The ringing just won’t go away. It’s been over two days and you can still hear that irritating buzzing in your ears. You recognize the noise is tinnitus, but you’re starting to question exactly how long lasting tinnitus usually is.
Tinnitus can be brought about by damage to the stereocilia inside your ears (they’re the very small hairs that sense air vibrations which your brain then turns into intelligible sound). That injury is usually the result of excessively loud sound. That’s why you notice tinnitus most often after, for example, attending a concert, eating at a noisy restaurant, or sitting near a deafening jet engine while you’re taking a trip.
How Long Does Tinnitus Last on Average?
There’s no cure for tinnitus. But that doesn’t mean it won’t ever go away. How long your tinnitus lasts will depend on a wide variety of factors, like the root cause of your tinnitus and your general hearing health.
But if you find your ears buzzing after a noisy day of traveling, a couple of days should be sufficient for you to notice your tinnitus going away. 16 to 48 hours on average is how long tinnitus will last. But often, symptoms can last as long as a couple of weeks. Further exposure to loud noises could also cause tinnitus to flare up again, effectively resetting the clock.
It’s typically recommended that you consult a specialist if your tinnitus continues and especially if your tinnitus is impacting from your quality of life.
What Leads to Permanent Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is usually temporary. But that means it can be irreversible. When the cause is not ordinary that’s particularly true either with respect to origin or in terms of seriousness. Some examples are as follows:
- Traumatic Brain Trauma (TBI): The brain is where most sound is processed. In certain cases, a serious brain injury (like a concussion) might lead to tinnitus because those processors begin to misfire.
- 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 plays live shows and practices all day. Continued exposure to loud noises can lead to permanent hearing damage, tinnitus included.
- Hearing Impairment: Frequently, tinnitus and hearing loss are joined at the hip. So you might end up with permanent tinnitus no matter what the cause of your hearing loss.
Short term tinnitus is far more common than lasting tinnitus. But there are still millions of Us citizens each year who are treated for permanent, or chronic, tinnitus symptoms.
How do You Get Your Tinnitus to Subside?
You will need to get relief as soon as possible regardless of whether your tinnitus is permanent or short term. Despite the fact that there’s no cure for tinnitus, there are some things you can do to decrease symptoms (however long they may last):
- Try to keep calm: Maybe it sounds somewhat… abstract, but staying calm can really help keep your tinnitus under control, mostly because increases in blood flow can stimulate tinnitus flare-ups.
- Find a way to mask the sound: In some cases, utilizing a white noise device (like a humidifier or fan) can help you drown out the sound of tinnitus and, thus, ignore the symptoms (and, you know, get a good night’s sleep in the process).
- Stay away from loud noises. Your symptoms could be extended or may become more severe if you keep exposing yourself to loud noises such as a jet engine or rock concerts.
- Wear earplugs (or earmuffs): If you can’t steer clear of loud situations, then safeguarding your hearing is the next best step. (And, really, you should be protecting your hearing whether you have tinnitus or not.)
Regrettably, none of these tactics will cure long term tinnitus. But diminishing and controlling your symptoms can be equally significant.
How Long Before Your Tinnitus Subsides?
Your tinnitus, in most scenarios, will recede by itself. Just wait the 16-48 hours and your hearing should go back to normal. However, you will want to look for a solution if your tinnitus persists. The sooner you find a treatment that works, the sooner you can experience relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is frequently associated with tinnitus) you should get your hearing tested.