You just can’t get away from that ringing in your ears. That high pitched buzz in your ear has been bothering you ever since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t disappeared. You know the sound is tinnitus, but you’re starting to question exactly how permanent tinnitus normally is.
Tinnitus can be brought on by injury to the stereocilia in your ears (they’re the very small hairs that pick up air vibrations which your brain then transforms into intelligible sound). Generally, too much excessively loud sound is the cause. That’s why when you’re seated next to a booming jet engine, or out at a loud restaurant, or attending a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
How Long Does Tinnitus Persist on Average?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But tinnitus normally doesn’t last forever. There will be a wide variety of factors that will influence how long your tinnitus will last, like the root cause of your tinnitus and your overall hearing health.
But if you just returned home from a noisy day of traveling and you find your ears ringing, you can normally expect your tinnitus to fade away in a day or two. Usually, tinnitus will persist for 16 to 48 hours. But in some cases, symptoms can last as much as a couple of weeks. And tinnitus will come back if you are exposed to loud noise again.
If tinnitus lingers and is impacting your quality of life, you need to consult a specialist.
What Causes Irreversible Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is normally impermanent. But that means it can be long lasting. When the root cause is not mundane that’s particularly true When it comes to degree and origin. Some examples are as follows:
- Traumatic Brain Trauma (TBI): The brain is where most sound is processed. In certain cases, a traumatic brain injury (such as a concussion) might lead to tinnitus because those processors start to misfire.
- Hearing loss: Typically, hearing loss and tinnitus are joined at the hip. So, whatever the cause of your hearing loss is, you could also wind up developing (or noticing) permanent tinnitus alongside it.
- Repeated exposure: After one rock concert, your ears will probably ring for a couple of days but continued subjection will result in far more serious consequences. Continued exposure to loud sounds can lead to permanent hearing injury, including tinnitus.
Temporary tinnitus is far more common than permanent tinnitus. But permanent or chronic tinnitus still impacts millions of Americans every year.
How Can You Get Your Tinnitus to go Away?
It doesn’t matter if your tinnitus is short term or long term, you may want to find relief as quickly as possible. Even though there isn’t any cure for tinnitus, there are certain things you can do to lessen symptoms (though they may last only so long):
- Wear earplugs (or earmuffs): The next option, if you can’t keep away from loud environments, is to wear hearing protection. (And, really, you need to be protecting your ears whether you have tinnitus or not.)
- Stay away from loud noises. Going to another live show, hopping on another airline, or cranking the volume on your television up another notch could prolong your symptoms or double down on their severity.
- Find a way to cover up the sound: You can in some cases drown out the sound and get a good nights sleep by utilizing some source of white noise like a fan or humidifier.
- Try to keep calm: Maybe it sounds a little… abstract, but increased blood pressure can lead to tinnitus flare ups so staying calm can help keep your tinnitus in check.
Regrettably, none of these tactics will get rid of permanent tinnitus. But diminishing and managing your symptoms can be equally important.
How Long Before Your Tinnitus Goes Away?
In most scenarios, though, your tinnitus will go away without you having to do anything about it. Your hearing should return to normal within 16 to 48 hours. However, you will want to find a solution if your tinnitus persists. Finding a workable treatment is the best way to ultimately get some relief. Get your hearing examined if you think you have tinnitus or hearing loss.