You might have a typical reaction when you first notice that ringing in your ears: pretend that it’s no big thing. You go about your normal routines: you do your grocery shopping, you cook dinner, you attempt to have a discussion with your friends. While you simultaneously try your best to ignore that ringing. Because there is one thing you feel sure about: your tinnitus will go away on its own.
After several more days of unrelenting ringing and buzzing, however, you start to have doubts.
You’re not the only one to ever find yourself in this scenario. Tinnitus can be a challenging little condition, at times it will disappear by itself and sometimes, it will stick around for a long time to come.
When Tinnitus is Likely to Subside on Its Own
Tinnitus is incredibly common around the world, nearly everyone’s had a bout here and there. Tinnitus is a non-permanent condition, in most circumstances, and will eventually go away by itself. The most typical scenario is the rock concert: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local arena (it’s a good show) and when you go home, you notice that there is ringing in your ears.
The type of tinnitus that is linked to temporary injury from loud noise will normally subside within a few days (but you realize that it’s just part of going to a loud performance).
Naturally, it’s exactly this type of noise injury that, over time, can cause hearing loss to move from temporary (or acute, as they say) to chronic. One concert too many and you might be waiting quite a while for your tinnitus to recede on its own.
sometimes, Tinnitus Doesn’t Just go Away
If your tinnitus doesn’t decrease (either on its own or with help) within the span of three months or so, the ailment is then classified chronic tinnitus (this does not, however, mean that you should wait three months to speak to a specialist about lingering ringing, buzzing, or thumping in your ears).
Something like 5-15% of people around the world have reported signs of chronic tinnitus. While there are some recognized close associations (such as loss of hearing, for instance), the causes of tinnitus aren’t yet very well understood.
When the causes of your tinnitus aren’t clear, it often means that a quick “cure” will be evasive. There is a good chance that your tinnitus won’t disappear on its own if you have been hearing the ringing for over three months. In those circumstances, there are treatment options 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
When you can establish the fundamental cause of your tinnitus, mitigating the condition quickly becomes much easier. For instance, if your tinnitus is produced by a stubborn, bacterial ear infection, treatment with an antibiotic will tend to solve both issues, 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)
- Meniere’s disease (this usually has no cure and is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
- Damage to the eardrum (such as a perforated eardrum)
- Chronic ear infections
So…Will The Noises in My Ears Subside?
The truth is that in almost all cases, yes, your tinnitus will subside on its own. But the longer it lingers, the longer you hear tinnitus noises, the more likely it becomes that you’re experiencing chronic tinnitus.
You think that if you just disregard it should go away on its own. But at some point, your tinnitus may become distressing and it could become tough to concentrate on anything else. In those situations, crossing your fingers may not be the complete treatment plan you need.
In most situations, though, in fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will usually subside on its own, a typical response to a loud environment (and your body’s way of telling you to stay away from that environment in the future). Only time will tell if your tinnitus is chronic or acute.