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The experience of hearing a noise or ringing sound in your ears certainly isn’t an abnormal occurrence. Known as tinnitus, it affects approximately 1 in 5 Americans. While there are many medical explanations for this phenomenon, it may be a sign of something more.

As the American Tinnitus Association explains, the phenomenon isn’t a disease in and of itself. Instead, it’s a symptom associated with a large number of other health conditions ranging from sinus pressure to a traumatic brain injury. However, in most cases, it’s merely a sign of hearing loss, which is often experienced as part of the aging process or do to exposure to incredibly loud noises. This can happen due to listening to our music too loud, attending concert events or even certain working conditions, like street-repair workers landscapers, carpenters, and pilots.

If, however, you hear a ringing or buzzing sound in your ears and your doctor is unable to find a physical explanation, this may have a spiritual cause. The world that we live in is comprised of energy and vibrations, a fact that likely isn’t new to you if you are in tune with the concept of spiritual awakening and the greater energy of the Universe. What you may not know is that the ringing in your ears may be caused by a change in these vibrations.

Within the inner ear is the cochlea, a spiral-shaped organ that takes sounds from the ear, translating them into neural impulses that can then be sent through our nervous system to the brain. This is necessary for the process of ‘hearing’ as it allows the brain to then ‘understand’ what we hear and identify a cause. For example, if your neighbor’s dog is barking, your cochlea will receive the sound waves, but it isn’t until those sound waves are turned into neural impulses and sent to the brain that you then identify that sound as that of a barking dog.

When the energy around us shifts, and we experience a higher level of vibrations than usual, this can also trigger impulses from the cochlea. However, as there is no identifiable cause of the vibrations, no ‘sound waves’ responsible, the brain merely hears a buzzing or ringing sensation.

While there are many different spiritual occurrences that may result in a change to the vibrations we are experiencing, there are two main causes that are largely recognized – messages from the spiritual realm and the process of spiritual awakening. There is, however, no identifiable difference in the ‘ringing’. As such, the process of identifying the cause will fall back on your ability for self-reflection and introspection.

As you move through the process of spiritual awakening, evolving into a higher self, your own personal vibrations will actually shift and change to more closely reflect the energy of the universe, including the planetary vibrations that move among us. As you travel this path of ascension, your vibrations will rise as your psychic senses open. It is this increase in personal vibrations that, in turn, will vibrate the cochlea causing the ringing. Don’t worry, if this is the cause the body will adjust to its new ‘normal’ in time, and the ringing will go away.

If you aren’t currently going through a spiritual shift in your life, that doesn’t mean that there is no spiritual cause. Those who reside in the spirit realm vibrate at a level much higher than those of us living in our own world. Therefore, if they are reaching out to us or attempting to contact us, we often pick up on this higher energy. Other signs that a spiritual being, angel or guardian may be close at hand include distinct or odd scents, the appearance of symbols like feathers or coins, seeing orbs or shimmers of light, or hearing certain songs or peaceful music. Pay attention, these messages are generally important and intended to help us and guide us through life.