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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 typical reaction: pretend that it’s no big thing. You go about your normal routines: you do your shopping, you make dinner, you try to have a conversation with your friends. While at the same time you try your best to dismiss that ringing. Because there is one thing you feel sure of: your tinnitus will fade away by itself.

You start to worry, however, when after a couple of days the buzzing and ringing is unrelenting.

This situation happens to other people as well. sometimes tinnitus will go away on its own, and other times it will stick around and that’s the reason why it’s a tricky little condition.

When Tinnitus is Likely to Subside on Its Own

Around the globe, nearly everybody has had a bout of tinnitus because it’s extremely common. Tinnitus is a non-permanent condition, in most cases, and will eventually recede on its own. The most common scenario is the rock concert: 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.

Within a few days the type of tinnitus connected to damage from loud noise will normally disappear (but you realize that it’s simply part of going to a loud concert).

Of course, it’s exactly this type of noise damage 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.

When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Going Away by Itself

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

Around 5-15% of people globally have recorded indications of chronic tinnitus. While there are some known close associations (such as loss of hearing, for example), the causes of tinnitus aren’t yet very well understood.

Often, a fast cure for tinnitus will be elusive if the triggers aren’t apparent. If your ears have been ringing for over three months and there’s no discernible cause, there’s a good possibility that the sound will not go away on its own. But if this is your situation, you can preserve your quality of life and control your symptoms with some treatment possibilities (such as noise canceling devices and cognitive behavioral therapy).

The Cause of Your Tinnitus is Important

When you can recognize the root cause of your tinnitus, mitigating the condition quickly becomes a lot easier. As an example, if your tinnitus is produced by a persistent, bacterial ear infection, treatment with an antibiotic will tend to solve both issues, resulting in a healthy ear and clear hearing.

Some causes of acute tinnitus might include:

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

The Big Question…Will my Tinnitus Ever go Away?

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

You think that if you simply disregard it should vanish on its own. But there may come a point where your tinnitus starts to become distressing, where it’s tough to focus because the sound is too distracting. In those situations, wishful thinking may not be the extensive treatment plan you require.

In most cases, though, as a matter of fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will usually subside on its own, a typical reaction to a loud environment (and your body’s way of letting you know to avoid that environment in the future). Only time will tell if your tinnitus is chronic or acute.