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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 may have a very common reaction: pretend everything’s ok. You go through your day the same as usual: you have a conversation with friends, go shopping, and prepare lunch. While you simultaneously try your hardest to ignore that ringing. Because there is one thing you feel sure about: your tinnitus will go away on its own.

You begin to get concerned, though, when after a couple of days the buzzing and ringing is unrelenting.

This scenario happens to other people as well. Tinnitus can be a tricky little affliction, sometimes it will recede by itself and in some cases, it will stay for a long time to come.

The Condition of Temporary Tinnitus

Tinnitus is extremely common everywhere, nearly everybody’s had a bout every now and then. In almost all cases, tinnitus is basically temporary and will eventually go away on its own. A rock concert is a good example: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local stadium (it’s a good show) and when you get home, you discover that there is ringing in your ears.

Within a few days the type of tinnitus related to damage from loud noise will normally fade away (and you chalk it up to the cost of seeing your favorite band on stage).

Of course, it’s exactly this kind of noise damage that, over time, can cause hearing loss to go from temporary (or acute, as they say) to chronic. One concert too many and you might be waiting quite a while for your tinnitus to go away on its own.

Often Times, Tinnitus Doesn’t Just Disappear

If your tinnitus continues for over three months it’s then identified as chronic tinnitus (but you should get it checked by an expert long before that).

Something like 5-15% of individuals around the world have reported indications of chronic tinnitus. The precise causes of tinnitus are still not very well understood although there are some known connections (like hearing loss).

When the causes of your tinnitus aren’t obvious, it normally means that a fast “cure” will be elusive. There is a good possibility that your tinnitus won’t recede on its own if you have been hearing the ringing for over three months. In those situations, there are treatment options available (such as cognitive behavioral therapy or noise-canceling devices) that can help you control symptoms and maintain your quality of life.

The Cause of Your Tinnitus is Important

It becomes much simpler to mitigate the symptoms of tinnitus when you can identify the underlying causes. If a bacterial ear infection is, for example, the reason for your tinnitus, you can restore a healthy ear and clear hearing by treating it with antibiotics.

Here are some likely causes of acute tinnitus:

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

So…Will The Ringing in My Ears Subside?

Generally speaking, your tinnitus will go away on its own. But the longer it hangs around, the longer you hear reverberations or humming or whatever the sound happens to be, the more likely it becomes that you’re dealing with chronic tinnitus.

You think that if you just disregard it should disappear on its own. But there could come a point where your tinnitus starts to become irritating, where it’s hard to focus because the sound is too disruptive. And in those situations, you might want a treatment plan more comprehensive than crossing your fingers.

In most instances, however, as a matter of fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will usually go away by itself, a normal reaction to a loud environment (and your body’s method of telling you to avoid that environment in the future). Whether that’s acute or chronic tinnitus, well, only time will tell.

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