When you first hear that ringing in your ears you may have a very common response: pretend that it’s no big thing. You go through your day the same as usual: you do your shopping, you cook dinner, you try to have a discussion with your friends. In the meantime, you’re trying to force that ringing in your ear to the back of your mind. Because you feel sure of one fact: your tinnitus will fade away on its own.
You start to worry, though, when after a few days the buzzing and ringing is unrelenting.
You’re not the only one to ever find yourself in this situation. sometimes tinnitus will go away by itself, and at other times it will linger on and that’s why it’s a challenging little condition.
When Tinnitus is Likely to Subside on Its Own
Tinnitus is incredibly common everywhere, nearly everyone’s had a bout here and there. Tinnitus is a temporary condition, in most instances, and will ultimately subside on its own. The most prevalent scenario is the rock concert: you go to your local stadium to see your favorite band and you notice, when you get back home, that there is a ringing in your ears.
The type of tinnitus that is associated with temporary damage from loud noise will normally diminish within a few days (and you chalk it up to the cost of seeing your favorite band play live).
After a while hearing loss can go from temporary or “acute” to permanent or “chronic” because of this exact kind of injury. One concert too many and you might be waiting quite a while for your tinnitus to go away on its own.
Often Times, Tinnitus Doesn’t Simply go Away
If your tinnitus continues for over three months it’s then labeled as chronic tinnitus (but you should have it checked by an expert long before that).
Around 5-15% of individuals globally have reported signs of chronic tinnitus. While there are some known close associations (like hearing loss, as an example), the causes of tinnitus aren’t yet well understood.
Usually, a quick cure for tinnitus will be unidentifiable if the triggers aren’t clear. There is a good chance that your tinnitus won’t recede on its own if you have been hearing the ringing for more than three months. In those instances, there are treatment options available (such as cognitive behavioral therapy or noise-canceling devices) that can help you control symptoms and maintain your quality of life.
The Cause of Your Tinnitus is Important
When you can recognize the underlying cause of your tinnitus, dealing with the condition quickly becomes a lot simpler. For example, if your tinnitus is produced by a persistent, bacterial ear infection, treatment with an antibiotic will tend to solve both issues, resulting in a healthy ear and crystal-clear hearing.
Here are some likely causes of acute tinnitus:
- Chronic ear infections
- Meniere’s disease (this is often associated with chronic tinnitus, as Meniere’s has no cure)
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
- 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 it becomes increasingly more likely that you’re experiencing chronic tinnitus the longer these tinnitus sounds remain.
You believe that if you just ignore it should go away on its own. But eventually, your tinnitus could become unpleasant and it may become tough to focus on anything else. And in those cases, you might want a treatment strategy more comprehensive than crossing your fingers.
In most situations, though, as a matter of fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will often go away on its own, a typical response to a noisy environment (and your body’s means of letting you know to stay away from that environment from now on). Whether that’s chronic or acute tinnitus, well, we’ll only know over time.