When you first hear that ringing in your ears you could have a very common reaction: pretend that it’s no big deal. You set about your normal routines: you have a conversation with friends, go shopping, and prepare lunch. While you simultaneously try your hardest to dismiss that ringing. Because there is one thing you feel certain of: your tinnitus will go away naturally.
After several more days of unrelenting buzzing and ringing, however, you begin to have doubts.
You’re not the only person to ever find yourself in this position. sometimes tinnitus will go away by itself, and other times it will stick around and that’s why it’s a challenging little disorder.
The Condition of Temporary Tinnitus
Around the globe, nearly everybody has had a bout of tinnitus because it’s very common. Tinnitus is a non-permanent condition, in most situations, and will ultimately vanish by itself. A rock concert is a good illustration: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local stadium (it’s a good show) and when you get home, you notice that there is ringing in your ears.
Within a couple of days the type of tinnitus related to damage from loud noise will usually disappear (but you realize that it’s simply part of going to a loud show).
Naturally, it’s precisely this type of noise damage that, over time, can cause hearing loss to go from temporary (or acute, as they say) to chronic. One concert too many and you may be waiting quite a while for your tinnitus to subside on its own.
When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Getting Better on its own
If your tinnitus doesn’t subside (either on its own or with help) within the period of three months or so, the disorder is then categorized as chronic tinnitus (this does not, however, mean that you should wait that long to speak to an expert about lingering thumping, buzzing, or ringing in your ears).
Something like 5-15% of individuals globally have documented indications of chronic tinnitus. The precise causes of tinnitus are still not well understood though there are some known connections (like hearing loss).
Usually, a quick cure for tinnitus will be unidentifiable if the triggers aren’t obvious. There is a good possibility that your tinnitus won’t go away on its own if you have been hearing the ringing for over three months. In those situations, there are treatment possibilities available (such as cognitive behavioral therapy or noise-canceling devices) that can help you control symptoms and protect your quality of life.
The Cause of Your Tinnitus is Significant
It becomes a lot simpler to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus when you are able to establish the fundamental causes. If a bacterial ear infection is, for example, the reason for your tinnitus, you can regain a healthy ear and clear hearing by treating it with antibiotics.
Here are some likely causes of acute tinnitus:
- Damage to the eardrum (such as a perforated eardrum)
- Meniere’s disease (this usually has no cure and is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- Hearing loss (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- Chronic ear infections
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever go Away?
The bottom line is that in most cases, yes, your tinnitus will subside on its own. But it becomes increasingly more likely that you’re facing chronic tinnitus the longer these tinnitus sounds linger.
You feel that if you simply forget it should disappear by itself. But sooner or later, your tinnitus might become distressing and it might become hard to concentrate on anything else. And in those instances, you may want a treatment strategy more comprehensive than crossing your fingers.
The majority of the time tinnitus is just the body’s answer to loud noise that may be damaging over time and will subside on its own. Whether that’s acute or chronic tinnitus, well, we’ll only know over time.