You may have a typical reaction when you first hear that ringing in your ears: pretend everything’s fine. You continue your normal habits: you do your shopping, you cook dinner, you attempt to have a discussion with your partner. In the meantime, you’re attempting 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 naturally.
After a few more days of unremitting ringing and buzzing, though, you begin to have doubts.
You’re not the only person to ever find yourself in this situation. At times 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
Tinnitus is incredibly common around the world, nearly everyone’s had a bout every now and then. Tinnitus is a temporary condition, in most cases, and will ultimately vanish by itself. A rock concert is a good example: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local stadium (it’s a good show) and when you get home, you discover that there is ringing in your ears.
The type of tinnitus that is associated with temporary injury from loud noise will normally subside within a few days (but you realize that it’s just part of going to a loud concert).
After a while loss of hearing can develop from temporary or “acute” to permanent or “chronic” because of this exact type of injury. One concert too many and you could be waiting a long, long time for your tinnitus to go away by itself.
When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Getting Better on its own
If your tinnitus lingers for over three months it’s then labeled as chronic tinnitus (but you should get it examined by an expert long before that).
Something like 5-15% of people around the world have recorded indications of chronic tinnitus. The exact causes of tinnitus are still not well understood although there are some known associations (such as loss of hearing).
When the causes of your tinnitus aren’t clear, it often means that a fast “cure” will be unidentifiable. There is a strong chance that your tinnitus won’t recede on its own if you have been hearing the ringing for over three months. But if this is your circumstance, you can protect your quality of life and deal with your symptoms with some treatment possibilities (such as noise canceling devices and cognitive behavioral therapy).
It’s Significant to Know What The Cause of Your Tinnitus is
It becomes much simpler to mitigate the symptoms of tinnitus when you can establish the fundamental causes. For example, if your tinnitus is produced by a stubborn, bacterial ear infection, treatment with an antibiotic will usually solve both issues, leading to a healthy ear and crystal-clear hearing.
Some causes of acute tinnitus may include:
- Hearing loss (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
- Chronic ear infections
- Meniere’s disease (this is often associated with chronic tinnitus, as Meniere’s has no cure)
- Eardrum damage (such as a perforated eardrum)
The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever go Away?
Generally speaking, your tinnitus will recede on its own. But it becomes progressively more likely that you’re facing chronic tinnitus the longer these noises last.
You feel that if you simply ignore it should go away on its own. But at some point, your tinnitus could become distressing and it may become difficult to concentrate on anything else. In those circumstances, crossing your fingers might not be the extensive treatment plan you need.
Most of the time tinnitus is simply the body’s response 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.