You could have a common reaction when you first notice that ringing in your ears: pretend that it’s no big deal. You go about your normal routines: you do your shopping, you make dinner, you attempt to have a discussion with your partner. While you simultaneously try your best to ignore that ringing. Because there is one thing you feel certain about: your tinnitus will fade away by itself.
After a few more days of unrelenting ringing and buzzing, however, you begin to have doubts.
This situation happens to others as well. Tinnitus can be a tricky little affliction, sometimes it will recede on its own and sometimes, it will stick around for a longer period of time.
When Tinnitus is Likely to Disappear by Itself
Tinnitus is extremely common everywhere, virtually everybody’s had a bout here and there. Tinnitus is a temporary condition, in most cases, and will ultimately vanish by itself. A rock concert is an excellent example: 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 kind of tinnitus associated with injury from loud noise will commonly fade away (but you accept that it’s just part of going to a loud performance).
Of course, it’s exactly this kind 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 could be waiting quite a while for your tinnitus to go away by itself.
Often Times, Tinnitus Doesn’t Simply go Away
If your tinnitus continues for over three months it’s then identified as chronic tinnitus (but you should get it checked by a specialist long before that).
Something like 5-15% of individuals globally have recorded symptoms of chronic tinnitus. While there are some recognized close associations (like hearing loss, as an example), the causes of tinnitus aren’t yet very well understood.
Often, a fast cure for tinnitus will be evasive if the triggers aren’t evident. If your ears have been ringing for over three months and there’s no identifiable cause, there’s a strong chance that the sound will not disappear by itself. In those circumstances, there are treatment possibilities available (like cognitive behavioral therapy or noise-canceling devices) that can help you manage symptoms and protect your quality of life.
The Cause of Your Tinnitus is Relevant
It becomes much easier 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 tend to solve both issues, bringing about a healthy ear and crystal-clear hearing.
Some causes of acute tinnitus may include:
- Meniere’s disease (this is often associated with chronic tinnitus, as Meniere’s has no cure)
- Loss of hearing (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
- Chronic ear infections
- Eardrum damage (such as a perforated eardrum)
The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever Subside?
The truth is that in almost all cases, yes, your tinnitus will recede by itself. But it becomes significantly more likely that you’re facing chronic tinnitus the longer these noises last.
You can convince yourself that everything is fine and hope that the ringing will just stop. But at some point, your tinnitus might become uncomfortable and it may become hard to focus on anything else. And in those cases, you might want a treatment strategy more comprehensive than crossing your fingers.
The majority of the time tinnitus is simply the body’s reaction to loud noise that may be damaging over time and will recede on its own. Only time will tell if your tinnitus is chronic or acute.