You may have a common reaction when you first hear that ringing in your ears: pretend that it’s no big deal. You go about your normal habits: you have a chat with family, go to the store, and cook lunch. In the meantime, 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 fade away on its own.
You begin to worry, however, when after a few days the buzzing and ringing is unrelenting.
You’re not the only person to ever be in this position. Tinnitus can be a challenging little condition, at times it will go away on its own and in some cases, it will stay for a long time to come.
When Tinnitus is Likely to Disappear by Itself
Around the globe, nearly everybody has had a bout of tinnitus because it’s extremely common. In virtually all situations, tinnitus is basically temporary and will eventually vanish by itself. A rock concert is a good example: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local arena (it’s a good show) and when you go home, you discover that there is ringing in your ears.
Within a couple of days the kind of tinnitus connected to injury from loud noise will normally disappear (and you chalk it up to the price of seeing your favorite band on stage).
Eventually hearing loss can go from temporary or “acute” to permanent or “chronic” because of this exact type of damage. Too many of those kinds of concerts and you could wind up with permanent tinnitus.
Often Times, Tinnitus Doesn’t Just go Away
If your tinnitus persists for over three months it’s then labeled as chronic tinnitus (but you should have it examined by an expert long before that).
Around 5-15% of people around the world have documented indications of chronic tinnitus. The precise causes of tinnitus are still not well known though there are some known connections (like loss of hearing).
When the triggers of your tinnitus aren’t clear, it normally means that a fast “cure” will be unidentifiable. If your ears have been ringing for over three months and there’s no identifiable cause, there’s a good chance that the sound will not go away on its own. But if this is your situation, you can protect your quality of life and deal with your symptoms with some treatment options (like noise canceling devices and cognitive behavioral therapy).
It’s Significant to Know What The Cause of Your Tinnitus is
It becomes a lot easier to decrease the symptoms of tinnitus when you can identify the fundamental causes. For example, if your tinnitus is created by a persistent, bacterial ear infection, treatment with an antibiotic will tend to solve both issues, resulting in a healthy ear and clear hearing.
Some causes of acute tinnitus could include:
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
- Damage to the eardrum (such as a perforated eardrum)
- Hearing loss (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- Chronic ear infections
- Meniere’s disease (this is often associated with chronic tinnitus, as Meniere’s has no cure)
The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever Subside?
The truth is that in almost all cases, yes, your tinnitus will subside on its own. But it becomes significantly more likely that you’re dealing with chronic tinnitus the longer these noises last.
You can persuade yourself that everything is fine and hope that the ringing will simply go away. But eventually, your tinnitus may become distressing and it might become difficult to focus on anything else. In those circumstances, wishful thinking may not be the complete treatment plan you require.
In most situations, though, in fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will often subside on its own, a normal reaction to a loud environment (and your body’s method of letting you know to avoid that situation from now on). Whether that’s chronic or acute tinnitus, well, we’ll only know over time.