The ringing just won’t subside. That high pitched ringing in your ear has been nagging you ever since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t disappeared. You acknowledge the noise is tinnitus, but you’re starting to wonder just how long lasting tinnitus normally is.
Tinnitus can be brought about by injury to the stereocilia in your ears (they’re the tiny hairs that pick up air vibrations that your brain then converts into intelligible sound). Usually, too much excessively loud noise is the cause. That’s why when you’re seated near a roaring jet engine, or out at a noisy restaurant, or attending a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
Under Normal Circumstances, How Long Will Tinnitus Persist?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But that doesn’t mean it won’t ever subside. How long your tinnitus persists depends on a wide variety of factors, like the root cause of your tinnitus and your overall hearing health.
But if you just returned home from a noisy day of traveling and you notice your ears ringing, you can typically expect your tinnitus to go away in a day or two. 16 to 48 hours typically is how long tinnitus will persist. But occasionally, symptoms can last as much as two weeks. Additional exposure to loud sounds could also trigger tinnitus to flare up again, effectively resetting the clock.
If tinnitus continues and is impacting your quality of life, you need to see a specialist.
Why is Tinnitus Sometimes Permanent?
Normally, tinnitus is temporary. But in some cases it can be long-lasting. Specifically when the cause of tinnitus is something outside the mundane either in terms of origin or in terms of severity. Some examples are as follows:
- Repeated exposure: After one rock concert, your ears will ring for a couple of days but frequent exposure will result in far more serious consequences. Repeated exposure to loud sounds can cause irreversible hearing damage, including tinnitus.
- Hearing Impairment: Frequently, tinnitus and hearing loss are joined at the hip. So, whatever the cause of your hearing loss is, you could also find yourself developing (or noticing) irreversible tinnitus along with it.
- Traumatic Brain Trauma (TBI): The majority of the processing of sound occurs in the brain. In some cases, a serious brain injury (such as a concussion) may lead to tinnitus because those processors begin to misfire.
Permanent tinnitus is substantially less common than its more temporary counterpart. But permanent or chronic tinnitus still impacts millions of Americans every year.
How do You Get Your Tinnitus to Subside?
You will want to get relief as soon as possible regardless of whether your tinnitus is long term or temporary. Despite the fact that there isn’t any cure for tinnitus, there are a few things you can do to reduce symptoms (however long they might last):
- Wear earplugs (or earmuffs): The next step, if you can’t keep away from loud environments, is to wear ear protection. (And, really, you should be protecting your ears even if you don’t have tinnitus.)
- Find a way to mask the sound: In some cases, utilizing a white noise machine (like a humidifier or fan) can help you mask the noise of tinnitus and, thus, ignore the symptoms (and, you know, get a good night’s sleep in the process).
- Stay away from loud noises. Going to another concert, jumping on another airline, or cranking the volume on your television up another notch may prolong your symptoms or double down on their severity.
- Try to remain calm: Maybe it sounds somewhat… abstract, but higher blood pressure can bring about tinnitus flare ups so remaining calm can help keep your tinnitus in check.
Regrettably, none of these methods will get rid of permanent tinnitus. But reducing and controlling your symptoms can be just as significant.
How Long Before Your Tinnitus Subsides?
Your tinnitus, in most circumstances, will recede by itself. Just wait the 16-48 hours and your hearing should return to normal. However, you will want to look for a solution if your tinnitus lingers. The sooner you find a treatment that works, the sooner you can experience relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is frequently associated with tinnitus) you should have your hearing examined.