You may have a typical reaction when you first notice that ringing in your ears: pretend that it’s no big deal. You continue your regular routines: you have a chat 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 on its own.
You start to get concerned, however, when after a few days the ringing and buzzing is unrelenting.
You aren’t the only person to ever find yourself in this position. Tinnitus can be a challenging little condition, sometimes it will recede by itself and sometimes, it will stick around for a long time to come.
The Condition of Temporary Tinnitus
Tinnitus is very common around the world, virtually everyone’s had a bout every now and then. In nearly all situations, tinnitus is basically temporary and will eventually disappear on its own. A rock concert is an excellent illustration: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local stadium (it’s a good show) and when you get home, you discover that your ears are ringing.
The type of tinnitus that is linked to temporary damage from loud noise will usually diminish within a couple of days (and you chalk it up to the price of seeing your favorite band play live).
Over time hearing loss can develop from temporary or “acute” to permanent or “chronic” because of this exact type of injury. Too many of those kinds of concerts and you could wind up with permanent tinnitus.
Often Times, Tinnitus Doesn’t Simply go Away
If your tinnitus lingers for over three months it’s then identified as chronic tinnitus (but you should have it checked by a specialist long before that).
Around 5-15% of individuals globally have reported symptoms of chronic tinnitus. The precise causes of tinnitus are still not very well known even though there are some known connections (like hearing loss).
When the triggers of your tinnitus aren’t clear, it often means that a quick “cure” will be unidentifiable. If your ears have been buzzing for more than three months and there’s no identifiable cause, there’s a good possibility that the sound will not disappear by itself. But if this is your situation, you can protect your quality of life and manage your symptoms with some treatment options (like noise canceling devices and cognitive behavioral therapy).
The Reason For Your Tinnitus is Important
It becomes a lot easier to mitigate the symptoms of tinnitus when you are able to identify the fundamental causes. If a bacterial ear infection is, for example, the reason for your tinnitus, you can restore a healthy ear and clear hearing by managing it with antibiotics.
Here are some possible causes of acute tinnitus:
- Eardrum damage (such as a perforated eardrum)
- Hearing loss (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
- Meniere’s disease (this is often associated with chronic tinnitus, as Meniere’s has no cure)
- Chronic ear infections
The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever go Away?
Generally speaking, your tinnitus will subside by itself. But it becomes significantly more likely that you’re facing chronic tinnitus the longer these noises linger.
You can persuade yourself there’s nothing wrong and hope that the buzzing will just go away. But there may come a point where your tinnitus starts to become uncomfortable, where it’s hard to concentrate because the sound is too distracting. In those situations, crossing your fingers might not be the comprehensive treatment plan you need.
In most instances, however, as a matter of fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will often go away on its own, a typical response to a noisy environment (and your body’s means of telling you to stay away from that situation in the future). Only time will tell if your tinnitus is chronic or acute.