When you first hear that ringing in your ears you may have a very typical response: pretend that it’s no big deal. You go through your day the same way you always do: you do your grocery shopping, you make dinner, you attempt to have a discussion with your partner. While at the same time you try your best to dismiss that ringing. Because there is one thing you feel certain of: your tinnitus will go away on its own.
After several more days of unrelenting ringing and buzzing, though, you begin to have doubts.
You aren’t the only one to ever find yourself in this position. sometimes tinnitus will go away by itself, and at other times it will linger on and that’s why it’s a challenging little condition.
When Tinnitus is Likely to Go Away on Its Own
Around the world, almost everybody has had a bout of tinnitus because it’s extremely common. In nearly all situations, tinnitus is essentially temporary and will ultimately vanish on it’s own. The most prevalent scenario is the rock concert: you go to your local arena to see your favorite band and you discover, when you get back home, that there is a ringing in your ears.
The kind of tinnitus that is linked to temporary damage from loud noise will often subside within a few days (and you chalk it up to the price of seeing your favorite band play live).
Of course, it’s exactly this kind of noise injury that, over time, can cause loss of hearing to go from temporary (or acute, as they say) to chronic. One concert too many and you could be waiting a long, long time for your tinnitus to go away on its own.
When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Getting Better by Itself
If your tinnitus continues for over three months it’s then identified as chronic tinnitus (but you should have it checked by an expert long before that).
Something like 5-15% of individuals around the world have documented signs of chronic tinnitus. The exact causes of tinnitus are still not well known although there are some known connections (like hearing loss).
When the triggers of your tinnitus aren’t obvious, it usually means that a quick “cure” will be unidentifiable. There is a good chance that your tinnitus won’t go away by itself if you have been hearing the ringing for over three months. In those situations, there are treatment possibilities available (like cognitive behavioral therapy or noise-canceling devices) that can help you manage symptoms and preserve your quality of life.
It’s Important to Know What The Cause of Your Tinnitus is
It becomes much simpler to mitigate the symptoms of tinnitus when you are able to establish the underlying causes. If a bacterial ear infection is, for instance, the cause of your tinnitus, you can regain a healthy ear and clear hearing by treating it with antibiotics.
Here are some likely causes of acute tinnitus:
- Meniere’s disease (this usually has no cure and is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- Eardrum damage (such as a perforated eardrum)
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
- Chronic ear infections
- Loss of hearing (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
So…Will The Ringing in My Ears Stop?
In general, your tinnitus will subside on its own. But it becomes significantly more likely that you’re experiencing chronic tinnitus the longer these noises linger.
You can convince yourself there’s nothing wrong and hope that the noises will simply stop. But there could come a point where your tinnitus starts to become uncomfortable, where it’s hard to concentrate because the sound is too disruptive. And in those instances, you may want a treatment plan more thorough than crossing your fingers.
In most instances, however, in fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will usually go away on its own, a normal reaction to a noisy environment (and your body’s method of letting you know to stay away from that environment in the future). Whether that’s chronic or acute tinnitus, well, we’ll only know over time.