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 nagging ringing in your ears. You know the noise is tinnitus, but you’re starting to wonder just how long lasting tinnitus normally is.
Tinnitus can be brought about by damage to the stereocilia inside of your ears (they’re the small hairs that sense air vibrations which your brain then converts into intelligible sound). That injury is most often the outcome of overly loud sound. That’s why you observe tinnitus most commonly after, for example, going to a concert, eating at a loud restaurant, or sitting near a deafening jet engine while you’re traveling.
How Long Does Tinnitus Persist on Average?
Tinnitus can’t be cured. But that doesn’t mean it’ll never subside. There will be a large number of factors that will establish how long your tinnitus will stick around, including the primary cause of your tinnitus and your overall hearing health.
But if you notice your ears ringing after a noisy day of traveling, you can usually expect your tinnitus to disappear in a day or two. 16 to 48 hours on average is how long tinnitus will persist. But it’s also not abnormal for symptoms to stick around, often for as much as a couple of weeks. And tinnitus will return if you are exposed to loud sound again.
If tinnitus persists and is affecting your quality of life, you need to consult a specialist.
What Leads to Permanent Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is normally short-lived. But that means it can be long lasting. Specifically when the cause of tinnitus is something out of the ordinary When it comes to severity and origin. Here are several examples:
- Hearing loss: Typically, hearing loss and tinnitus are joined at the hip. So you could end up with permanent tinnitus no matter what the cause of your hearing loss.
- Repeated exposure: If your ears are ringing after attending one rock concert, imagine how they’ll feel after five rock concerts a week or if you’re a musician who plays live shows and practices all day. Frequent exposure to loud noises can lead to irreversible hearing damage, including tinnitus.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): The majority of the processing of sound occurs in the brain. In certain cases, a traumatic brain injury (such as a concussion) could lead to tinnitus because those processors start to misfire.
Permanent tinnitus is considerably less common than its more temporary counterpart. But permanent or chronic tinnitus still effects millions of Americans every year.
How Can You Get Your Tinnitus to go Away?
Whether your tinnitus is short term or long lived, you may want to find relief as quickly as you can. Despite the fact that there isn’t any cure for tinnitus, there are some things you can do to reduce symptoms (however long they might last):
- Try to stay calm: perhaps it sounds somewhat… abstract, but higher blood pressure can lead to tinnitus episodes so staying calm can help keep your tinnitus in check.
- Avoid loud noises. Your symptoms could be prolonged or might become more intense if you keep exposing yourself to loud noises such as rock concerts or a jet engine.
- Use earplugs (or earmuffs): If you can’t avoid loud situations, then safeguarding your hearing is the next best step. (And, really, whether you suffer from tinnitus or not, you need to wear hearing protection.)
- Find a way to cover up the sound: You can in some cases mask the sound and get a good nights sleep by utilizing some source of white noise like a humidifier or fan.
To be certain, if you have permanent tinnitus, none of these techniques will cure your tinnitus. But it can be just as relevant to manage and reduce your symptoms.
How Long Before Your Tinnitus Goes Away?
In most cases, though, your tinnitus will go away without you having to do anything about it. Your hearing should return to normal within 16 to 48 hours. However, you will want to seek out a solution if your tinnitus lingers. The sooner you discover a treatment that works, the sooner you can get relief. If you think you have hearing loss (which is often associated with tinnitus) you should have your hearing examined.