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

When you first notice that ringing in your ears you might have a very common reaction: pretend that it’s no big thing. You go about your normal habits: you have a conversation with friends, go shopping, and prepare lunch. All the while, you’re attempting to push that ringing in your ear out of your mind. Because you feel sure of one thing: your tinnitus will fade away by itself.

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

You aren’t the only person to ever find yourself in this scenario. 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

Around the world, nearly everyone has had a bout of tinnitus because it’s extremely common. Tinnitus is a temporary condition, in most cases, and will ultimately subside on its own. A rock concert is an excellent illustration: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local arena (it’s a good show) and when you go home, you notice that there is ringing in your ears.

Within a couple of days the kind of tinnitus related to injury from loud noise will usually fade away (and you chalk it up to the cost of seeing your favorite band on stage).

Over time hearing loss can develop from temporary or “acute” to permanent or “chronic” because of this exact type of damage. Too many of those kinds of concerts and you might end up with permanent tinnitus.

sometimes, Tinnitus Doesn’t Just Disappear

If your tinnitus lingers for over three months it’s then classified as chronic tinnitus (but you should have it checked by a specialist long before that).

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

When the triggers of your tinnitus aren’t clear, it usually means that a fast “cure” will be elusive. If your ears have been buzzing for over three months and there’s no discernible cause, there’s a good possibility that the sound will not disappear on its own. But if this is your situation, you can protect 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 Important

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

Some causes of acute tinnitus might consist of:

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

The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever go Away?

The bottom line is that in almost all cases, yes, your tinnitus will recede on its own. But the longer it hangs around, the longer you hear tinnitus noises, the more likely it becomes that you’re coping with chronic tinnitus.

You feel that if you simply disregard it should disappear by itself. But there may come a point where your tinnitus begins to become distressing, where it’s hard to focus because the sound is too distracting. And in those instances, you might want a treatment strategy more comprehensive than crossing your fingers.

Most of the time tinnitus is just the body’s answer to loud noise that may be damaging over time and will subside by itself. Whether that’s acute or chronic tinnitus, well, only time will tell.