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

When you first hear that ringing in your ears you might have a very common reaction: pretend everything’s ok. You go about your regular routines: you have a chat with friends, go shopping, and prepare lunch. While you simultaneously try your hardest to ignore that ringing. Because there is one thing you feel certain about: your tinnitus will go away on its own.

After several more days of unrelenting ringing and buzzing, however, you start to have doubts.

This situation happens to others as well. At times tinnitus will go away on its own, and other times it will stick around and that’s why it’s a challenging little condition.

The Condition of Temporary Tinnitus

Around the world, almost everybody has had a bout of tinnitus because it’s very common. Tinnitus is a temporary condition, in most circumstances, and will eventually vanish by itself. The most common example is the rock concert: you go to your local arena to see your favorite band and you discover, when you get home, that your ears are ringing.

The kind of tinnitus that is associated with temporary damage from loud noise will normally diminish within a couple of days (but you accept that it’s just part of going to a loud concert).

Naturally, it’s precisely this type of noise injury that, over time, can cause hearing loss to move from temporary (or acute, as they say) to chronic. Too many of those types of concerts and you may end up with permanent tinnitus.

sometimes, Tinnitus Doesn’t Simply go Away

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

Something like 5-15% of individuals around the world have documented indications of chronic tinnitus. The exact causes of tinnitus are still not very well understood even though there are some known connections (such as hearing loss).

Usually, a quick cure for tinnitus will be unidentifiable if the triggers aren’t evident. There is a strong possibility that your tinnitus won’t recede on its own if you have been hearing the ringing for more than three months. But if this is your situation, you can maintain your quality of life and deal with your symptoms with some treatment possibilities (such as noise canceling devices and cognitive behavioral therapy).

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

It becomes much simpler to mitigate the symptoms of tinnitus when you are able to determine the root causes. For example, if your tinnitus is produced by a stubborn, bacterial ear infection, treatment with an antibiotic will tend to solve both problems, leading to a healthy ear and crystal-clear hearing.

Here are some likely causes of acute tinnitus:

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

The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever Subside?

In general, your tinnitus will recede by itself. But it becomes significantly more likely that you’re experiencing chronic tinnitus the longer these noises linger.

You feel that if you just ignore it should vanish by itself. But there may come a point where your tinnitus begins to become distressing, where it’s tough to focus because the sound is too disruptive. And in those cases, you might want a treatment strategy more thorough than crossing your fingers.

The majority 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. Whether that’s acute or chronic tinnitus, well, only time will tell.

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