You just can’t escape from that ringing in your ears. That high pitched buzz in your ear has been irritating you ever since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t gone away. You’re aware that the ringing is tinnitus but your starting to worry about how long it will keep going.
Tinnitus can be caused by damage to the stereocilia inside of your ears (they’re the small hairs that pick up air vibrations which your brain then converts into intelligible sound). Normally, too much excessively loud sound is the cause. That’s why you notice tinnitus most often after, as an example, attending a concert, eating at a loud restaurant, or being seated next to a roaring jet engine while you’re traveling.
How Long Does Tinnitus Last on Average?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But that doesn’t mean it won’t ever subside. How long your tinnitus persists will depend on a wide variety of factors, such as your general health and the underlying cause of your tinnitus.
But if you just arrived home from a noisy day of traveling and you notice your ears ringing, you can usually expect your tinnitus to disappear in a day or two. 16 to 48 hours on average is how long tinnitus will last. But it’s also not uncommon for symptoms to stick around, often for as long as a couple of weeks. Further exposure to loud noises could also trigger tinnitus to flare up again, essentially resetting the clock.
It’s typically recommended that you consult a specialist if your tinnitus continues and specifically if your tinnitus is detracting from your quality of life.
What Leads to Long Term Tinnitus?
In most cases, tinnitus is short-lived. But sometimes it can be long-lasting. When the cause is not ordinary that’s especially true either with respect to origin or in terms of intensity. Some examples are as follows:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): The majority of the processing of sound occurs in the brain. In some cases, a traumatic brain injury (like a concussion) could lead to tinnitus because those processors begin to misfire.
- Repeated exposure: After one rock show, your ears will probably ring for a couple of days but repeated exposure will result in far worse consequences. Repeated exposure to loud sounds can lead to irreversible hearing damage, tinnitus included.
- Hearing loss: Tinnitus and hearing loss often go together. So you may end up with permanent tinnitus regardless of the cause of your hearing loss.
Temporary tinnitus is far more common than lasting tinnitus. But there are still millions of Americans each year who are treated for lasting, or chronic, tinnitus symptoms.
How do You Get Your Tinnitus to Subside?
It doesn’t matter if your tinnitus is short lived or long term, you may want to find relief as quickly as you can. There is no cure for tinnitus but you can do some things to reduce the symptoms (however long they may last):
- Stay away from loud noises. Your symptoms may be extended or may become more intense if you keep exposing yourself to loud noises such as rock concerts or a jet engine.
- Try to stay calm: Maybe it sounds somewhat… abstract, but higher blood pressure can bring about tinnitus flare ups so remaining calm can help keep your tinnitus at bay.
- Use earplugs (or earmuffs): If you can’t avoid loud environments, then protecting your hearing is the next best option. (And, really, you need to be protecting your ears whether you have tinnitus or not.)
- Find a way to mask the sound: You can in some cases drown out the sound and get a restful nights sleep by utilizing some source of white noise including a humidifier or fan.
To be certain, if you have permanent tinnitus, none of these strategies will get rid of your tinnitus. But diminishing and managing your symptoms can be just as important.
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. Nevertheless, if your tinnitus persists, you’ll want to seek out a solution. Discovering a workable treatment is the best way to finally get some relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is commonly associated with tinnitus) you should have your hearing checked.