When you first hear that ringing in your ears you may have a very typical response: pretend that it’s no big deal. You go through your day the same way you always do: you do your shopping, you cook dinner, you attempt to have a discussion with your friends. All the while, you’re attempting to push that ringing in your ear to the back of your mind. Because you’re convinced of one thing: your tinnitus will fade away on its own.
After a few more days of unremitting buzzing and ringing, however, you begin to have doubts.
This situation happens to other people as well. Tinnitus can be a tricky little condition, sometimes it will disappear by itself and in some cases, it will stay for a longer period of time.
When Tinnitus is Likely to Vanish by Itself
Around the world, almost everybody has had a bout of tinnitus because it’s extremely common. Tinnitus is a non-permanent condition, in most situations, and will ultimately vanish by itself. The most prevalent scenario is the rock concert: you go to your local arena to see your favorite band and you notice, when you get back home, that there is a ringing in your ears.
Within a couple of days the type of tinnitus connected to damage from loud noise will commonly fade away (but you realize that it’s simply part of going to a loud show).
Naturally, it’s precisely this type of noise damage that, over time, can cause loss of hearing to move from temporary (or acute, as they say) to chronic. Too many of those types of concerts and you may wind up with permanent tinnitus.
Often Times, Tinnitus Doesn’t Simply go Away
If your tinnitus persists for over three months it’s then referred to as chronic tinnitus (but you should have it checked by an expert long before that).
Something like 5-15% of individuals around the world have recorded symptoms of chronic tinnitus. The precise causes of tinnitus are still not well known although there are some known associations (like hearing loss).
When the causes of your tinnitus aren’t clear, it normally means that a fast “cure” will be evasive. There is a strong chance that your tinnitus won’t go away by itself if you have been hearing the ringing for more than three months. In those situations, there are treatment options available (such as cognitive behavioral therapy or noise-canceling devices) that can help you control symptoms and preserve your quality of life.
The Cause of Your Tinnitus is Important
When you can identify the fundamental cause of your tinnitus, mitigating the condition suddenly becomes much simpler. If a bacterial ear infection is, for example, the reason for your tinnitus, you can regain a healthy ear and clear hearing by managing it with antibiotics.
Some causes of acute tinnitus might include:
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
- Chronic ear infections
- Loss of hearing (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- Meniere’s disease (this is often associated with chronic tinnitus, as Meniere’s has no cure)
- Damage to the eardrum (such as a perforated eardrum)
The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever Subside?
The bottom line is that in almost all cases, yes, your tinnitus will recede on its own. But the longer it hangs around, the longer you hear tinnitus noises, the more likely it becomes that you’re coping with chronic tinnitus.
You can convince yourself there’s nothing wrong and hope that the buzzing will just stop. But sooner or later, your tinnitus may become uncomfortable and it might become hard to concentrate on anything else. In those situations, crossing your fingers may not be the complete treatment plan you need.
In most instances, however, in fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will usually subside by itself, a normal reaction to a noisy environment (and your body’s way of telling you to stay away from that environment from now on). Whether that’s acute or chronic tinnitus, well, we’ll only know over time.