When you first hear that ringing in your ears you may have a very common response: pretend that it’s no big thing. You continue your normal habits: you have a conversation with family, go to the store, and cook lunch. All the while, you’re trying to push that ringing in your ear out of your mind. Because there is one thing you feel certain about: your tinnitus will fade away by itself.
After several more days of unremitting buzzing and ringing, though, you start to have doubts.
You aren’t the only person to ever be in this position. Tinnitus can be a tricky little affliction, at times it will recede on its own and in some cases, it will stick around for a long time to come.
When Tinnitus is Likely to Subside by Itself
Tinnitus is very common everywhere, nearly everyone’s had a bout here and there. Tinnitus is a temporary condition, in most situations, and will eventually recede on its own. The most common example is the rock concert: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local arena (it’s a good show) and when you go home, you realize that there is ringing in your ears.
The kind of tinnitus that is associated with temporary injury from loud noise will normally diminish within a few days (but you accept that it’s just part of going to a loud show).
Eventually loss of hearing can develop from temporary or “acute” to permanent or “chronic” because of this exact type of injury. Too many of those types of concerts and you could wind up with permanent tinnitus.
When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Getting Better on its own
If your tinnitus doesn’t decrease (with help or on its own) within the period of three months or so, the disorder is then classified chronic tinnitus (this does not, however, mean that you should wait three months to speak to an expert about lingering thumping, buzzing, or ringing in your ears).
Around 5-15% of individuals globally have reported indications of chronic tinnitus. While there are some known close connections (like loss of hearing, for example), the causes of tinnitus aren’t yet really comprehended.
When the triggers of your tinnitus aren’t obvious, it usually means that a fast “cure” will be elusive. If your ears have been ringing for over three months and there’s no discernible cause, there’s a good possibility that the sound will not disappear on its own. In those instances, there are treatment possibilities 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 underlying cause of your tinnitus, dealing with the condition quickly becomes a lot easier. For example, if your tinnitus is produced by a persistent, bacterial ear infection, treatment with an antibiotic will usually solve both problems, bringing about a healthy ear and crystal-clear hearing.
Here are some likely causes of acute tinnitus:
- Chronic ear infections
- Meniere’s disease (this usually has no cure and is often associated with chronic 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)
So…Will The Ringing in My Ears Go Away?
In general, your tinnitus will recede by itself. But it becomes significantly more likely that you’re coping with chronic tinnitus the longer these tinnitus sounds remain.
You believe that if you just ignore it should vanish on its own. But at some point, your tinnitus might become distressing and it could become difficult to concentrate on anything else. In those situations, wishful thinking might not be the comprehensive treatment plan you require.
The majority of the time tinnitus is just the body’s answer to loud noise that could be damaging over time and will subside by itself. Whether that’s acute or chronic tinnitus, well, only time will tell.