When you first hear that ringing in your ears you might have a very typical reaction: pretend that it’s no big deal. You go through your day the same as usual: you do your shopping, you make dinner, you try to have a discussion with your friends. While you simultaneously try your hardest to ignore that ringing. Because you feel sure of one thing: your tinnitus will go away on its own.
After a few more days of unremitting buzzing and ringing, though, you start to have doubts.
This scenario happens to others as well. At times tinnitus stop on its own, and at other times it will stick around and that’s the reason why it’s a tricky little condition.
When Tinnitus is Likely to Go Away by Itself
Tinnitus is extremely common everywhere, virtually everyone’s had a bout every now and then. In almost all situations, tinnitus is basically temporary and will eventually vanish by itself. A rock concert is an excellent illustration: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local stadium (it’s a good show) and when you go home, you realize that your ears are ringing.
The type of tinnitus that is linked to temporary damage from loud noise will usually decrease within a couple of days (but you accept that it’s just part of going to a loud performance).
Naturally, it’s precisely this type of noise injury that, over time, can cause hearing loss to go from temporary (or acute, as they say) to chronic. One concert too many and you might be waiting quite a while for your tinnitus to subside on its own.
Often Times, Tinnitus Doesn’t Simply Disappear
If your tinnitus persists for over three months it’s then referred to as chronic tinnitus (but you should have it examined by a specialist long before that).
Something like 5-15% of people around the world have documented indications of chronic tinnitus. The precise causes of tinnitus are still not well understood though there are some known associations (like hearing loss).
When the causes of your tinnitus aren’t obvious, it normally means that a fast “cure” will be elusive. If your ears have been ringing for over three months and there’s no identifiable cause, there’s a good chance that the sound will not disappear on its own. But if this is your circumstance, you can preserve your quality of life and manage your symptoms with some treatment possibilities (such as noise canceling devices and cognitive behavioral therapy).
The Reason For Your Tinnitus is Relevant
When you can determine the underlying cause of your tinnitus, dealing with the condition quickly becomes a lot easier. As an example, if your tinnitus is created by a persistent, bacterial ear infection, treatment with an antibiotic will usually solve both issues, resulting in a healthy ear and crystal-clear hearing.
Here are some possible causes of acute tinnitus:
- Eardrum damage (such as a perforated eardrum)
- Loss of hearing (again, this is often associated with chronic 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
The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever Subside?
In general, your tinnitus will recede by itself. But the longer it lingers, the longer you hear tinnitus noises, the more likely it becomes that you’re dealing with chronic tinnitus.
You believe that if you simply forget it should go away on its own. But there could come a point where your tinnitus begins to become distressing, where it’s hard to focus because the sound is too distracting. In those situations, wishful thinking might not be the comprehensive treatment plan you need.
In most instances, though, in fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will often subside on its own, a normal reaction to a loud environment (and your body’s method of telling you to stay away from that situation in the future). Whether that’s acute or chronic tinnitus, well, only time will tell.