The ringing just won’t go away. That high pitched buzz in your ear has been irritating you since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t disappeared. You’re aware that the buzzing is tinnitus but your beginning to be concerned about how long it will keep going.
Tinnitus can be caused by damage to the stereocilia in your ears (the air vibrations that your ears convert into sound, are sensed by these little hairs). That damage is usually the outcome of excessively loud sound. That’s why you notice tinnitus most commonly after, for example, going to a concert, spending time in a loud restaurant, or being seated next to a deafening jet engine while you’re taking a trip.
How Long Does Tinnitus Persist on Average?
There’s no cure for tinnitus. But tinnitus normally doesn’t continue indefinitely. There will be a wide variety of factors that will establish how long your tinnitus will stick around, such as the root cause of your tinnitus and your general hearing health.
But if you notice your ears buzzing after a noisy day of traveling, a couple of days should be sufficient for you to observe your tinnitus going away. 16 to 48 hours on average is how long tinnitus will persist. But it’s also not abnormal for symptoms to linger, often for as long as two weeks. And tinnitus will come back if you are exposed to loud noise again.
If tinnitus lingers and is affecting your quality of life, you need to consult a specialist.
Why is Tinnitus Sometimes Irreversible?
Tinnitus is usually short-lived. But in some cases it can be irreversible. When the root cause is not ordinary that’s particularly true either with respect to origin or in terms of seriousness. Some illustrations are as follows:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): The majority of the processing of sound happens in the brain. When those processors begin to misfire, as a result of traumatic brain trauma, tinnitus can be the outcome.
- Hearing loss: Frequently, hearing loss and tinnitus are joined at the hip. So, no matter what causes your hearing loss, you may also find yourself developing (or noticing) irreversible tinnitus along with it.
- Repeated exposure: If your ears are ringing after attending one rock concert, think of how they’ll feel after several rock concerts a week or if you’re a musician who performs concerts and practices all day. Continued exposure to loud noises can result in irreversible hearing damage, including tinnitus.
Permanent tinnitus is significantly less common than its more temporary counterpart. But there are still millions of Americans each year who are treated for lasting, or chronic, tinnitus symptoms.
How Can You Get Your Tinnitus to Subside?
You will want to get relief sooner rather than later regardless of whether your tinnitus is long term or short term. There is no cure for tinnitus but you can do some things to decrease the symptoms (though they will probably last only so long):
- Find a way to cover up the sound: Sometimes, employing a white noise device (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).
- Use earplugs (or earmuffs): If you can’t avoid loud environments, then protecting your hearing is the next best option. (And, really, you should be protecting your ears even if you don’t have tinnitus.)
- Stay away from loud noises. Going to another concert, hopping on another airline, or turning the volume on your television up another notch might prolong your symptoms or increase their severity.
- Try to stay calm: Maybe it sounds somewhat… abstract, but increased blood pressure can lead to tinnitus flare ups so staying calm can help keep your tinnitus under control.
To be certain, if you have long lasting tinnitus, none of these strategies will get rid of your tinnitus. But it can be just as important to control and reduce your symptoms.
How Long Before Your Tinnitus Disappears?
In most scenarios, though, your tinnitus will subside without you having to do anything about it. Just wait the 16-48 hours and your hearing should go back to normal. However, you will want to find a solution if your tinnitus persists. Discovering a workable treatment is the best way to ultimately get some relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is often associated with tinnitus) you should get your hearing checked.