as in the brain.

Loud Noises

For the most part, loud noises are the reason for many cases of ear ringing today. Loud noises can be very harmful to hearing, and few people today show concern for this. Loud music, alarms, gun shots and exposure to noise over a period of time can cause ear ringing.


Stress is another cause of sudden ear ringing. For someone always experiencing stress, this can be very harmful and can actually cause and worsen ear ringing.

Fluid Build-Up

People experiencing sickness or allergies will often find that they're experiencing sudden ear ringing. This is one of the most common cause of ear ringing. When you're sick, you sometimes experience sinus build-up and mucous in the nose, ears and mouth. Taking antibiotics makes the mucous thicker, causing your ears to ring.


Ageing also causes sudden ear ringing. As we age, we experience hearing loss and nerve damage in the ears. Presbycusis is the name of hearing loss in the elderly, and one of the symptoms of this condition is ear ringing.


Some medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, and our reaction to those medications, can cause sudden ear ringing. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like aspirin, can cause tinnitus.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Amanda Williams has been writing since 2009 on various writing websites and blogging since 2003. She enjoys writing about health, medicine, education and home and garden topics. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at East Stroudsburg University in May 2013. Williams is also a certified emergency medical technician.