Hearing Health Blog

Woman with hands to her ears in pain wondering when the ringing in her ears will stop.

You might have a typical reaction when you first hear that ringing in your ears: pretend that it’s no big thing. You go about your normal routines: you have a chat with family, go shopping, and cook lunch. All the while, you’re trying to force that ringing in your ear to the back of your mind. Because there is one thing you feel certain about: your tinnitus will fade away by itself.

After a few more days of unrelenting buzzing and ringing, however, you begin to have doubts.

This scenario happens to others as well. Tinnitus can be a tricky little affliction, sometimes it will go away by itself and sometimes, it will stick around for a long time to come.

When Tinnitus is Likely to Subside by Itself

Around the world, almost everyone has had a bout of tinnitus because it’s very common. Tinnitus is a non-permanent condition, in most situations, and will eventually vanish on it’s own. A rock concert is an excellent example: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local stadium (it’s a good show) and when you get home, you discover that there is ringing in your ears.

The type of tinnitus that is associated with temporary injury from loud noise will often subside within a few days (but you realize that it’s just part of going to a loud performance).

Of course, it’s exactly this kind of noise injury that, over time, can cause hearing loss to move from temporary (or acute, as they say) to chronic. Too many of those types of concerts and you could end up with permanent tinnitus.

When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Getting Better by Itself

If your tinnitus lingers for over three months it’s then identified as chronic tinnitus (but you should get it examined by an expert long before that).

Something like 5-15% of people globally have reported symptoms of chronic tinnitus. While there are some recognized close associations (such as loss of hearing, for instance), the causes of tinnitus aren’t yet well understood.

Normally, a quick cure for tinnitus will be evasive if the triggers aren’t evident. There is a good possibility that your tinnitus won’t recede by itself if you have been hearing the ringing for more than three months. But if this is your situation, you can protect your quality of life and deal with your symptoms with some treatment possibilities (such as noise canceling devices and cognitive behavioral therapy).

It’s Significant to Know What The Cause of Your Tinnitus is

It becomes a lot easier to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus when you can establish the underlying causes. If a bacterial ear infection is, for instance, the reason for your tinnitus, you can regain a healthy ear and clear hearing by treating it with antibiotics.

Some causes of acute tinnitus may consist of:

  • Meniere’s disease (this usually has no cure and is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
  • Chronic ear infections
  • A blockage in the ear or ear canal
  • Damage to the eardrum (such as a perforated eardrum)
  • Loss of hearing (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)

The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever Subside?

The truth is that in most cases, yes, your tinnitus will recede on its own. But it becomes increasingly more likely that you’re facing chronic tinnitus the longer these noises linger.

You think that if you just forget it should go away on its own. But eventually, your tinnitus could become unpleasant and it may become hard to focus on anything else. And in those situations, you may want a treatment strategy more comprehensive than crossing your fingers.

In most instances, though, in fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will normally subside by itself, a typical reaction to a noisy environment (and your body’s means of letting you know to stay away from that environment from now on). Only time will tell if your tinnitus is acute or chronic.

 

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