The ringing just won’t go away. It’s been over two days and you can still hear that nagging buzzing in your ears. You recognize the noise is tinnitus, but you’re starting to question just how long lasting tinnitus normally is.
Tinnitus can be caused by damage to the stereocilia inside of your ears (they’re the small hairs that pick up air vibrations that your brain then turns into intelligible sound). That damage is usually the result of overly loud noise. That’s why you observe tinnitus most often after, as an example, attending a concert, spending time in a loud restaurant, or sitting near a roaring jet engine while you’re traveling.
Under Typical Scenarios, How Long Does Tinnitus Persist?
There’s no cure for tinnitus. But that doesn’t mean it’ll never go away. How long your tinnitus persists depends on a large number 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 notice your ears ringing, a couple of days should be sufficient for you to notice your tinnitus going away. Normally, tinnitus will last 16 to 48 hours. But sometimes, symptoms can last as long as two weeks. Further exposure to loud noises could also cause tinnitus to flare up again, essentially resetting the clock.
It’s usually recommended that you consult a specialist if your tinnitus continues and especially if your tinnitus is impacting from your quality of life.
Why is Tinnitus Sometimes Permanent?
Usually, tinnitus is short-lived. But occasionally it can be long-lasting. Especially when the cause of tinnitus is something out of the ordinary When it comes to intensity 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 begin to misfire.
- Repeated exposure: If your ears are ringing after attending one rock concert, think of how they’ll feel after five rock concerts a week or if you’re a musician who plays live shows and practices all day. Continued exposure to loud sounds can cause permanent hearing damage, tinnitus included.
- Hearing Impairment: Often, tinnitus and hearing loss 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.
Short term 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 lived or long lived, you may want to find relief as quickly as possible. There is no cure for tinnitus but you can do some things to decrease the symptoms (however long they may last):
- Try to keep calm: Maybe it sounds a little… abstract, but increased blood pressure can bring about tinnitus flare ups so keeping calm can help keep your tinnitus in check.
- Wear earplugs (or earmuffs): If you cannot avoid loud situations, then protecting your hearing is the next best step. (And, really, you need to be protecting your hearing even if you don’t have tinnitus.)
- Avoid loud noises. Your symptoms might be prolonged or may become more severe if you keep exposing yourself to loud noises such as rock concerts or a jet engine.
- Find a way to mask the sound: In some cases, utilizing a white noise device (including a humidifier or fan) can help you mask the noise of tinnitus and, thus, overlook the symptoms (and, you know, get a good night’s sleep in the process).
To be certain, if you have long-term tinnitus, none of these strategies will get rid of your tinnitus. But it can be equally significant to control and diminish your symptoms.
When Will Your Tinnitus Subside?
In most circumstances, though, your tinnitus will go away without you needing to do anything about it. Just wait the 16-48 hours and your hearing should go back to normal. However, if your tinnitus persists, you’ll want to look for a solution. The sooner you find a treatment that works, the sooner you can get relief. Get your hearing tested if you think you have tinnitus or hearing loss.