When you first hear that ringing in your ears you might have a very common reaction: pretend everything’s good. You go through your day the same as usual: you do your shopping, you cook dinner, you attempt to have a conversation with your partner. While you simultaneously try your hardest to dismiss that ringing. Because there is one thing you feel sure of: your tinnitus will go away by itself.
After a few more days of unremitting buzzing and ringing, though, you start to have doubts.
You’re not the only person to ever be in this position. Tinnitus can be a tricky little condition, sometimes it will disappear on its own and in some cases, it will stay for a long time to come.
The Condition of Temporary Tinnitus
Around the globe, nearly everyone has had a bout of tinnitus because it’s extremely common. Tinnitus is a temporary condition, in most instances, and will ultimately disappear on its own. The most common example is the rock concert: you go to your local arena to see your favorite band and you notice, when you get home, that there is a ringing in your ears.
Within a few days the kind of tinnitus related to damage from loud noise will usually disappear (but you realize that it’s simply part of going to a loud performance).
Over time loss of hearing can go from temporary or “acute” to permanent or “chronic” because of this exact type of damage. Too many of those types of concerts and you might end up with permanent tinnitus.
When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Going Away by Itself
If your tinnitus persists for over three months it’s then referred to as chronic tinnitus (but you should get it examined by a specialist long before that).
Around 5-15% of people globally have documented symptoms of chronic tinnitus. The exact causes of tinnitus are still not very well understood although there are some known associations (such as hearing loss).
Often, a quick cure for tinnitus will be unidentifiable if the triggers aren’t obvious. There is a good possibility that your tinnitus won’t go away on its own if you have been hearing the ringing for over three months. But if this is your circumstance, you can safeguard your quality of life and manage your symptoms with some treatment options (like noise canceling devices and cognitive behavioral therapy).
The Reason For Your Tinnitus is Important
When you can identify the root cause of your tinnitus, mitigating the condition suddenly becomes a lot easier. For example, if your tinnitus is created by a persistent, bacterial ear infection, treatment with an antibiotic will usually solve both issues, leading to a healthy ear and clear hearing.
Some causes of acute tinnitus may consist of:
- Loss of hearing (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- Meniere’s disease (this is often associated with chronic tinnitus, as Meniere’s has no cure)
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
- Damage to the eardrum (such as a perforated eardrum)
- Chronic ear infections
The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever go Away?
Generally speaking, your tinnitus will subside by itself. But it becomes progressively more likely that you’re coping with chronic tinnitus the longer these tinnitus sounds remain.
You feel that if you just forget it should vanish by itself. But eventually, your tinnitus may become unpleasant and it may become difficult to concentrate on anything else. In those circumstances, crossing your fingers may not be the comprehensive treatment plan you require.
In most instances, though, in fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will normally subside on its own, a normal response to a loud environment (and your body’s method of telling you to avoid that situation from now on). Whether that’s acute or chronic tinnitus, well, only time will tell.