You might have a common reaction when you first notice that ringing in your ears: pretend everything’s fine. You go through your day the same way you always do: you have a chat with friends, go to the store, and make lunch. While you simultaneously try your hardest to ignore that ringing. Because there is one thing you feel certain about: your tinnitus will fade away by itself.
After several more days of unremitting ringing and buzzing, though, you start to have doubts.
You’re not the only person to ever find yourself in this situation. sometimes tinnitus will go away on its own, and at other times it will linger on and that’s why it’s a tricky little condition.
When Tinnitus is Likely to Subside on Its Own
Tinnitus is very common around the world, virtually everybody’s had a bout every now and then. In almost all circumstances, tinnitus is basically temporary and will eventually recede on its own. The most prevalent example is the rock concert: 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 kind of tinnitus that is associated with temporary damage from loud noise will normally decrease within a few days (but you accept that it’s just part of going to a loud show).
After a while hearing loss can go from temporary or “acute” to permanent or “chronic” because of this exact type of injury. One concert too many and you might be waiting quite a while for your tinnitus to recede by itself.
When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Disappearing on its own
If your tinnitus doesn’t subside (with help or on its own) within the period of three months or so, the disorder is then categorized as chronic tinnitus (this does not, by the way, mean that you should wait three months to talk to a specialist about lingering thumping, buzzing, or ringing in your ears).
Something like 5-15% of individuals around the world have recorded signs of chronic tinnitus. The exact causes of tinnitus are still not well known even though there are some known connections (like loss of hearing).
When the causes of your tinnitus aren’t clear, it often means that a fast “cure” will be evasive. There is a good possibility that your tinnitus won’t recede on its own if you have been hearing the ringing for over three months. In those circumstances, there are treatment options available (such as cognitive behavioral therapy or noise-canceling devices) that can help you control symptoms and maintain your quality of life.
The Reason For Your Tinnitus is Important
When you can identify the fundamental cause of your tinnitus, mitigating the condition suddenly becomes much simpler. For instance, if your tinnitus is produced by a stubborn, bacterial ear infection, treatment with an antibiotic will usually solve both issues, bringing about a healthy ear and clear hearing.
Here are some potential causes of acute tinnitus:
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
- Meniere’s disease (this is often associated with chronic tinnitus, as Meniere’s has no cure)
- Damage to the eardrum (such as a perforated eardrum)
- Chronic ear infections
- Loss of hearing (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
So…Will The Buzzing in My Ears Stop?
In general, your tinnitus will go away by itself. But it becomes increasingly more likely that you’re dealing with chronic tinnitus the longer these tinnitus sounds linger.
You think that if you simply forget it should disappear by itself. But at some point, your tinnitus may become unpleasant and it could become hard to concentrate on anything else. And in those situations, you may want a treatment plan more thorough than crossing your fingers.
Most of the time tinnitus is simply the body’s answer to loud noise that could be damaging over time and will go away by itself. Whether that’s acute or chronic tinnitus, well, we’ll only know over time.