You just can’t escape from that ringing in your ears. That high pitched buzz in your ear has been irritating you since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t gone away. You acknowledge the noise is tinnitus, but you’re starting to wonder exactly how permanent tinnitus normally is.
Tinnitus can be brought about by injury to the stereocilia in your ears (they’re the very small hairs that pick up air vibrations which your brain then converts into intelligible sound). Normally, too much overly loud sound is the cause. That’s why when you’re sitting next to a roaring jet engine, eating at a loud restaurant, or attending a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
Under Normal Scenarios, How Long Does Tinnitus Persist?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But that doesn’t mean it won’t ever go away. How long your tinnitus lasts depends on a large number of factors, such as the underlying cause of your tinnitus and your general hearing health.
But if you just arrived home from a noisy day of traveling and you find your ears buzzing, you can typically expect your tinnitus to go away in a day or two. Typically, tinnitus will last 16 to 48 hours. But it’s also not unusual for symptoms to linger, sometimes for as much as a couple of weeks. And tinnitus will return if you are exposed to loud sound again.
If tinnitus lingers and is impacting your quality of life, you need to consult a specialist.
Why is Tinnitus Sometimes Irreversible?
In most cases, tinnitus is short-lived. But that means it can be permanent. When the root cause is not mundane that’s particularly true When it comes to intensity and origin. Some examples are as follows:
- Repeated exposure: After one rock concert, your ears will ring for a couple of days but frequent subjection will lead to far more serious consequences. Continued exposure to loud noises can lead to irreversible hearing injury, including tinnitus.
- Hearing loss: Tinnitus and hearing loss typically go together. So, whatever the cause of your hearing loss is, you might also end up developing (or noticing) permanent tinnitus along with it.
- Traumatic Brain Trauma (TBI): The majority of the processing of sound happens in the brain. When those processors begin to misfire, as a result of traumatic brain trauma, tinnitus can be the outcome.
Permanent tinnitus is significantly less common than its more temporary counterpart. But there are still millions of Americans every year who are treated for permanent, or chronic, tinnitus symptoms.
How do You Get Your Tinnitus to Subside?
It doesn’t matter if your tinnitus is short term or long lived, you may want to find relief as quickly as possible. There isn’t a cure for tinnitus but you can do a few things to lessen the symptoms (though they may last only so long):
- Find a way to cover up the sound: You can sometimes mask the sound and get a good nights sleep by utilizing some source of white noise including a humidifier or fan.
- Try to keep calm: perhaps it sounds a little… abstract, but higher blood pressure can trigger tinnitus episodes so staying calm can help keep your tinnitus at bay.
- Use earplugs (or earmuffs): The next option, if you can’t avoid loud situations, is to use ear protection. (And, really, you need to be protecting your hearing even if you don’t have tinnitus.)
- Steer clear of loud noises. Going to another concert, hopping on another flight, or cranking the volume on your television up another notch might prolong your symptoms or double down on their severity.
To be sure, if you have long lasting tinnitus, none of these techniques will get rid of your tinnitus. But it can be just as important to control and minimize your symptoms.
How Long Before Your Tinnitus Goes Away?
In the majority of scenarios, though, your tinnitus will go away without you needing to do anything about it. Your hearing should return to normal within 16 to 48 hours. However, you will want to seek out a solution if your tinnitus persists. The sooner you find a treatment that works, the sooner you can experience relief. Get your hearing checked if you think you have tinnitus or hearing loss.