You just can’t get away from that ringing in your ears. That high pitched buzz in your ear has been bothering you ever since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t disappeared. You recognize the noise is tinnitus, but you’re beginning to question exactly how permanent tinnitus normally is.
Tinnitus can be brought on by injury to the stereocilia in your ears (the air oscillations which your ears turn into sound, are sensed by these tiny hairs). Normally, too much excessively loud noise is the cause. That’s why when you’re sitting near a roaring jet engine, or out at a loud restaurant, or going to a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
How Long Does Tinnitus Last on Average?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But tinnitus usually doesn’t last indefinitely. How long your tinnitus lasts will depend on a large number of factors, such as your overall health and the underlying cause of your tinnitus.
But if you just arrived home from a noisy day of traveling and you find your ears buzzing, you can generally expect your tinnitus to disappear in a day or two. Normally, tinnitus will persist for 16 to 48 hours. But occasionally, symptoms can last as much as a couple of weeks. And tinnitus will return if you are exposed to loud noise again.
It’s generally suggested that you consult a specialist if your tinnitus persists and specifically if your tinnitus is detracting from your quality of life.
Why is Tinnitus Sometimes Permanent?
Tinnitus is usually impermanent. But that means it can be long lasting. Specifically when the cause of tinnitus is something outside the mundane either in terms of origin or in terms of intensity. Here are a few examples:
- Hearing loss: Tinnitus and hearing loss frequently go together. So, whatever the cause of your hearing loss is, you could also find yourself developing (or noticing) permanent tinnitus along with it.
- Traumatic Brain Trauma (TBI): Most of the processing of sound happens in the brain. When those processors start to misfire, due to traumatic brain injury, tinnitus can be the result.
- Repeated exposure: After one rock show, your ears will ring for a couple of days but continued exposure will result in far worse consequences. Repeated exposure to loud noises can cause permanent hearing damage, tinnitus included.
Short term tinnitus is a lot more common than permanent tinnitus. But permanent or chronic tinnitus still impacts millions of Us citizens each year.
How do You Get Your Tinnitus to go Away?
Whether your tinnitus is short term or long lived, you will want to get relief as quickly as you can. There is no cure for tinnitus but you can do a few things to lessen the symptoms (though they may last only so long):
- Try to remain calm: perhaps it sounds somewhat… abstract, but increased blood pressure can result in tinnitus episodes so keeping calm can help keep your tinnitus at bay.
- Avoid loud noises. Your symptoms may be prolonged or might become more severe if you continue to expose yourself to loud noises like rock concerts or a jet engine.
- Use earplugs (or earmuffs): If you cannot avoid loud situations, then safeguarding your hearing is the next best step. (And, really, you should be protecting your ears whether you have tinnitus or not.)
- Find a way to cover up the sound: You can sometimes mask the sound and get a good nights sleep by using some source of white noise like a humidifier or fan.
To be sure, if you have long lasting tinnitus, none of these techniques will get rid of your tinnitus. But it can be equally important to manage and minimize your symptoms.
How Long Before Your Tinnitus Goes Away?
Your tinnitus, in the majority of cases, will recede by itself. Just wait the 16-48 hours and your hearing should go back to normal. However, you will want to find a solution if your tinnitus lingers. The sooner you discover a treatment that works, the sooner you can get relief. Get your hearing examined if you think you have tinnitus or hearing loss.