The ringing just won’t go away. That high pitched ringing in your ear has been nagging you since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t gone away. You acknowledge the noise is tinnitus, but you’re starting to wonder just how permanent tinnitus usually is.
Tinnitus can be brought on by injury to the stereocilia inside your ears (the air vibrations that your ears convert into sound, are sensed by these tiny hairs). That injury is usually the result of overly loud sound. 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 Persist on Average?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But tinnitus usually doesn’t last indefinitely. How long your tinnitus persists depends on a wide variety of factors, like your overall health and the underlying cause of your tinnitus.
But if you just returned home from a noisy day of traveling and you find your ears buzzing, a day or two should be sufficient for you to observe your tinnitus going away. 16 to 48 hours typically is how long tinnitus will last. But it’s also not uncommon for symptoms to linger, often for as much as two weeks. And tinnitus will return if you are exposed to loud sound again.
It’s generally suggested that you consult a specialist if your tinnitus persists and specifically if your tinnitus is impacting from your quality of life.
Why is Tinnitus Sometimes Irreversible?
Tinnitus is normally short-lived. But occasionally it can be irreversible. When the cause is not ordinary that’s especially true When it comes to intensity and origin. Here are several examples:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): The majority of the processing of sound occurs in the brain. In certain cases, a traumatic brain injury (such as a concussion) could cause tinnitus because those processors begin to misfire.
- Repeated exposure: After one rock concert, your ears will probably ring for a couple of days but frequent exposure will result in far more serious consequences. Continued exposure to loud sounds can result in permanent hearing damage, including tinnitus.
- Hearing Impairment: Often, hearing loss and tinnitus are joined at the hip. So, whatever the cause of your hearing loss is, you could also find yourself developing (or noticing) permanent tinnitus along with it.
Permanent tinnitus is significantly less common than its more short-term counterpart. But there are still millions of Americans each year who are treated for permanent, or chronic, tinnitus symptoms.
How do You Get Your Tinnitus to go Away?
Whether your tinnitus is short term or long term, you will want to get relief as quickly as possible. There is no cure for tinnitus but you can do some things to lessen the symptoms (however long they might last):
- Stay away from loud noises. Your symptoms could be extended or might become more severe if you continue to expose yourself to loud noises such as rock concerts or a jet engine.
- Wear earplugs (or earmuffs): If you can’t steer clear of loud situations, then protecting your hearing is the next best step. (And, really, whether you have tinnitus or not, you should use hearing protection.)
- Find a way to cover up the sound: In some cases, using a white noise machine (such as a fan or humidifier) can help you drown out the sound of tinnitus and, thus, ignore the symptoms (and, you know, get a restful night’s sleep in the process).
- Try to keep calm: perhaps it sounds a little… abstract, but remaining calm can really help keep your tinnitus in check, mostly because increased blood flow can induce tinnitus flare-ups.
To be sure, if you have long lasting tinnitus, none of these strategies will get rid of your tinnitus. But decreasing and controlling your symptoms can be just as important.
How Long Before Your Tinnitus Goes Away?
Your tinnitus, in most cases, will recede by itself. Just wait the 16-48 hours and your hearing should go back to normal. However, you will want to look for a solution if your tinnitus lingers. Discovering a workable treatment is the best way to finally get some relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is often associated with tinnitus) you should have your hearing tested.