The ringing just won’t subside. It’s been over two days and you can still hear that nagging buzzing in your ears. You’re aware that the ringing is tinnitus but your starting to worry about how long it will continue.
Tinnitus can be caused by damage to the stereocilia in your ears (they’re the small hairs that pick up air vibrations which your brain then transforms into intelligible sound). That injury is most often the outcome of overly loud noise. That’s why when you’re sitting near a roaring jet engine, or out at a noisy restaurant, or going to a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
Under Normal Circumstances, How Long Will Tinnitus Last?
There isn’t any cure for tinnitus. But that doesn’t mean it won’t ever subside. There will be a large number of factors that will determine how long your tinnitus will stick around, such as the underlying 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 buzzing, a day or two should be sufficient for you to observe your tinnitus going away. Normally, tinnitus will last 16 to 48 hours. But it’s also not abnormal for symptoms to linger, sometimes for as long as a couple of weeks. And tinnitus will come back if you are exposed to loud sound again.
If tinnitus continues and is impacting your quality of life, you need to consult a specialist.
Why is Tinnitus Sometimes Irreversible?
In most cases, tinnitus is temporary. But sometimes it can be long-lasting. Especially when the cause of tinnitus is something out of the ordinary When it comes to degree and origin. Some illustrations are as follows:
- Hearing loss: Tinnitus and hearing loss typically go hand in hand. So, no matter what causes your hearing loss, you may also wind up developing (or noticing) irreversible tinnitus alongside it.
- Traumatic Brain Trauma (TBI): Much of the processing of sound occurs in the brain. When those processors start to misfire, as a result of traumatic brain trauma, tinnitus can be the result.
- Repeated exposure: If your ears are ringing after one rock concert, imagine how they’ll feel after several rock concerts a week or if you’re a musician who performs concerts and practices all day. Continued exposure to loud sounds can result in irreversible hearing injury, tinnitus included.
Permanent tinnitus is considerably less common than its more short-term counterpart. But there are still millions of Us citizens every year who are treated for lasting, or chronic, tinnitus symptoms.
How Can You Get Your Tinnitus to Subside?
It doesn’t matter if your tinnitus is short lived or long lived, you will want to get relief as soon as you can. Despite the fact that there’s no cure for tinnitus, there are a few things you can do to decrease symptoms (though they will probably last only so long):
- Steer clear of loud noises. Your symptoms might be prolonged or may become more intense if you continue to expose yourself to loud noises such as rock concerts or a jet engine.
- Find a way to cover up the sound: In some cases, using a white noise machine (including a fan or humidifier) can help you cover up the noise of tinnitus and, thus, ignore the symptoms (and, you know, get a restful night’s sleep in the process).
- Wear earplugs (or earmuffs): If you can’t avoid loud environments, then safeguarding your hearing is the next best step. (And, really, you need to be protecting your hearing whether you have tinnitus or not.)
- Try to remain calm: Maybe it sounds a little… abstract, but remaining calm can really help keep your tinnitus in check, mostly because increases in blood flow can induce tinnitus flare-ups.
To be sure, if you have long lasting tinnitus, none of these techniques will cure your tinnitus. But diminishing and managing your symptoms can be equally important.
When Will Your Tinnitus Subside?
Your tinnitus, in most scenarios, will go away by itself. Just wait the 16-48 hours and your hearing should go back to normal. However, you will want to look for a solution if your tinnitus persists. The sooner you discover a treatment that works, the sooner you can get relief. Get your hearing examined if you think you have tinnitus or hearing loss.