Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

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

You could have a typical reaction when you first notice that ringing in your ears: pretend that it’s no big thing. You go through your day the same way you always do: you have a chat with friends, go to the store, and prepare lunch. While you simultaneously try your hardest to ignore that ringing. Because you’re convinced of one thing: your tinnitus will fade away by itself.

After a few more days of unremitting ringing and buzzing, though, you start to have doubts.

This situation happens to others 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 challenging little condition.

When Tinnitus is Likely to Go Away by Itself

Tinnitus is extremely common around the world, nearly everyone’s had a bout here and there. In almost all cases, tinnitus is basically temporary and will ultimately disappear 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 few days the kind of tinnitus connected to injury from loud noise will commonly fade away (and you chalk it up to the cost of seeing your favorite band play live).

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. Too many of those types of concerts and you may end up with permanent tinnitus.

When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Disappearing on its own

If your tinnitus persists for over three months it’s then labeled as chronic tinnitus (but you should get it examined by a specialist long before that).

Around 5-15% of people globally have recorded indications of chronic tinnitus. The exact causes of tinnitus are still not well known even though there are some known associations (like loss of hearing).

When the triggers of your tinnitus aren’t clear, it usually means that a quick “cure” will be unidentifiable. If your ears have been buzzing for over three months and there’s no identifiable cause, there’s a strong possibility that the sound will not disappear on its own. In those cases, 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.

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

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

Some causes of acute tinnitus could consist of:

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

So…Will The Noises in My Ears Go Away?

The truth is that in almost all cases, yes, your tinnitus will recede on its own. But the longer it lingers, the longer you hear tinnitus noises, the more likely it becomes that you’re dealing with chronic tinnitus.

You feel that if you simply disregard it should disappear by itself. But at some point, your tinnitus might become uncomfortable and it might become hard to concentrate on anything else. And in those situations, you might want a treatment plan more thorough than crossing your fingers.

In most situations, however, in fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will usually subside on its own, a typical response to a loud environment (and your body’s way of telling you to avoid that environment from now on). Whether that’s acute or chronic tinnitus, well, we’ll only know over time.

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