When you first hear that ringing in your ears you might have a very common response: pretend that it’s no big thing. You go through your day the same as usual: you do your grocery shopping, you cook dinner, you try to have a conversation with your friends. All the while, you’re trying to push that ringing in your ear out of your mind. Because there is one thing you feel certain about: your tinnitus will go away on its own.
After a few more days of unrelenting buzzing and ringing, though, you begin to have doubts.
You’re not the only person to ever find yourself in this position. sometimes tinnitus will go away by itself, and other times it will linger on and that’s the reason why it’s a tricky little disorder.
The Condition of Temporary Tinnitus
Tinnitus is extremely common around the world, virtually everybody’s had a bout every now and then. Tinnitus is a temporary condition, in most instances, and will eventually vanish by itself. The most common scenario is the rock concert: you go to your local arena to see your favorite band and you discover, when you get back home, that your ears are ringing.
The type of tinnitus that is associated with temporary injury from loud noise will normally subside within a couple of days (and you chalk it up to the cost of seeing your favorite band on stage).
After a while hearing loss can go from temporary or “acute” to permanent or “chronic” because of this exact type of damage. Too many of those kinds of concerts and you could end up with permanent tinnitus.
Often Times, Tinnitus Doesn’t Simply go Away
If your tinnitus doesn’t subside (with help or on its own) within the period of three months or so, the ailment is then categorized as chronic tinnitus (this does not, however, mean that you should wait that long to speak to an expert about lingering ringing, buzzing, or thumping in your ears).
Around 5-15% of people globally have documented indications of chronic tinnitus. The exact causes of tinnitus are still not very well known even though there are some known associations (like loss of hearing).
When the causes of your tinnitus aren’t obvious, it often means that a fast “cure” will be evasive. There is a strong chance that your tinnitus won’t recede by itself if you have been hearing the ringing for over three months. In those situations, there are treatment possibilities available (such as cognitive behavioral therapy or noise-canceling devices) that can help you deal with symptoms and preserve your quality of life.
The Cause of Your Tinnitus is Significant
It becomes a lot easier to decrease the symptoms of tinnitus when you can identify the fundamental causes. If a bacterial ear infection is, for example, the reason for your tinnitus, you can regain a healthy ear and clear hearing by treating it with antibiotics.
Here are some possible causes of acute tinnitus:
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
- Hearing loss (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- Chronic ear infections
- Eardrum damage (such as a perforated eardrum)
- Meniere’s disease (this is often associated with chronic tinnitus, as Meniere’s has no cure)
The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever Subside?
The bottom line is that in most cases, yes, your tinnitus will recede on its own. But it becomes increasingly more likely that you’re experiencing chronic tinnitus the longer these noises last.
You can convince yourself that everything is fine and hope that the buzzing will just stop. But there may come a point where your tinnitus begins to become uncomfortable, where it’s hard to concentrate because the sound is too distracting. In those circumstances, crossing your fingers might not be the extensive treatment plan you need.
In most situations, however, in fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will often go away on its own, a typical response to a loud environment (and your body’s way of letting you know to avoid that situation in the future). Only time will tell if your tinnitus is chronic or acute.