You just can’t escape from that ringing in your ears. That high pitched ringing in your ear has been nagging you since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t disappeared. You realize the noise is tinnitus, but you’re beginning to question just how long lasting tinnitus normally 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 converts into intelligible sound). That injury is usually the outcome of excessively loud noise. That’s why when you’re seated near a roaring jet engine, eating at a loud restaurant, or attending a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
How Long Does Tinnitus Persist on Average?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But tinnitus usually doesn’t last indefinitely. How long your tinnitus persists will depend on a large number of factors, like the root cause of your tinnitus and your overall hearing health.
But if you notice your ears ringing after a noisy day of traveling, a day or two should be enough for you to notice your tinnitus fading away. 16 to 48 hours typically is how long tinnitus will last. But it’s also not abnormal for symptoms to linger, sometimes for as long as a couple of weeks. Additional exposure to loud noises could also cause tinnitus to flare up again, essentially resetting the clock.
If tinnitus lingers and is affecting your quality of life, you need to see a specialist.
What Leads to Permanent Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is usually short-lived. But that means it can be irreversible. Especially when the cause of tinnitus is something outside the mundane When it comes to severity and origin. Some illustrations are as follows:
- Hearing loss: Tinnitus and hearing loss often go hand in hand. So, whatever the cause of your hearing loss is, you might also end up developing (or noticing) irreversible tinnitus along with it.
- Traumatic Brain Trauma (TBI): The brain is where the majority of sound is processed. In some cases, a serious brain injury (such as a concussion) might lead to tinnitus because those processors start to misfire.
- Repeated exposure: If your ears are ringing after one rock concert, imagine how they’ll feel after several rock concerts a week or if you’re a musician who performs concerts and practices all day. Repeated exposure to loud sounds can lead to permanent hearing damage, including tinnitus.
Permanent tinnitus is considerably less common than its more short-term counterpart. But permanent or chronic tinnitus still impacts millions of Americans every year.
How Can You Get Your Tinnitus to Subside?
You will need to get relief as soon as possible regardless of whether your tinnitus is long term or temporary. There isn’t a cure for tinnitus but you can do a few things to minimize the symptoms (however long they may last):
- Try to keep calm: perhaps it sounds a little… abstract, but remaining calm can really help keep your tinnitus under control, mostly because increased blood pressure can stimulate tinnitus flare-ups.
- Wear earplugs (or earmuffs): The next option, if you can’t keep away from loud environments, is to use ear protection. (And, really, you should be protecting your ears even if you don’t have tinnitus.)
- Find a way to cover up the sound: Sometimes, employing a white noise device (including a humidifier or fan) can help you cover up the noise of tinnitus and, thus, ignore the symptoms (and, you know, get a restful night’s sleep in the process).
- Avoid loud noises. Going to another concert, hopping on another plane, or turning up the volume on your earpods another notch might extend your symptoms or double down on their severity.
Unfortunately, none of these methods will cure permanent tinnitus. But diminishing and managing your symptoms can be just as important.
When Will Your Tinnitus go Away?
Your tinnitus, in the majority of cases, will go away by itself. Just wait the 16-48 hours and your hearing should return to normal. However, you will want to seek out a solution if your tinnitus lingers. The sooner you discover a treatment that is effective, the sooner you can get relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is commonly associated with tinnitus) you should get your hearing examined.