You just can’t get away from that ringing in your ears. That high pitched ringing in your ear has been nagging you ever since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t disappeared. You recognize the sound is tinnitus, but you’re beginning to wonder exactly how long lasting tinnitus normally is.
Tinnitus can be caused by injury to the stereocilia inside of your ears (they’re the tiny hairs that pick up air vibrations which your brain then turns into intelligible sound). Usually, too much overly loud noise is the cause. That’s why when you’re sitting near a roaring jet engine, eating at a noisy restaurant, or going to a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
How Long Does Tinnitus Last on Average?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But tinnitus normally doesn’t last forever. How long your tinnitus persists depends on a large number of factors, including the underlying cause of your tinnitus and your overall hearing health.
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. On average, tinnitus will persist for 16 to 48 hours. But it’s also not uncommon for symptoms to linger, often for as long as a couple of weeks. Additional exposure to loud noises could also trigger tinnitus to flare up again, effectively resetting the clock.
It’s usually suggested that you consult a specialist if your tinnitus continues and specifically if your tinnitus is detracting from your quality of life.
Why is Tinnitus Sometimes Irreversible?
In most cases, tinnitus is temporary. But sometimes it can be long-lasting. When the cause is not ordinary that’s particularly true either in terms of origin or in terms of seriousness. Some illustrations are as follows:
- Repeated exposure: If your ears are buzzing after attending one rock concert, think of how they’ll feel after several rock concerts a week or if you’re a musician who performs concerts and practices all day. Frequent exposure to loud noises can result in irreversible hearing damage, including tinnitus.
- Hearing loss: Tinnitus and hearing loss often go together. So you may end up with irreversible tinnitus regardless of the cause of your hearing loss.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): The majority of the processing of sound happens in the brain. When those processors start to misfire, because of traumatic brain trauma, tinnitus can be the result.
Permanent tinnitus is substantially less common than its more short-term counterpart. But permanent or chronic tinnitus still effects millions of Americans every year.
How do You Get Your Tinnitus to go Away?
Whether your tinnitus is short term or long term, you may want to get relief as quickly as you can. Despite the fact that there isn’t any cure for tinnitus, there are some things you can do to lessen symptoms (though they will probably last only so long):
- Use earplugs (or earmuffs): If you cannot avoid loud situations, then safeguarding your hearing is the next best step. (And, really, whether you have tinnitus or not, you need to wear hearing protection.)
- Try to keep calm: perhaps it sounds somewhat… abstract, but keeping calm can really help keep your tinnitus under control, mostly because increases in blood flow can trigger tinnitus flare-ups.
- Find a way to mask the sound: Sometimes, utilizing a white noise machine (including a fan or humidifier) can help you cover up the noise of tinnitus and, thus, overlook the symptoms (and, you know, get a restful night’s sleep in the process).
- Stay away from loud noises. Attending another concert, jumping on another flight, or cranking up the volume on your earpods another notch may extend your symptoms or increase their severity.
Regrettably, none of these practices will get rid of long term tinnitus. But it can be equally relevant to manage and diminish your symptoms.
When Will Your Tinnitus go Away?
Your tinnitus, in most circumstances, will go away by itself. 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. Finding a workable treatment is the best way to ultimately get some relief. Get your hearing examined if you think you have hearing loss or tinnitus.