When you first hear that ringing in your ears you might have a very typical response: pretend that it’s no big deal. You set about your normal habits: you do your shopping, you cook dinner, you attempt to have a discussion with your friends. While at the same time you try your hardest to dismiss that ringing. Because you feel sure of one thing: your tinnitus will go away by itself.
After several more days of unremitting buzzing and ringing, however, you begin to have doubts.
This situation happens to other people as well. sometimes tinnitus stop on its own, and other times it will linger on and that’s why it’s a challenging little condition.
The Condition of Temporary Tinnitus
Around the globe, nearly everyone has had a bout of tinnitus because it’s very common. Tinnitus is a non-permanent condition, in most instances, and will ultimately vanish by itself. A rock concert is an excellent illustration: you go to your local stadium to see your favorite band and you notice, when you get back home, that there is a ringing in your ears.
Within a couple of days the kind of tinnitus associated with injury from loud noise will usually disappear (and you chalk it up to the cost of seeing your favorite band play live).
Over time loss of hearing can develop from temporary or “acute” to permanent or “chronic” because of this exact kind of injury. One concert too many and you may be waiting quite a while for your tinnitus to go away by itself.
When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Going Away by Itself
If your tinnitus continues for over three months it’s then classified as chronic tinnitus (but you should have it checked by a specialist long before that).
Something like 5-15% of people globally have documented indications of chronic tinnitus. While there are some understood close connections (such as loss of hearing, for instance), the causes of tinnitus aren’t yet very well understood.
Often, a fast cure for tinnitus will be elusive if the causes aren’t clear. If your ears have been ringing for more than three months and there’s no recognizable cause, there’s a good possibility that the sound will not subside by itself. In those instances, there are treatment options available (such as cognitive behavioral therapy or noise-canceling devices) that can help you deal with symptoms and preserve your quality of life.
The Cause of Your Tinnitus is Important
It becomes much easier to mitigate the symptoms of tinnitus when you can identify the root causes. For example, if your tinnitus is produced by a persistent, bacterial ear infection, treatment with an antibiotic will tend to solve both problems, bringing about a healthy ear and clear hearing.
Here are some likely causes of acute tinnitus:
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
- Chronic ear infections
- Hearing loss (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- Eardrum damage (such as a perforated eardrum)
- Meniere’s disease (this is often associated with chronic tinnitus, as Meniere’s has no cure)
The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever Subside?
The bottom line is that in most cases, yes, your tinnitus will go away by itself. But it becomes progressively more likely that you’re coping with chronic tinnitus the longer these tinnitus sounds linger.
You can convince yourself that everything is fine and hope that the noises will simply stop. But there could come a point where your tinnitus begins to become irritating, where it’s difficult to focus because the sound is too disruptive. In those circumstances, crossing your fingers might not be the comprehensive treatment plan you need.
In most cases, though, in fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will often go away on its own, a normal reaction to a noisy environment (and your body’s method of letting you know to stay away from that environment in the future). Whether that’s chronic or acute tinnitus, well, we’ll only know over time.