You just can’t get away from that ringing in your ears. It’s been more than two days and you can still hear that irritating buzzing in your ears. You acknowledge the sound is tinnitus, but you’re beginning to question exactly how long lasting tinnitus normally is.
Tinnitus can be brought on by injury to the stereocilia inside of your ears (the air vibrations that your ears turn into sound, are sensed by these tiny hairs). That injury is typically the outcome of overly loud sound. That’s why when you’re sitting near a roaring jet engine, or out at a loud restaurant, or going to a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
Under Typical Circumstances, How Long Does Tinnitus Persist?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But tinnitus usually doesn’t last forever. How long your tinnitus lasts depends on a wide variety of factors, including the primary cause of your tinnitus and your overall hearing health.
But if you just arrived home from a noisy day of traveling and you find your ears ringing, you can generally expect your tinnitus to fade away in a day or two. 16 to 48 hours on average is how long tinnitus will persist. But it’s also not uncommon for symptoms to stick around, sometimes for as long as two weeks. And tinnitus will return if you are exposed to loud sound again.
It’s typically recommended that you consult a specialist if your tinnitus continues and especially if your tinnitus is detracting from your quality of life.
What Causes Long Term Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is usually impermanent. But that means it can be irreversible. When the root cause is not ordinary that’s particularly true When it comes to intensity and origin. Here are some examples:
- Hearing Impairment: Tinnitus and hearing loss frequently go hand in hand. So, whatever the cause of your hearing loss is, you may also wind up developing (or noticing) irreversible tinnitus along with it.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): The brain is where the majority of sound is processed. When those processors begin to misfire, due to traumatic brain injury, tinnitus can be the result.
- 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 cause permanent hearing damage, including tinnitus.
Temporary tinnitus is far more common than lasting tinnitus. But there are still millions of Americans every year who are treated for lasting, or chronic, tinnitus symptoms.
How Can You Get Your Tinnitus to Subside?
Whether your tinnitus is short lived or long lived, you will want to find relief as quickly as possible. There is no cure for tinnitus but you can do a few things to lessen the symptoms (however long they might last):
- Find a way to cover up the sound: Sometimes, employing a white noise machine (such as a fan or humidifier) can help you cover up the sound of tinnitus and, thus, ignore the symptoms (and, you know, get a restful night’s sleep in the process).
- Try to keep calm: Maybe it sounds somewhat… abstract, but increased blood pressure can trigger tinnitus episodes so remaining calm can help keep your tinnitus under control.
- Use earplugs (or earmuffs): The next step, if you can’t steer clear of loud situations, is to wear hearing protection. (And, really, you should be protecting your hearing even if you don’t have tinnitus.)
- Stay away from loud noises. Attending another live show, hopping on another plane, or turning the volume on your television up another notch could extend your symptoms or double down on their severity.
Unfortunately, none of these practices will cure permanent tinnitus. But it can be equally important to control and diminish your symptoms.
How Long Before Your Tinnitus Subsides?
In the majority of scenarios, 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 lingers. Finding a workable treatment is the best way to finally get some relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is frequently associated with tinnitus) you should have your hearing examined.