The ringing just won’t go away. That high pitched ringing in your ear has been bothering you ever since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t gone away. You acknowledge the sound is tinnitus, but you’re starting to question just how long lasting tinnitus usually is.
Tinnitus can be brought on by damage to the stereocilia inside of your ears (the air vibrations which your ears turn into sound, are sensed by these tiny hairs). That injury is most often the result of overly loud sound. That’s why you notice tinnitus most commonly after, for example, going to a concert, eating at a noisy restaurant, or being seated next to a roaring jet engine while you’re taking a trip.
Under Typical Circumstances, How Long Does Tinnitus Persist?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But tinnitus usually doesn’t last forever. There will be a large number of factors that will establish how long your tinnitus will last, like your general health and the underlying cause of your tinnitus.
But if you notice your ears ringing after a noisy day of traveling, you can normally expect your tinnitus to go away in a day or two. Typically, tinnitus will last 16 to 48 hours. But often, symptoms can last as much as two weeks. And tinnitus will return if you are exposed to loud noise again.
If tinnitus lingers and is impacting your quality of life, you need to see a specialist.
Why is Tinnitus Sometimes Permanent?
Normally, tinnitus is short-lived. But in some cases it can be permanent. Particularly when the cause of tinnitus is something outside the mundane either with respect to origin or in terms of severity. Some examples are as follows:
- Traumatic Brain Trauma (TBI): The brain is where the majority of sound is processed. When those processors begin to misfire, because of traumatic brain injury, tinnitus can be the outcome.
- Repeated exposure: After one rock show, your ears will probably ring for a couple of days but frequent exposure will lead to far worse consequences. Repeated exposure to loud noises can cause irreversible hearing damage, tinnitus included.
- Hearing loss: In many cases, hearing loss and tinnitus are joined at the hip. So you might end up with permanent tinnitus no matter what the cause of your hearing loss.
Temporary tinnitus is a lot more common than permanent tinnitus. But there are still millions of Americans every year who are treated for permanent, or chronic, tinnitus symptoms.
How do You Get Your Tinnitus to go Away?
You will want to get relief sooner rather than later regardless of whether your tinnitus is long term or temporary. There is no cure for tinnitus but you can do a few things to lessen the symptoms (however long they might last):
- Try to keep calm: perhaps it sounds a little… abstract, but staying calm can really help keep your tinnitus in check, mostly because increases in blood pressure can induce tinnitus flare-ups.
- Stay away from loud noises. Your symptoms could be extended or might become more intense if you continue to expose yourself to loud noises like rock concerts or a jet engine.
- Use earplugs (or earmuffs): The next step, if you can’t steer clear of loud environments, is to use hearing protection. (And, really, you should be protecting your ears even if you don’t have tinnitus.)
- Find a way to mask the sound: You can sometimes mask the sound and get a good nights sleep by utilizing some source of white noise including a humidifier or fan.
To be certain, if you have long-term tinnitus, none of these strategies will cure your tinnitus. But it can be equally important to manage and minimize your symptoms.
How Long Before Your Tinnitus Disappears?
Your tinnitus, in most circumstances, will go away by itself. Just wait the 16-48 hours and your hearing should go back to normal. Nevertheless, if your tinnitus persists, you’ll want to look for a solution. The sooner you discover a treatment that works, the sooner you can experience relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is frequently associated with tinnitus) you should have your hearing examined.