The ringing just won’t subside. That high pitched ringing in your ear has been nagging you since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t disappeared. You recognize the sound is tinnitus, but you’re beginning to wonder just how permanent tinnitus normally is.
Tinnitus can be brought on by injury to the stereocilia in your ears (the air vibrations which your ears turn into sound, are sensed by these little hairs). That damage is most often the result of overly loud noise. That’s why you notice tinnitus most commonly after, as an example, attending a concert, eating at a noisy restaurant, or being seated next to a deafening jet engine while you’re taking a trip.
Under Typical Scenarios, How Long Will Tinnitus Persist?
There’s no cure for tinnitus. But that doesn’t mean it won’t ever go away. How long your tinnitus lasts will depend on a wide variety of factors, including the primary cause of your tinnitus and your general hearing health.
But if you just arrived home from a noisy day of traveling and you notice your ears ringing, a day or two should be sufficient for you to notice your tinnitus fading away. On average, tinnitus will persist for 16 to 48 hours. But occasionally, symptoms can last as much as two weeks. And tinnitus will come back if you are exposed to loud sound again.
If tinnitus continues and is affecting your quality of life, you need to see a specialist.
What Leads to Long Term Tinnitus?
Normally, tinnitus is temporary. But occasionally it can be permanent. When the cause is not mundane that’s especially true either in terms of origin or in terms of intensity. Here are some examples:
- Hearing Impairment: Tinnitus and hearing loss frequently go hand in hand. So you might end up with permanent tinnitus no matter what the cause of your hearing loss.
- Traumatic Brain Trauma (TBI): Much of the processing of sound occurs in the brain. When those processors begin to misfire, because of traumatic brain trauma, tinnitus can be the result.
- Repeated exposure: After one rock show, your ears will probably ring for a couple of days but repeated subjection will result in far worse consequences. Frequent exposure to loud sounds can result in irreversible hearing damage, including tinnitus.
Permanent tinnitus is considerably less common than its more short-term counterpart. But there are still millions of Us citizens each year who are treated for lasting, or chronic, tinnitus symptoms.
How Can You Get Your Tinnitus to go Away?
You will need to find relief sooner rather than later regardless of whether your tinnitus is long term or temporary. There isn’t a cure for tinnitus but you can do a few things to minimize the symptoms (however long they may endure):
- Steer clear of loud noises. Your symptoms might be prolonged or may become more intense if you continue to expose yourself to loud noises such as rock concerts or a jet engine.
- Wear earplugs (or earmuffs): The next option, if you can’t avoid loud environments, is to wear hearing protection. (And, really, you need to be protecting your hearing even if you don’t have tinnitus.)
- Find a way to cover up the sound: In some cases, using a white noise machine (such as a humidifier or fan) can help you mask the noise of tinnitus and, thus, overlook the symptoms (and, you know, get a restful night’s sleep in the process).
- Try to remain calm: perhaps it sounds somewhat… abstract, but increased blood pressure can trigger tinnitus episodes so keeping calm can help keep your tinnitus at bay.
To be certain, if you have long-term tinnitus, none of these techniques will cure your tinnitus. But it can be just as important to control and reduce your symptoms.
When Will Your Tinnitus go Away?
Your tinnitus, in the majority of scenarios, will subside by itself. Your hearing should go back to normal within 16 to 48 hours. However, you will want to find a solution if your tinnitus persists. The sooner you find a treatment that is effective, the sooner you can get relief. Get your hearing examined if you think you have hearing loss or tinnitus.