When you first notice that ringing in your ears you could have a very common reaction: pretend that it’s no big thing. You set about your regular routines: you have a conversation with friends, go to the store, and prepare lunch. While at the same time you try your hardest to ignore that ringing. Because there is one thing you feel sure about: your tinnitus will fade away on its own.
You start to get concerned, though, when after a couple of days the ringing and buzzing is unrelenting.
You aren’t the only person to ever be in this scenario. sometimes tinnitus will go away by itself, and other times it will stick around and that’s the reason why it’s a tricky little disorder.
The Condition of Temporary Tinnitus
Tinnitus is very common around the world, virtually everyone’s had a bout every now and then. Tinnitus is a non-permanent condition, in most cases, and will ultimately recede on its own. The most prevalent 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 discover that your ears are ringing.
The type of tinnitus that is associated with 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 concert).
After a while hearing loss can go from temporary or “acute” to permanent or “chronic” because of this exact type of damage. One concert too many and you could be waiting quite a while for your tinnitus to go away on its own.
When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Going Away by Itself
If your tinnitus lingers for over three months it’s then classified as chronic tinnitus (but you should get it examined by a specialist long before that).
Something like 5-15% of individuals around the world have reported signs of chronic tinnitus. While there are some recognized close connections (such as loss of hearing, as an example), the causes of tinnitus aren’t yet really understood.
When the causes of your tinnitus aren’t clear, it often means that a quick “cure” will be unidentifiable. There is a strong chance that your tinnitus won’t recede by itself if you have been hearing the ringing for more than three months. In those situations, there are treatment possibilities available (such as cognitive behavioral therapy or noise-canceling devices) that can help you deal with symptoms and preserve your quality of life.
The Cause of Your Tinnitus is Relevant
It becomes a lot easier to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus when you are able to recognize the root causes. 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 crystal-clear hearing.
Some causes of acute tinnitus might include:
- Meniere’s disease (this is often associated with chronic tinnitus, as Meniere’s has no cure)
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
- Chronic ear infections
- Eardrum damage (such as a perforated eardrum)
- Hearing loss (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever Subside?
The bottom line is that in almost all 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 can convince yourself that everything is fine and hope that the noises will just go away. But there could come a point where your tinnitus begins to become uncomfortable, where it’s hard to concentrate because the sound is too distracting. In those circumstances, wishful thinking may not be the comprehensive treatment plan you need.
Most of the time tinnitus is simply the body’s answer to loud noise that may be damaging over time and will go away by itself. Whether that’s acute or chronic tinnitus, well, only time will tell.