The ringing just won’t subside. It’s been over two days and you can still hear that irritating ringing in your ears. You acknowledge the sound is tinnitus, but you’re starting to question just how long lasting tinnitus usually is.
Tinnitus can be brought on by injury to the stereocilia in your ears (they’re the tiny hairs that sense air vibrations that your brain then turns into intelligible sound). That injury is most often the outcome of excessively loud sound. That’s why when you’re sitting next to a roaring jet engine, or out at a loud restaurant, or attending a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
Under Normal Circumstances, How Long Does Tinnitus Last?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But tinnitus normally doesn’t last forever. How long your tinnitus lasts will depend on a large number of factors, including your general health and the root cause of your tinnitus.
But if you just arrived home from a noisy day of traveling and you notice your ears ringing, a day or two should be enough for you to observe your tinnitus fading away. 16 to 48 hours on average is how long tinnitus will persist. But it’s also not uncommon for symptoms to linger, often for as much as two weeks. Additional exposure to loud noises could also trigger tinnitus to flare up again, essentially resetting the clock.
It’s typically suggested that you see a specialist if your tinnitus continues and particularly if your tinnitus is detracting from your quality of life.
What Causes Permanent Tinnitus?
In most cases, tinnitus is temporary. But sometimes it can be permanent. When the root cause is not ordinary that’s especially true either with respect to origin or in terms of seriousness. Some examples are as follows:
- Hearing loss: Typically, hearing loss and tinnitus are joined at the hip. So, no matter what causes your hearing loss, you could also end up developing (or noticing) irreversible tinnitus along with it.
- Repeated exposure: After one rock concert, your ears will probably ring for a couple of days but repeated subjection will lead to far worse consequences. Repeated exposure to loud sounds can cause permanent hearing damage, tinnitus included.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): The brain is where most sound is processed. In certain cases, a traumatic brain injury (like a concussion) may cause tinnitus because those processors begin to misfire.
Permanent tinnitus is considerably less common than its more temporary counterpart. But permanent or chronic tinnitus still impacts millions of Us citizens each year.
How do You Get Your Tinnitus to go Away?
It doesn’t matter if your tinnitus is short lived or long term, you may want to get relief as quickly as possible. Even though there isn’t any cure for tinnitus, there are a few things you can do to reduce symptoms (though they may last only so long):
- Find a way to mask the sound: You can in some cases drown out the sound and get a restful nights sleep by using some source of white noise such as a humidifier or fan.
- Try to remain calm: Maybe it sounds a little… abstract, but staying calm can really help keep your tinnitus under control, mostly because increased blood flow can induce tinnitus flare-ups.
- Steer clear of loud noises. Your symptoms could be extended or might become more intense if you keep exposing yourself to loud noises like a jet engine or rock concerts.
- Wear earplugs (or earmuffs): The next step, if you can’t steer clear of loud situations, is to use ear protection. (And, really, whether you suffer from tinnitus or not, you need to use hearing protection.)
To be sure, if you have permanent tinnitus, none of these techniques will get rid of your tinnitus. But it can be equally significant to control and minimize your symptoms.
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 return to normal. However, you will want to look for a solution if your tinnitus persists. Finding 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 examined.