You could have a common reaction when you first notice that ringing in your ears: pretend everything’s good. You go through your day the same way you always do: you do your shopping, you cook dinner, you attempt to have a discussion with your partner. In the meantime, you’re attempting to force that ringing in your ear out of your mind. Because you’re convinced of one thing: your tinnitus will go away on its own.
You begin to worry, though, when after a few days the buzzing and ringing is unrelenting.
You aren’t the only one to ever be in this position. Tinnitus can be a tricky little condition, sometimes it will disappear on its own and sometimes, it will stay for a longer period of time.
The Condition of Temporary Tinnitus
Around the globe, nearly everybody has had a bout of tinnitus because it’s quite common. In almost all circumstances, tinnitus is essentially temporary and will eventually go away on its own. A rock concert is an excellent example: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local stadium (it’s a good show) and when you go home, you realize that there is ringing in your ears.
Within a few days the kind of tinnitus associated with damage from loud noise will commonly disappear (and you chalk it up to the price of seeing your favorite band on stage).
Of course, it’s exactly this type of noise damage that, over time, can cause loss of hearing to go from temporary (or acute, as they say) to chronic. Too many of those types of concerts and you could wind up with permanent tinnitus.
When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Getting Better by Itself
If your tinnitus continues for over three months it’s then referred to as chronic tinnitus (but you should get it examined by a specialist long before that).
Something like 5-15% of people globally have recorded signs of chronic tinnitus. The exact causes of tinnitus are still not very well understood though there are some known connections (such as loss of hearing).
When the causes of your tinnitus aren’t obvious, it often means that a fast “cure” will be unidentifiable. If your ears have been ringing for more than three months and there’s no recognizable cause, there’s a good chance that the sound will not go away on its own. In those situations, there are treatment options available (like cognitive behavioral therapy or noise-canceling devices) that can help you control symptoms and preserve your quality of life.
It’s Important to Know What The Cause of Your Tinnitus is
When you can recognize the fundamental cause of your tinnitus, dealing with the condition quickly becomes much simpler. As an example, if your tinnitus is produced by a stubborn, bacterial ear infection, treatment with an antibiotic will usually solve both problems, bringing about a healthy ear and clear hearing.
Here are some likely causes of acute tinnitus:
- Loss of hearing (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
- Eardrum damage (such as a perforated eardrum)
- 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 Subside?
In general, your tinnitus will go away on its own. But it becomes increasingly more likely that you’re dealing with chronic tinnitus the longer these noises linger.
You believe that if you simply ignore it should vanish on its own. But at some point, your tinnitus may become distressing and it might become difficult to concentrate on anything else. In those circumstances, wishful thinking might not be the complete treatment plan you need.
Most of the time tinnitus is simply the body’s answer to loud noise that may be damaging over time and will subside by itself. Whether that’s chronic or acute tinnitus, well, we’ll only know over time.