The ringing just won’t subside. That high pitched ringing in your ear has been irritating you since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t disappeared. you realize that the ringing is tinnitus but your starting to worry about how long it will continue.
Tinnitus can be caused by injury to the stereocilia inside your ears (they’re the very small hairs that pick up air vibrations which your brain then turns into intelligible sound). That damage is typically the result of excessively loud noise. That’s why when you’re sitting next to a booming jet engine, eating at a noisy restaurant, or going to a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
How Long Does Tinnitus Last on Average?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But that doesn’t mean it’ll never subside. There will be a large number of factors that will influence how long your tinnitus will stick around, like the primary cause of your tinnitus and your overall hearing health.
But if you find your ears ringing after a noisy day of traveling, a couple of days should be enough for you to observe your tinnitus going away. 16 to 48 hours on average is how long tinnitus will last. But in some cases, symptoms can last as long as two weeks. Further exposure to loud noises could also trigger tinnitus to flare up again, effectively resetting the clock.
It’s generally recommended that you consult a specialist if your tinnitus persists and particularly if your tinnitus is detracting from your quality of life.
Why is Tinnitus Sometimes Irreversible?
Usually, tinnitus is short-lived. But occasionally it can be irreversible. Especially when the cause of tinnitus is something out of the ordinary either in terms of origin or in terms of severity. Some examples are as follows:
- Hearing loss: Frequently, hearing loss and tinnitus are joined at the hip. So you may end up with irreversible tinnitus no matter what the cause of your hearing loss.
- Traumatic Brain Trauma (TBI): The brain is where the majority of sound is processed. In some cases, a traumatic brain injury (like a concussion) could lead to tinnitus because those processors start to misfire.
- Repeated exposure: After one rock concert, your ears will ring for a couple of days but frequent exposure will lead to far more serious consequences. Continued exposure to loud sounds can result in permanent hearing injury, including tinnitus.
Temporary tinnitus is far more common than lasting tinnitus. But permanent or chronic tinnitus still effects millions of Us citizens every year.
How do You Get Your Tinnitus to go Away?
You will need to find relief sooner rather than later regardless of whether your tinnitus is long term or temporary. Even though there’s no cure for tinnitus, there are a few things you can do to reduce symptoms (though they will probably last only so long):
- Steer clear of loud noises. Your symptoms may be extended or may become more intense if you keep exposing yourself to loud noises like rock concerts or a jet engine.
- Wear earplugs (or earmuffs): The next step, if you can’t keep away from loud environments, is to use ear protection. (And, really, whether you have tinnitus or not, you should use hearing protection.)
- Try to stay calm: perhaps it sounds somewhat… abstract, but staying calm can really help keep your tinnitus in check, mostly because increased blood pressure can trigger tinnitus flare-ups.
- Find a way to cover up the sound: In some cases, utilizing a white noise device (like a fan or humidifier) can help you mask the noise of tinnitus and, thus, overlook the symptoms (and, you know, get a restful night’s sleep in the process).
To be certain, if you have permanent tinnitus, none of these techniques will get rid of your tinnitus. But it can be just as significant to control and diminish your symptoms.
When Will Your Tinnitus go Away?
In most scenarios, though, your tinnitus will subside without you needing to do anything about it. Just wait the 16-48 hours and your hearing should go back to normal. However, you will want to seek out a solution if your tinnitus persists. The sooner you find a treatment that works, the sooner you can get relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is often associated with tinnitus) you should get your hearing examined.