The ringing just won’t go away. It’s been more than two days and you can still hear that unpleasant buzzing in your ears. You’re aware that the ringing is tinnitus but your beginning to be concerned about how long it will keep going.
Tinnitus can be brought about by damage to the stereocilia inside of your ears (they’re the small hairs that sense air vibrations that your brain then turns into intelligible sound). Normally, too much overly loud noise is the cause. That’s why you notice tinnitus most often after, for example, going to a concert, spending time in a noisy restaurant, or sitting near a deafening jet engine while you’re taking a trip.
Under Typical Scenarios, How Long Will Tinnitus Persist?
There isn’t any cure for tinnitus. But that doesn’t mean it won’t ever subside. There will be a wide variety of factors that will influence how long your tinnitus will stick around, such as your general health and the underlying cause of your tinnitus.
But if you notice your ears buzzing after a noisy day of traveling, you can generally expect your tinnitus to fade away in a day or two. 16 to 48 hours on average is how long tinnitus will last. But sometimes, symptoms can last as much as two weeks. Additional exposure to loud sounds could also cause tinnitus to flare up again, essentially resetting the clock.
If tinnitus persists and is impacting your quality of life, you need to consult a specialist.
What Causes Irreversible Tinnitus?
In most cases, tinnitus is short-lived. But in some cases it can be permanent. Especially when the cause of tinnitus is something outside the mundane When it comes to intensity and origin. Here are some examples:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): The majority of the processing of sound happens in the brain. When those processors start to misfire, as a result of traumatic brain injury, tinnitus can be the outcome.
- Hearing loss: Tinnitus and hearing loss frequently go hand in hand. So you might end up with permanent tinnitus regardless of the cause of your hearing loss.
- Repeated exposure: After one rock concert, your ears will probably ring for a couple of days but continued subjection will result in far worse consequences. Repeated exposure to loud sounds can result in irreversible hearing damage, including tinnitus.
Temporary tinnitus is a lot more common than lasting tinnitus. But permanent or chronic tinnitus still effects millions of Americans each year.
How do You Get Your Tinnitus to go Away?
Whether your tinnitus is short lived or long lived, you will want to get relief as soon as you can. There is no cure for tinnitus but you can do certain things to minimize the symptoms (though they may last only so long):
- Try to remain calm: Maybe it sounds a little… abstract, but higher blood pressure can lead to tinnitus flare ups so keeping calm can help keep your tinnitus under control.
- Use earplugs (or earmuffs): The next step, if you can’t keep away from loud environments, is to use hearing protection. (And, really, you need to be protecting your ears even if you don’t have tinnitus.)
- Steer clear of loud noises. Attending another concert, jumping on another plane, or turning up the volume on your earpods another notch may prolong your symptoms or double down on their severity.
- Find a way to mask the sound: In some cases, using a white noise device (such as a fan or humidifier) can help you mask the noise of tinnitus and, thus, overlook the symptoms (and, you know, get a good night’s sleep in the process).
To be sure, if you have permanent tinnitus, none of these strategies will get rid of your tinnitus. But decreasing and controlling your symptoms can be equally important.
How Long Before Your Tinnitus Disappears?
In most cases, though, your tinnitus will go away without you needing to do anything about it. Just wait the 16-48 hours and your hearing should go back to normal. Nevertheless, if your tinnitus lingers, you’ll want to look for a solution. The sooner you discover a treatment that works, the sooner you can experience relief. Get your hearing tested if you think you have hearing loss or tinnitus.