You may have a common reaction when you first hear that ringing in your ears: pretend everything’s good. You continue your regular routines: you have a chat with friends, go shopping, and prepare lunch. In the meantime, you’re trying to push that ringing in your ear to the back of your mind. Because there is one thing you feel certain of: your tinnitus will go away on its own.
After several more days of unrelenting ringing and buzzing, however, you begin to have doubts.
This situation happens to other people as well. Tinnitus can be a tricky little affliction, at times it will recede by itself and sometimes, it will stick around for a longer period of time.
When Tinnitus is Likely to Vanish by Itself
Tinnitus is very common everywhere, almost everyone’s had a bout every now and then. Tinnitus is a temporary condition, in most circumstances, and will eventually subside on its own. A rock concert is a good illustration: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local stadium (it’s a good show) and when you get home, you discover that there is ringing in your ears.
The type of tinnitus that is linked to temporary injury from loud noise will normally subside within a few days (and you chalk it up to the price of seeing your favorite band play live).
Over time loss of hearing can go from temporary or “acute” to permanent or “chronic” because of this exact kind of injury. Too many of those types of concerts and you might end up with permanent tinnitus.
sometimes, Tinnitus Doesn’t Simply Disappear
If your tinnitus lingers for over three months it’s then labeled as chronic tinnitus (but you should have it examined by an expert long before that).
Around 5-15% of individuals globally have recorded symptoms of chronic tinnitus. The exact causes of tinnitus are still not well known although there are some known connections (such as hearing loss).
Normally, a fast cure for tinnitus will be elusive if the triggers aren’t clear. If your ears have been ringing for over three months and there’s no identifiable cause, there’s a strong possibility that the sound will not subside by itself. In those cases, there are treatment possibilities available (like cognitive behavioral therapy or noise-canceling devices) that can help you deal with symptoms and protect your quality of life.
The Cause of Your Tinnitus is Important
It becomes much simpler to mitigate the symptoms of tinnitus when you are able to recognize the underlying causes. If a bacterial ear infection is, for example, the reason for your tinnitus, you can restore a healthy ear and clear hearing by treating it with antibiotics.
Some causes of acute tinnitus may include:
- Eardrum damage (such as a perforated eardrum)
- Meniere’s disease (this usually has no cure and is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- Chronic ear infections
- Hearing loss (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever go Away?
The bottom line is that in most cases, yes, your tinnitus will recede by itself. But it becomes progressively more likely that you’re dealing with chronic tinnitus the longer these tinnitus sounds last.
You can convince yourself that everything is fine and hope that the ringing will simply stop. But there could come a point where your tinnitus starts to become uncomfortable, where it’s tough to concentrate because the sound is too disruptive. And in those instances, you might want a treatment plan more thorough than crossing your fingers.
In most cases, though, in fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will usually go away by itself, a normal reaction to a loud environment (and your body’s way of letting you know to stay away from that environment from now on). Whether that’s acute or chronic tinnitus, well, we’ll only know over time.