You might have a common reaction when you first notice that ringing in your ears: pretend everything’s good. You go through your day the same as usual: you do your shopping, you make dinner, you try to have a discussion with your friends. All the while, you’re trying to force that ringing in your ear to the back of your mind. Because you feel sure of one thing: your tinnitus will go away naturally.
After a few more days of unremitting buzzing and ringing, however, you begin to have doubts.
This scenario happens to other people as well. At times tinnitus will go away on its own, and at other times it will linger on and that’s the reason why it’s a tricky little condition.
When Tinnitus is Likely to Disappear on Its Own
Tinnitus is incredibly common around the world, virtually everybody’s had a bout here and there. In nearly all circumstances, tinnitus is essentially temporary and will eventually disappear by itself. A rock concert is an excellent example: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local arena (it’s a good show) and when you get home, you realize that there is ringing in your ears.
The kind of tinnitus that is linked to temporary injury from loud noise will normally diminish within a couple of days (and you chalk it up to the price of seeing your favorite band play live).
Naturally, it’s precisely this type 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 may be waiting a long, long time for your tinnitus to recede by itself.
When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Going Away by Itself
If your tinnitus doesn’t decrease (with help or on its own) within the span of three months or so, the disorder is then categorized as chronic tinnitus (this does not, however, imply that you should wait three months to speak to a specialist about lingering ringing, buzzing, or thumping in your ears).
Around 5-15% of individuals globally have reported signs of chronic tinnitus. While there are some understood close associations (such as loss of hearing, for instance), the causes of tinnitus aren’t yet well understood.
When the causes of your tinnitus aren’t obvious, it usually means that a quick “cure” will be unidentifiable. If your ears have been buzzing for more than three months and there’s no identifiable cause, there’s a strong possibility that the sound will not recede on its own. But if this is your situation, you can safeguard your quality of life and manage your symptoms with some treatment possibilities (such as noise canceling devices and cognitive behavioral therapy).
The Reason For Your Tinnitus is Significant
When you can recognize the underlying cause of your tinnitus, mitigating the condition suddenly becomes much simpler. If a bacterial ear infection is, for instance, the cause of your tinnitus, you can restore a healthy ear and clear hearing by treating it with antibiotics.
Some causes of acute tinnitus may include:
- Damage to the eardrum (such as a perforated eardrum)
- Chronic ear infections
- Loss of hearing (again, this is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- Meniere’s disease (this usually has no cure and is often associated with chronic tinnitus)
- A blockage in the ear or ear canal
So…Will The Noises in My Ears Subside?
The bottom line is that in most cases, yes, your tinnitus will go away by itself. But it becomes increasingly more likely that you’re facing chronic tinnitus the longer these noises linger.
You can persuade yourself that everything is fine and hope that the buzzing will just go away. But there could come a point where your tinnitus starts to become irritating, where it’s hard to concentrate because the sound is too distracting. In those circumstances, crossing your fingers may not be the comprehensive treatment plan you need.
Most of the time tinnitus is just the body’s reaction to loud noise that could be damaging over time and will subside by itself. Only time will tell if your tinnitus is acute or chronic.