You just can’t get away from that ringing in your ears. That high pitched buzz in your ear has been nagging you since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t gone away. You know the noise is tinnitus, but you’re beginning to wonder just how permanent tinnitus usually is.
Tinnitus can be brought on by damage to the stereocilia inside of your ears (they’re the tiny hairs that pick up air vibrations that your brain then converts into intelligible sound). That damage is most often the outcome of excessively loud sound. That’s why when you’re seated near a booming jet engine, eating at a noisy restaurant, or attending a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
How Long Does Tinnitus Last on Average?
There isn’t any cure for tinnitus. But tinnitus usually doesn’t continue forever. There will be a large number of factors that will determine how long your tinnitus will last, including your general health and the root cause of your tinnitus.
But if you notice your ears buzzing after a noisy day of traveling, a day or two should be sufficient for you to notice your tinnitus fading away. 16 to 48 hours typically is how long tinnitus will last. But it’s also not unusual for symptoms to stick around, often for as much as a couple of weeks. Further exposure to loud noises 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?
Tinnitus is usually short-lived. But that means it can be long lasting. When the root cause is not ordinary that’s particularly true When it comes to intensity and origin. Some illustrations are as follows:
- Hearing Impairment: In many cases, hearing loss and tinnitus are joined at the hip. So you might end up with permanent tinnitus regardless of the cause of your hearing loss.
- Repeated exposure: If your ears are buzzing after one rock concert, think of how they’ll feel after five rock concerts a week or if you’re a musician who performs concerts and practices all day. Continued exposure to loud sounds can lead to irreversible hearing damage, tinnitus included.
- Traumatic Brain Trauma (TBI): The brain is where the majority of sound is processed. In some cases, a serious brain injury (such as a concussion) could cause tinnitus because those processors begin to misfire.
Short term tinnitus is a lot more common than lasting tinnitus. But there are still millions of Us citizens each year who are treated for lasting, or chronic, tinnitus symptoms.
How Can You Get Your Tinnitus to go Away?
It doesn’t matter if your tinnitus is short lived or long term, you may want to get relief as quickly as possible. There isn’t a cure for tinnitus but you can do certain things to lessen the symptoms (however long they may last):
- Find a way to cover up the sound: You can in some cases mask the sound and get a restful nights sleep by utilizing some source of white noise including a humidifier or fan.
- Stay away from loud noises. Attending another live show, hopping on another plane, or cranking up the volume on your earpods another notch might prolong your symptoms or double down on their severity.
- Try to stay calm: Maybe it sounds a little… abstract, but higher blood pressure can result in tinnitus episodes so staying calm can help keep your tinnitus under control.
- Use earplugs (or earmuffs): The next step, if you can’t steer clear of loud environments, is to wear ear protection. (And, really, you need to be protecting your ears even if you don’t have tinnitus.)
Sadly, none of these tactics will get rid of long term tinnitus. But diminishing and controlling your symptoms can be just as important.
When Will Your Tinnitus go Away?
Your tinnitus, in the majority of cases, will subside by itself. Your hearing should return to normal within 16 to 48 hours. Nevertheless, if your tinnitus lingers, you’ll want to find a solution. The sooner you discover a treatment that is effective, the sooner you can experience relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is frequently associated with tinnitus) you should get your hearing checked.