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

When you first hear that ringing in your ears you might have a very typical response: pretend everything’s fine. You continue your normal habits: you have a conversation with friends, go to the store, and prepare lunch. While you simultaneously try your best to dismiss that ringing. Because you’re convinced of one thing: your tinnitus will go away by itself.

You start to get concerned, though, when after a few days the ringing and buzzing is unrelenting.

You aren’t the only person to ever be in this situation. At times tinnitus stop on its own, and other times it will stick around and that’s why it’s a tricky little condition.

The Condition of Temporary Tinnitus

Around the globe, nearly everyone has had a bout of tinnitus because it’s extremely common. In nearly all circumstances, tinnitus is essentially temporary and will eventually disappear on its own. The most typical example is the rock concert: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local arena (it’s a good show) and when you go home, you realize that there is ringing in your ears.

The kind of tinnitus that is linked to temporary injury from loud noise will usually diminish within a couple of days (but you accept that it’s simply part of going to a loud show).

Eventually hearing loss can go from temporary or “acute” to permanent or “chronic” because of this exact type of injury. Too many of those types of concerts and you could end up with permanent tinnitus.

Often Times, Tinnitus Doesn’t Just Disappear

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

Around 5-15% of individuals globally have recorded symptoms of chronic tinnitus. While there are some understood close associations (such as loss of hearing, as an example), the causes of tinnitus aren’t yet very well comprehended.

Usually, a fast cure for tinnitus will be elusive if the triggers aren’t evident. If your ears have been buzzing for over three months and there’s no discernible cause, there’s a good chance that the sound will not recede on its own. But if this is your situation, you can preserve your quality of life and deal with your symptoms with some treatment options (like noise canceling devices and cognitive behavioral therapy).

The Cause of Your Tinnitus is Important

When you can establish the root cause of your tinnitus, mitigating the condition quickly becomes a lot simpler. As an example, if your tinnitus is created by a persistent, bacterial ear infection, treatment with an antibiotic will usually solve both problems, leading to a healthy ear and clear hearing.

Some causes of acute tinnitus may include:

  • Loss of hearing (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Damage to the eardrum (such as a perforated eardrum)
  • A blockage in the ear or ear canal
  • 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 most cases, yes, your tinnitus will go away on its own. But the longer it hangs around, the longer you hear tinnitus noises, the more likely it becomes that you’re experiencing chronic tinnitus.

You feel that if you just disregard it should go away on its own. But sooner or later, your tinnitus may become distressing and it might become tough to focus on anything else. And in those instances, you may want a treatment plan more thorough than crossing your fingers.

In most cases, though, in fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will normally go away on its own, a typical reaction to a loud environment (and your body’s method of telling you to avoid that situation in the future). Whether that’s acute or chronic tinnitus, well, we’ll only know over time.

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