You just can’t escape from that ringing in your ears. It’s been over two days and you can still hear that irritating buzzing in your ears. You recognize the noise is tinnitus, but you’re beginning to wonder just how long lasting tinnitus usually is.
Tinnitus can be brought on by injury to the stereocilia in your ears (they’re the small hairs that sense air vibrations that your brain then converts into intelligible sound). Generally, too much overly loud noise is the cause. That’s why when you’re seated next to a roaring jet engine, eating at a loud restaurant, or attending a concert, you notice tinnitus the most.
Under Normal Circumstances, How Long Does Tinnitus Last?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But tinnitus usually doesn’t last forever. There will be a wide variety of factors that will influence how long your tinnitus will stick around, like your overall health and the underlying cause of your tinnitus.
But if you just arrived home from a noisy day of traveling and you find your ears ringing, a day or two should be sufficient for you to notice your tinnitus fading away. 16 to 48 hours on average is how long tinnitus will last. But often, symptoms can last as much as a couple of weeks. And tinnitus will return if you are exposed to loud sound again.
If tinnitus lingers and is impacting your quality of life, you need to consult a specialist.
What Leads to Lasting Tinnitus?
In most cases, tinnitus is temporary. But that means it can be permanent. Specifically when the cause of tinnitus is something outside the mundane When it comes to intensity and origin. Here are some examples:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Much of the processing of sound happens in the brain. In some cases, a serious brain injury (such as a concussion) could lead to tinnitus because those processors begin to misfire.
- Repeated exposure: After one rock concert, your ears will probably ring for a couple of days but continued exposure will result in far worse consequences. Frequent exposure to loud sounds can cause irreversible hearing damage, including tinnitus.
- Hearing Impairment: Frequently, tinnitus and hearing loss are joined at the hip. So you could end up with irreversible tinnitus no matter what the cause of your hearing loss.
Permanent tinnitus is substantially less common than its more temporary counterpart. But there are still millions of Americans every year who are treated for lasting, or chronic, tinnitus symptoms.
How do You Get Your Tinnitus to Subside?
It doesn’t matter if your tinnitus is short lived or long lived, you may want to get relief as soon as you can. Even though there isn’t any cure for tinnitus, there are certain things you can do to decrease symptoms (though they will probably last only so long):
- Steer clear of loud noises. Your symptoms may be extended or may become more severe if you keep exposing yourself to loud noises such as a jet engine or rock concerts.
- Wear earplugs (or earmuffs): If you can’t avoid loud situations, then protecting your hearing is the next best step. (And, really, whether you have tinnitus or not, you need to wear hearing protection.)
- Try to stay calm: perhaps it sounds a little… abstract, but higher blood pressure can trigger tinnitus episodes so keeping calm can help keep your tinnitus under control.
- Find a way to cover up the sound: You can in some cases drown out the sound and get a good nights sleep by utilizing some source of white noise including a fan or humidifier.
To be certain, if you have long lasting tinnitus, none of these techniques will cure your tinnitus. But reducing and controlling your symptoms can be equally important.
When Will Your Tinnitus go Away?
In most circumstances, though, your tinnitus will subside 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 persists. The sooner you find a treatment that is effective, the sooner you can get relief. Get your hearing examined if you think you have hearing loss or tinnitus.