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Hearing Aids by Tricia Leagjeld - Redmond, OR

Woman with hands to her ears in pain wondering when the ringing in her ears will stop.

You may have a common reaction when you first notice that ringing in your ears: pretend everything’s good. You go through your day the same as usual: you have a conversation with family, go shopping, and prepare lunch. All the while, you’re attempting to force that ringing in your ear to the back of your mind. Because you feel sure of one thing: your tinnitus will fade away by itself.

You begin to worry, though, when after a few days the buzzing and ringing is unrelenting.

This scenario happens to others as well. Tinnitus can be a tricky little affliction, sometimes it will disappear on its own and in some cases, it will stay for a long time to come.

When Tinnitus is Likely to Go Away on Its Own

Around the world, almost everyone has had a bout of tinnitus because it’s quite common. In nearly all circumstances, tinnitus is basically temporary and will ultimately subside on its own. The most common scenario is the rock concert: you go to your local stadium 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 kind of tinnitus associated with damage from loud noise will commonly fade away (but you realize that it’s just part of going to a loud concert).

Of course, it’s precisely this kind of noise damage that, over time, can cause loss of hearing to move from temporary (or acute, as they say) to chronic. One concert too many and you could be waiting quite a while for your tinnitus to subside by itself.

When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Getting Better on its own

If your tinnitus doesn’t subside (either on its own or with help) within the period of three months or so, the condition is then classified chronic tinnitus (this does not, however, mean that you should wait that long to talk to an expert about lingering ringing, buzzing, or thumping in your ears).

Something like 5-15% of people globally have recorded indications of chronic tinnitus. The exact causes of tinnitus are still not very well known though there are some known connections (such as hearing loss).

Usually, a quick cure for tinnitus will be unidentifiable if the causes aren’t evident. If your ears have been buzzing for over three months and there’s no identifiable cause, there’s a good chance that the sound will not recede on its own. But if this is your circumstance, you can maintain your quality of life and manage your symptoms with some treatment options (such as noise canceling devices and cognitive behavioral therapy).

It’s Relevant to Know What The Cause of Your Tinnitus is

When you can identify the root cause of your tinnitus, mitigating the condition quickly becomes much simpler. If a bacterial ear infection is, for instance, 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:

  • Meniere’s disease (this usually has no cure and is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
  • Eardrum damage (such as a perforated eardrum)
  • Loss of hearing (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
  • A blockage in the ear or ear canal
  • Chronic ear infections

The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever go Away?

Generally speaking, your tinnitus will go away on its own. But it becomes progressively more likely that you’re dealing with chronic tinnitus the longer these tinnitus sounds last.

You can convince yourself there’s nothing wrong and hope that the buzzing will just stop. But there could come a point where your tinnitus starts to become distressing, where it’s hard to concentrate because the sound is too distracting. In those situations, crossing your fingers may not be the complete treatment plan you need.

In most cases, though, as a matter of fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will normally subside on its own, a normal response to a noisy environment (and your body’s method of telling you to avoid that situation from now on). Whether that’s chronic or acute tinnitus, well, only time will tell.