You may have a common reaction when you first hear that ringing in your ears: pretend that it’s no big thing. You go about your regular habits: you have a conversation with friends, go shopping, and cook lunch. All the while, you’re trying to push that ringing in your ear to the back of your mind. Because you feel sure of one thing: your tinnitus will fade away on its own.
You start to worry, though, when after a few days the buzzing and ringing is unrelenting.
This scenario happens to others as well. sometimes tinnitus stop on its own, and at other times it will stick around and that’s the reason why it’s a challenging little condition.
The Condition of Temporary Tinnitus
Around the globe, almost everyone has had a bout of tinnitus because it’s extremely common. Tinnitus is a temporary condition, in most situations, and will ultimately vanish on it’s own. A rock concert is an excellent illustration: you go to your local stadium to see your favorite band and you discover, when you get back home, that your ears are ringing.
Within a couple of days the kind of tinnitus related to injury from loud noise will usually disappear (and you chalk it up to the price of seeing your favorite band play live).
Of course, it’s exactly this type 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 kinds of concerts and you might wind up with permanent tinnitus.
When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Getting Better on its own
If your tinnitus persists for over three months it’s then referred to as chronic tinnitus (but you should have it checked by an expert long before that).
Around 5-15% of people around the world have reported indications of chronic tinnitus. The exact causes of tinnitus are still not very well known although there are some known associations (like hearing loss).
Usually, a quick cure for tinnitus will be unidentifiable if the triggers aren’t evident. There is a good possibility that your tinnitus won’t disappear by itself if you have been hearing the ringing for more than three months. But if this is your situation, you can safeguard your quality of life and control your symptoms with some treatment options (like noise canceling devices and cognitive behavioral therapy).
The Cause of Your Tinnitus is Relevant
It becomes much simpler to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus when you are able to recognize the root causes. As an example, if your tinnitus is created by a persistent, bacterial ear infection, treatment with an antibiotic will usually solve both issues, bringing about a healthy ear and clear hearing.
Some causes of acute tinnitus might include:
- Chronic ear infections
- Loss of hearing (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- Eardrum damage (such as a perforated eardrum)
- Meniere’s disease (this is often associated with chronic tinnitus, as Meniere’s has no cure)
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever Subside?
In general, your tinnitus will subside on its own. But the longer it lingers, the longer you hear tinnitus noises, the more likely it becomes that you’re dealing with chronic tinnitus.
You can convince yourself that everything is fine and hope that the noises will just go away. But there could come a point where your tinnitus begins to become irritating, where it’s hard to focus because the sound is too disruptive. And in those cases, you may want a treatment plan more comprehensive than crossing your fingers.
In most cases, however, in fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will usually subside by itself, a normal response to a loud environment (and your body’s method of letting you know to stay away from that situation from now on). Whether that’s chronic or acute tinnitus, well, we’ll only know over time.