The ringing just won’t go away. It’s been more than two days and you can still hear that irritating ringing in your ears. You acknowledge the sound is tinnitus, but you’re starting to question exactly how permanent tinnitus usually is.
Tinnitus can be brought about by injury to the stereocilia inside your ears (the air vibrations that your ears turn into sound, are sensed by these little hairs). Generally, too much excessively loud noise is the cause. That’s why when you’re sitting next to a roaring jet engine, eating at a loud restaurant, or going to a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
Under Normal Scenarios, How Long Does Tinnitus Persist?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But tinnitus usually doesn’t continue indefinitely. There will be a wide variety of factors that will influence how long your tinnitus will last, such as the underlying cause of your tinnitus and your general hearing health.
But if you just arrived home from a noisy day of traveling and you find your ears buzzing, a day or two should be enough for you to observe your tinnitus fading away. 16 to 48 hours typically is how long tinnitus will last. But it’s also not abnormal for symptoms to linger, sometimes for as much as two weeks. Additional exposure to loud sounds could also cause tinnitus to flare up again, effectively resetting the clock.
If tinnitus lingers and is impacting your quality of life, you need to consult a specialist.
Why is Tinnitus Sometimes Irreversible?
Usually, tinnitus is temporary. But occasionally it can be permanent. When the cause is not mundane that’s especially true either with respect to origin or in terms of severity. Some illustrations are as follows:
- Traumatic Brain Trauma (TBI): The brain is where the majority of sound is processed. In certain cases, a serious brain injury (like a concussion) might lead to tinnitus because those processors begin to misfire.
- Repeated exposure: After one rock show, your ears will ring for a couple of days but repeated exposure will result in far more serious consequences. Continued exposure to loud noises can cause irreversible hearing injury, including tinnitus.
- Hearing Impairment: Tinnitus and hearing loss often go hand in hand. So, whatever the cause of your hearing loss is, you might also find yourself developing (or noticing) permanent tinnitus alongside it.
Temporary tinnitus is a lot more common than lasting tinnitus. But there are still millions of Americans every year who are treated for permanent, or chronic, tinnitus symptoms.
How Can You Get Your Tinnitus to go Away?
It doesn’t matter if your tinnitus is short term or long term, you will want to find relief as soon as you can. Although there isn’t any cure for tinnitus, there are a few things you can do to lessen symptoms (however long they might endure):
- Use earplugs (or earmuffs): The next step, if you can’t steer clear of loud situations, is to use ear protection. (And, really, whether you suffer from tinnitus or not, you should wear hearing protection.)
- Stay away from loud noises. Your symptoms could be extended or might become more severe if you keep exposing yourself to loud noises like rock concerts or a jet engine.
- Try to keep calm: Maybe it sounds somewhat… abstract, but increased blood pressure can bring about tinnitus flare ups so remaining calm can help keep your tinnitus at bay.
- Find a way to cover up the sound: Sometimes, employing a white noise machine (including a humidifier or fan) can help you drown out the noise of tinnitus and, thus, overlook the symptoms (and, you know, get a good night’s sleep in the process).
Sadly, none of these practices will get rid of long term tinnitus. But it can be equally important to manage and minimize your symptoms.
When Will Your Tinnitus go Away?
In the majority of scenarios, though, your tinnitus will go away without you having to do anything about it. Your hearing should go back to normal within 16 to 48 hours. However, you will want to seek out a solution if your tinnitus lingers. The sooner you discover a treatment that works, the sooner you can experience relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is commonly associated with tinnitus) you should have your hearing tested.