The ringing just won’t subside. That high pitched buzz in your ear has been nagging you ever since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t disappeared. you realize that the buzzing is tinnitus but your beginning to be concerned about how long it will last.
Tinnitus can be brought about by damage to the stereocilia in your ears (they’re the tiny hairs that pick up air vibrations which your brain then converts into intelligible sound). That injury is usually the result of overly loud noise. That’s why when you’re sitting near a roaring jet engine, eating at a noisy restaurant, or attending a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
How Long Does Tinnitus Persist on Average?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But that doesn’t mean it won’t ever go away. How long your tinnitus persists depends on a wide variety of factors, such as your general health and the underlying cause of your tinnitus.
But if you find your ears buzzing after a noisy day of traveling, a couple of days should be enough for you to notice your tinnitus fading away. 16 to 48 hours typically is how long tinnitus will persist. But in some cases, symptoms can last as much as a couple of weeks. And tinnitus will come back if you are exposed to loud sound again.
If tinnitus lingers and is affecting your quality of life, you need to see a specialist.
Why is Tinnitus Sometimes Permanent?
In most cases, tinnitus is short-lived. But that means it can be permanent. When the root cause is not mundane that’s especially true When it comes to severity and origin. Here are some examples:
- Hearing loss: Frequently, hearing loss and tinnitus are joined at the hip. So, whatever the cause of your hearing loss is, you may also find yourself developing (or noticing) permanent tinnitus alongside it.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Much of the processing of sound happens in the brain. When those processors begin to misfire, because of traumatic brain injury, tinnitus can be the outcome.
- Repeated exposure: After one rock concert, your ears will ring for a couple of days but repeated exposure will lead to far more serious consequences. Repeated exposure to loud noises can lead to irreversible hearing damage, including tinnitus.
Permanent tinnitus is considerably less common than its more temporary counterpart. But there are still millions of Americans every year who are treated for permanent, or chronic, tinnitus symptoms.
How Can You Get Your Tinnitus to Subside?
Whether your tinnitus is short term or long lived, you may want to find relief as quickly as possible. Despite the fact that there’s no cure for tinnitus, there are certain things you can do to lessen symptoms (though they may last only so long):
- Find a way to cover up the sound: Sometimes, using a white noise device (including a humidifier or fan) can help you mask the sound of tinnitus and, thus, ignore the symptoms (and, you know, get a restful night’s sleep in the process).
- Avoid loud noises. Going to another live show, hopping on another airline, or turning the volume on your television up another notch might extend your symptoms or increase their severity.
- Try to remain calm: Maybe it sounds somewhat… abstract, but higher blood pressure can bring about tinnitus episodes so staying calm can help keep your tinnitus under control.
- Wear earplugs (or earmuffs): The next option, if you can’t keep away from loud situations, is to wear ear protection. (And, really, you should be protecting your hearing even if you don’t have tinnitus.)
To be sure, if you have permanent tinnitus, none of these techniques will get rid of your tinnitus. But reducing and managing your symptoms can be just as important.
How Long Before Your Tinnitus Goes Away?
In most circumstances, though, your tinnitus will go away without you having to do anything about it. Your hearing should return to normal within 16 to 48 hours. However, if your tinnitus persists, you’ll want to find a solution. Discovering a workable treatment is the best way to finally get some relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is often associated with tinnitus) you should get your hearing examined.