You just can’t escape from that ringing in your ears. That high pitched ringing in your ear has been nagging you ever since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t gone away. You recognize the sound is tinnitus, but you’re starting to wonder just how permanent tinnitus normally is.
Tinnitus can be brought about by damage to the stereocilia inside your ears (they’re the very small hairs that sense air vibrations that your brain then converts into intelligible sound). That injury is typically the result of overly loud sound. That’s why when you’re sitting next to a booming jet engine, or out at a noisy restaurant, or attending a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
Under Normal Scenarios, How Long Does Tinnitus Last?
There’s no cure for tinnitus. But that doesn’t mean it won’t ever go away. How long your tinnitus persists will depend on a wide variety of factors, like your overall health and the root cause of your tinnitus.
But if you just returned home from a noisy day of traveling and you find your ears buzzing, a day or two should be enough for you to observe your tinnitus going away. 16 to 48 hours on average is how long tinnitus will persist. But it’s also not unusual for symptoms to stick around, often for as long as a couple of weeks. And tinnitus will return if you are exposed to loud noise again.
If tinnitus continues and is impacting your quality of life, you need to see a specialist.
Why is Tinnitus Sometimes Irreversible?
In most cases, tinnitus is temporary. But that means it can be irreversible. When the root cause is not ordinary that’s especially true When it comes to severity and origin. Some examples are as follows:
- Repeated exposure: After one rock show, your ears will ring for a couple of days but frequent exposure will lead to far more serious consequences. Continued exposure to loud noises can cause 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) may lead to tinnitus because those processors begin to misfire.
- Hearing loss: Tinnitus and hearing loss frequently go hand in hand. So, no matter what causes your hearing loss, you could also find yourself developing (or noticing) permanent tinnitus along with it.
Short term tinnitus is far more common than permanent tinnitus. But there are still millions of Americans each year who are treated for permanent, or chronic, tinnitus symptoms.
How do You Get Your Tinnitus to go Away?
Whether your tinnitus is short lived or long lived, you may want to find relief as soon as possible. There isn’t a cure for tinnitus but you can do certain things to minimize the symptoms (though they will probably last only so long):
- Avoid loud noises. Your symptoms might be extended or might become more intense if you continue to expose yourself to loud noises like rock concerts or a jet engine.
- Try to keep calm: perhaps it sounds somewhat… abstract, but higher blood pressure can lead to tinnitus flare ups so keeping calm can help keep your tinnitus at bay.
- Find a way to cover up the sound: Sometimes, using a white noise device (such as a humidifier or fan) can help you cover up the sound of tinnitus and, thus, overlook the symptoms (and, you know, get a good night’s sleep in the process).
- Use earplugs (or earmuffs): If you can’t avoid loud situations, then protecting your hearing is the next best option. (And, really, whether you suffer from tinnitus or not, you should wear hearing protection.)
Sadly, none of these methods will cure long term tinnitus. But it can be equally significant to manage and diminish your symptoms.
How Long Before Your Tinnitus Disappears?
In the majority of scenarios, though, your tinnitus will go away without you needing to do anything about it. Just wait the 16-48 hours and your hearing should return to normal. However, if your tinnitus lingers, you’ll want to look for a solution. Finding a workable treatment is the best way to ultimately get some relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is often associated with tinnitus) you should get your hearing examined.