"Ringing in the ears" can also mean buzzing, clicking, or a soft roar. There are several possible causes.
Temporary ringing in the ears can come from being around loud noises a lot. Using ear plugs or ear muffs when you must be around them, and avoiding them whenever possible, will help this condition and help prevent hearing loss. (If you are caught around loud noises with no ear protection, plug your ears with your fingers. If you cannot do this, humming will offer some protection. Humming causes small protective muscles in the ear to contract.)
Some medications can cause noise in the ears. Your doctor may change your medication or lower the dose. Even if he suggests no change, it is easier to igore the sounds if you know why they are there. If the noise in your ears starts at the same time as a new medicine and it intensifies each day, you could be allergic to the medicine and you should tell your doctor before taking another dose.
Have your doctor check to see if the noise is caused by such a build-up of wax that one ear is essentially plugged with it. He can soften extra earwax then wash it away. You could do this yourself, but if the wax is hiding a ruptured eardrum, washing out your ear could cause permanent hearing loss. A doctor is better able to see what is going on inside your ear.
Some foods can cause or intensify ringing in the ears. These include chocolate, red wine, and pickles. Caffeine or smoking will make the noises louder since those constrict the blood vessels.
Temporary ringing in your ears could mean that you have low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. Drink some orange juice or eat. If the ringing stops in less than an hour, hypoglycemia is likely the cause.
Ginkgo Biloba may help because it increases blood circulation in the head and neck. Try two tablets three times a day, with meals. It takes a month or two for ginkgo to reach its full effect.
White noise can drown out the noise in your ears enough to let you sleep at night. Noises that would help include static on the radio, a tuned-in station turned down low, or a fan.