You might have a typical reaction when you first hear that ringing in your ears: pretend that it’s no big thing. You go about your normal routines: you have a conversation with family, go shopping, and cook lunch. While at the same time you try your hardest to ignore that ringing. Because there is one thing you feel sure of: your tinnitus will go away naturally.
You begin to get concerned, however, when after a few days the ringing and buzzing is unrelenting.
You aren’t the only one to ever find yourself in this scenario. At times tinnitus will go away by itself, and other times it will stick around and that’s the reason why it’s a challenging little disorder.
The Condition of Temporary Tinnitus
Tinnitus is very common around the world, nearly everybody’s had a bout every now and then. Tinnitus is a non-permanent condition, in most situations, and will eventually vanish on it’s own. The most typical example is the rock concert: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local arena (it’s a good show) and when you get home, you realize that there is ringing in your ears.
The type of tinnitus that is linked to temporary injury from loud noise will usually diminish within a couple of days (and you chalk it up to the cost of seeing your favorite band play live).
Of course, it’s precisely this kind of noise injury 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 may be waiting a long, long time for your tinnitus to go away by itself.
When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Getting Better on its own
If your tinnitus persists for over three months it’s then classified as chronic tinnitus (but you should get it examined by a specialist long before that).
Around 5-15% of people globally have reported indications of chronic tinnitus. While there are some known close associations (like hearing loss, as an example), the causes of tinnitus aren’t yet well understood.
When the causes of your tinnitus aren’t obvious, it often means that a quick “cure” will be unidentifiable. If your ears have been ringing for more than three months and there’s no identifiable cause, there’s a strong possibility that the sound will not recede on its own. In those situations, there are treatment possibilities available (such as cognitive behavioral therapy or noise-canceling devices) that can help you manage symptoms and maintain your quality of life.
The Reason For Your Tinnitus is Important
It becomes much simpler to mitigate the symptoms of tinnitus when you can recognize the root causes. If a bacterial ear infection is, for instance, the cause of your tinnitus, you can revive a healthy ear and clear hearing by managing it with antibiotics.
Here are some likely causes of acute tinnitus:
- Loss of hearing (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- Meniere’s disease (this usually has no cure and is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- Damage to the eardrum (such as a perforated eardrum)
- Chronic ear infections
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
So…Will The Noises in My Ears Go Away?
The bottom line is that in most cases, yes, your tinnitus will subside on its own. But it becomes progressively more likely that you’re experiencing chronic tinnitus the longer these tinnitus sounds linger.
You can persuade yourself there’s nothing wrong and hope that the noises will simply stop. But at some point, your tinnitus could become distressing and it might become hard to concentrate on anything else. And in those situations, you may want a treatment strategy more comprehensive than crossing your fingers.
Most of the time tinnitus is simply the body’s reaction to loud noise that could be damaging over time and will recede on its own. Only time will tell if your tinnitus is chronic or acute.