Hearing Health Blog

Woman with hands to her ears in pain wondering when the ringing in her ears will stop.

You could have a common reaction when you first notice that ringing in your ears: pretend everything’s ok. You continue your regular habits: you have a conversation with friends, go to the store, and cook lunch. All the while, you’re trying to push that ringing in your ear to the back of your mind. Because there is one thing you feel sure of: your tinnitus will go away on its own.

After several more days of unrelenting buzzing and ringing, however, you start to have doubts.

You aren’t the only person to ever be in this scenario. At times tinnitus stop by itself, and other times it will linger on and that’s the reason why it’s a tricky little disorder.

The Condition of Temporary Tinnitus

Tinnitus is very common around the world, virtually everyone’s had a bout here and there. Tinnitus is a temporary condition, in most instances, and will ultimately go away on its own. The most typical scenario is the rock concert: you go to your local arena to see your favorite band and you notice, when you get home, that your ears are ringing.

Within a couple of days the kind of tinnitus related to injury from loud noise will usually fade away (and you chalk it up to the price of seeing your favorite band play live).

Over time loss of hearing can go from temporary or “acute” to permanent or “chronic” because of this exact kind of damage. One concert too many and you may be waiting quite a while for your tinnitus to subside by itself.

Often Times, Tinnitus Doesn’t Just go Away

If your tinnitus continues for over three months it’s then identified as chronic tinnitus (but you should get it checked by an expert long before that).

Around 5-15% of people globally have documented indications of chronic tinnitus. The exact causes of tinnitus are still not well known even though there are some known associations (such as hearing loss).

Usually, a quick cure for tinnitus will be elusive if the triggers aren’t apparent. If your ears have been buzzing for more than three months and there’s no recognizable cause, there’s a good possibility that the sound will not disappear on its own. In those situations, there are treatment possibilities available (like cognitive behavioral therapy or noise-canceling devices) that can help you manage symptoms and maintain your quality of life.

It’s Significant to Know What The Cause of Your Tinnitus is

It becomes a lot easier to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus when you can recognize the fundamental causes. As an example, if your tinnitus is produced by a stubborn, bacterial ear infection, treatment with an antibiotic will tend to solve both problems, resulting in a healthy ear and crystal-clear hearing.

Here are some potential causes of acute tinnitus:

  • Meniere’s disease (this is often associated with chronic tinnitus, as Meniere’s has no cure)
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Damage to the eardrum (such as a perforated eardrum)
  • Hearing loss (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
  • A blockage in the ear or ear canal

The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever Subside?

In general, your tinnitus will recede by itself. But the longer it hangs around, the longer you hear tinnitus noises, the more likely it becomes that you’re experiencing chronic tinnitus.

You believe that if you simply forget it should vanish on its own. But there may come a point where your tinnitus starts to become irritating, where it’s difficult to focus because the sound is too disruptive. In those circumstances, wishful thinking might not be the complete treatment plan you need.

The majority of the time tinnitus is simply the body’s reaction to loud noise that may be damaging over time and will subside by itself. Whether that’s acute or chronic tinnitus, well, only time will tell.

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