The ringing just won’t subside. It’s been over two days and you can still hear that nagging buzzing in your ears. You’re aware that the buzzing is tinnitus but your beginning to worry about how long it will continue.
Tinnitus can be brought on by injury to the stereocilia inside your ears (they’re the very small hairs that pick up air vibrations that your brain then transforms into intelligible sound). Generally, too much excessively loud noise is the cause. That’s why when you’re seated near a roaring jet engine, or out at a loud restaurant, or attending a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
How Long Does Tinnitus Persist on Average?
There isn’t any cure for tinnitus. But that doesn’t mean it’ll never go away. There will be a wide variety of factors that will establish how long your tinnitus will stick around, like your overall health and the root cause of your tinnitus.
But if you find your ears ringing after a noisy day of traveling, you can normally expect your tinnitus to fade away in a day or two. 16 to 48 hours on average is how long tinnitus will persist. But it’s also not uncommon for symptoms to stick around, sometimes for as long as two weeks. And tinnitus will come back if you are exposed to loud noise again.
It’s generally recommended that you consult a specialist if your tinnitus continues and especially if your tinnitus is detracting from your quality of life.
Why is Tinnitus Sometimes Permanent?
In most cases, tinnitus is temporary. But that means it can be permanent. Particularly when the cause of tinnitus is something outside the mundane either in terms of origin or in terms of seriousness. Here are a few examples:
- Traumatic Brain Trauma (TBI): The brain is where most sound is processed. When those processors begin to misfire, due to traumatic brain trauma, tinnitus can be the result.
- Repeated exposure: After one rock show, your ears will ring for a couple of days but repeated subjection will result in far worse consequences. Frequent exposure to loud noises can lead to permanent hearing injury, tinnitus included.
- Hearing loss: In many cases, tinnitus and hearing loss are joined at the hip. So you could end up with permanent tinnitus regardless of the cause of your hearing loss.
Short term tinnitus is far more common than lasting tinnitus. But permanent or chronic tinnitus still impacts millions of Us citizens each year.
How do You Get Your Tinnitus to go Away?
You will need to find relief as soon as possible regardless of whether your tinnitus is long term or short term. There is no cure for tinnitus but you can do some things to minimize the symptoms (however long they might endure):
- Wear earplugs (or earmuffs): If you can’t avoid loud environments, then safeguarding your hearing is the next best option. (And, really, you should be protecting your hearing even if you don’t have tinnitus.)
- Try to keep calm: Maybe it sounds somewhat… abstract, but keeping calm can really help keep your tinnitus under control, mostly because increases in blood flow can stimulate tinnitus flare-ups.
- Stay away from loud noises. Going to another concert, jumping on another plane, or cranking up the volume on your earpods another notch might prolong your symptoms or increase their severity.
- Find a way to mask the sound: Sometimes, utilizing a white noise machine (such as a humidifier or fan) can help you mask the noise of tinnitus and, thus, ignore the symptoms (and, you know, get a good night’s sleep in the process).
To be sure, if you have long lasting tinnitus, none of these strategies will cure your tinnitus. But decreasing and managing your symptoms can be just as significant.
When Will Your Tinnitus Subside?
In the majority of scenarios, 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 find a solution if your tinnitus persists. Finding a workable treatment is the best way to ultimately get some relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is often associated with tinnitus) you should have your hearing examined.