You just can’t escape from that ringing in your ears. That high pitched buzz in your ear has been nagging you ever since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t disappeared. You know the sound is tinnitus, but you’re beginning to wonder just how long lasting tinnitus usually is.
Tinnitus can be brought about by injury to the stereocilia inside of your ears (the air vibrations that your ears turn into sound, are sensed by these little hairs). That injury is typically the outcome of overly loud sound. That’s why when you’re sitting near a booming jet engine, eating at a noisy 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 normally doesn’t continue forever. How long your tinnitus persists depends on a large number of factors, like your general health and the root cause of your tinnitus.
But if you just returned home from a noisy day of traveling and you find your ears buzzing, you can generally expect your tinnitus to go away in a day or two. 16 to 48 hours typically is how long tinnitus will persist. But often, symptoms can last as long as two weeks. Additional exposure to loud sounds could also trigger tinnitus to flare up again, effectively resetting the clock.
If tinnitus lingers and is affecting your quality of life, you need to consult a specialist.
Why is Tinnitus Sometimes Irreversible?
Usually, tinnitus is short-lived. But sometimes it can be long-lasting. Particularly when the cause of tinnitus is something outside the mundane When it comes to degree and origin. Some illustrations are as follows:
- Hearing loss: In many cases, hearing loss and tinnitus are joined at the hip. So, whatever the cause of your hearing loss is, you may also wind up developing (or noticing) permanent tinnitus along with it.
- Repeated exposure: After one rock show, your ears will probably ring for a couple of days but continued subjection will lead to far more serious consequences. Continued exposure to loud sounds can lead to irreversible hearing injury, tinnitus included.
- Traumatic Brain Trauma (TBI): The majority of the processing of sound happens in the brain. When those processors start to misfire, because of traumatic brain trauma, tinnitus can be the outcome.
Short term tinnitus is far more common than lasting tinnitus. But there are still millions of Americans every year who are treated for permanent, or chronic, tinnitus symptoms.
How do You Get Your Tinnitus to Subside?
It doesn’t matter if your tinnitus is short term or long term, you will want to find relief as soon as possible. There is no cure for tinnitus but you can do some things to minimize the symptoms (however long they might endure):
- Find a way to mask the sound: In some cases, employing a white noise machine (like 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).
- Try to remain calm: perhaps it sounds a little… abstract, but staying calm can really help keep your tinnitus in check, mostly because increased blood pressure can stimulate tinnitus flare-ups.
- Stay away from loud noises. Attending another live show, hopping on another airline, or cranking up the volume on your earpods another notch might extend your symptoms or increase their severity.
- Use earplugs (or earmuffs): The next option, if you can’t steer clear of loud environments, is to wear ear protection. (And, really, you need to be protecting your ears whether you have tinnitus or not.)
To be sure, if you have permanent tinnitus, none of these techniques will cure your tinnitus. But it can be equally relevant to control and diminish your symptoms.
How Long Before Your Tinnitus Goes Away?
Your tinnitus, in most scenarios, will go away by itself. Just wait the 16-48 hours and your hearing should go back to normal. However, if your tinnitus lingers, you’ll want to look for a solution. The sooner you discover a treatment that works, the sooner you can get relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is frequently associated with tinnitus) you should get your hearing tested.