You just can’t get away from that ringing in your ears. That high pitched ringing in your ear has been irritating you since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t disappeared. You recognize the sound is tinnitus, but you’re starting to wonder just how permanent tinnitus normally is.
Tinnitus can be brought on by damage to the stereocilia in 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 roaring jet engine, or out at a loud restaurant, or going to a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
Under Normal Scenarios, How Long Does Tinnitus Persist?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But tinnitus usually doesn’t last indefinitely. There will be a large number of factors that will influence how long your tinnitus will stick around, including the root cause of your tinnitus and your general hearing health.
But if you just returned home from a noisy day of traveling and you find your ears ringing, 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 unusual for symptoms to stick around, sometimes for as much as two weeks. And tinnitus will come back if you are exposed to loud sound again.
It’s usually recommended that you see a specialist if your tinnitus persists and specifically if your tinnitus is impacting from your quality of life.
What Causes Permanent Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is normally short-lived. But that means it can be irreversible. When the cause is not ordinary that’s particularly true When it comes to degree and origin. Here are some examples:
- Traumatic Brain Trauma (TBI): The majority of the processing of sound occurs in the brain. In certain cases, a serious brain injury (such as a concussion) might cause tinnitus because those processors begin to misfire.
- Repeated exposure: After one rock show, your ears will probably ring for a couple of days but continued exposure will lead to far worse consequences. Repeated exposure to loud noises can lead to permanent hearing injury, including tinnitus.
- Hearing loss: In many cases, tinnitus and hearing loss are joined at the hip. So, whatever the cause of your hearing loss is, you could also find yourself developing (or noticing) irreversible tinnitus alongside it.
Permanent tinnitus is substantially less common than its more short-term counterpart. But there are still millions of Americans every year who are treated for lasting, or chronic, tinnitus symptoms.
How do You Get Your Tinnitus to go Away?
Whether your tinnitus is short lived or long lived, you will want to get relief as quickly as possible. There is no cure for tinnitus but you can do a few things to minimize the symptoms (however long they might endure):
- Wear earplugs (or earmuffs): If you cannot steer clear of loud situations, then safeguarding your hearing is the next best step. (And, really, you need to be protecting your ears whether you have tinnitus or not.)
- Try to remain calm: Maybe it sounds somewhat… abstract, but keeping calm can really help keep your tinnitus under control, mostly because increased blood pressure can stimulate tinnitus flare-ups.
- Stay away from loud noises. Attending another live show, hopping on another flight, or cranking up the volume on your earpods another notch may extend your symptoms or double down on their severity.
- Find a way to mask the sound: In some cases, employing a white noise machine (including a fan or humidifier) can help you mask the noise of tinnitus and, thus, overlook the symptoms (and, you know, get a good night’s sleep in the process).
To be certain, if you have long-term tinnitus, none of these strategies will get rid of your tinnitus. But diminishing and managing your symptoms can be equally important.
When Will Your Tinnitus Subside?
Your tinnitus, in the majority of scenarios, will recede by itself. Your hearing should go back to normal within 16 to 48 hours. Nevertheless, if your tinnitus lingers, you’ll want to look for a solution. Discovering a workable treatment is the best way to finally get some relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is commonly associated with tinnitus) you should have your hearing examined.