You just can’t escape from that ringing in your ears. That high pitched ringing in your ear has been bothering you since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t gone away. You acknowledge the sound is tinnitus, but you’re starting to question exactly how permanent tinnitus normally is.
Tinnitus can be brought on by damage to the stereocilia in your ears (they’re the very small hairs that sense air vibrations which your brain then turns into intelligible sound). Generally, too much excessively loud sound is the cause. That’s why when you’re sitting next to a booming jet engine, eating at a noisy restaurant, or attending a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
Under Typical Circumstances, How Long Does Tinnitus Last?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But that doesn’t mean it’ll never subside. How long your tinnitus persists will depend on a wide variety of factors, such as your overall health and the root cause of your tinnitus.
But if you just returned home from a noisy day of traveling and you notice your ears ringing, a couple of days should be sufficient for you to notice your tinnitus going away. 16 to 48 hours on average is how long tinnitus will last. But it’s also not abnormal for symptoms to stick around, sometimes for as much as two weeks. Additional exposure to loud noises could also cause tinnitus to flare up again, effectively resetting the clock.
If tinnitus persists and is affecting your quality of life, you need to see a specialist.
What Leads to Lasting Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is normally temporary. But in some cases it can be irreversible. When the cause is not ordinary that’s especially true When it comes to intensity and origin. Some illustrations are as follows:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Most 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.
- Hearing Impairment: In many cases, tinnitus and hearing loss are joined at the hip. So, whatever the cause of your hearing loss is, you could also end up developing (or noticing) irreversible tinnitus along with it.
- Repeated exposure: If your ears are buzzing after attending one rock concert, imagine how they’ll feel after five rock concerts a week or if you’re a musician who plays live shows and practices all day. Continued exposure to loud noises can result in permanent hearing damage, tinnitus included.
Permanent tinnitus is significantly less common than its more temporary counterpart. But permanent or chronic tinnitus still impacts millions of Us citizens each year.
How Can You Get Your Tinnitus to Subside?
You will need to get relief sooner rather than later regardless of whether your tinnitus is permanent or temporary. Although there’s no cure for tinnitus, there are certain things you can do to decrease symptoms (however long they may last):
- Try to remain calm: perhaps it sounds a little… abstract, but keeping calm can really help keep your tinnitus in check, mostly because increased blood pressure can induce tinnitus flare-ups.
- Use earplugs (or earmuffs): The next option, if you can’t keep away from loud situations, is to wear hearing protection. (And, really, whether you have tinnitus or not, you need to use hearing protection.)
- Find a way to mask the sound: Sometimes, employing a white noise machine (including a fan or humidifier) can help you drown out the noise of tinnitus and, thus, ignore the symptoms (and, you know, get a good night’s sleep in the process).
- Stay away from loud noises. Going to another live show, jumping on another airline, or turning the volume on your television up another notch might extend your symptoms or double down on their severity.
Sadly, none of these tactics will get rid of permanent tinnitus. But diminishing and managing your symptoms can be just as significant.
How Long Before Your Tinnitus Subsides?
In most circumstances, though, your tinnitus will subside without you needing to do anything about it. Just wait the 16-48 hours and your hearing should return to normal. However, you will want to look for a solution if your tinnitus lingers. The sooner you find a treatment that works, the sooner you can get relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is often associated with tinnitus) you should get your hearing checked.