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Concert goers who have ringing in their ears are concerned about whether the ringing will go away on its own.

You just can’t get away from that ringing in your ears. That high pitched buzz in your ear has been bothering you since yesterday morning and it still hasn’t gone away. You realize the noise is tinnitus, but you’re starting to question exactly how permanent tinnitus usually is.

Tinnitus can be caused by damage to the stereocilia inside of your ears (they’re the very small hairs that sense air vibrations that your brain then turns into intelligible sound). That injury is typically the outcome of excessively loud noise. That’s why you observe tinnitus most commonly after, for example, going to a concert, eating at a noisy restaurant, or sitting next to a roaring jet engine while you’re traveling.

Under Typical Scenarios, How Long Does Tinnitus Persist?

Tinnitus can’t be cured. But that doesn’t mean it’ll never subside. There will be a wide variety of factors that will influence how long your tinnitus will stick around, like your overall health and the root cause of your tinnitus.

But if you notice your ears ringing after a noisy day of traveling, you can usually expect your tinnitus to fade away in a day or two. Usually, tinnitus will persist for 16 to 48 hours. But it’s also not abnormal for symptoms to linger, sometimes for as long as two weeks. Additional exposure to loud sounds could also trigger tinnitus to flare up again, effectively resetting the clock.

If tinnitus lingers and is affecting your quality of life, you need to consult a specialist.

Why is Tinnitus Sometimes Permanent?

Tinnitus is normally impermanent. But in some cases it can be irreversible. When the root cause is not mundane that’s especially true When it comes to intensity and origin. Some illustrations are as follows:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Much of the processing of sound occurs in the brain. When those processors begin to misfire, because of traumatic brain trauma, tinnitus can be the outcome.
  • Hearing loss: Tinnitus and hearing loss frequently go together. So you might end up with permanent tinnitus no matter what the cause of your hearing loss.
  • Repeated exposure: After one rock show, your ears will probably ring for a couple of days but repeated exposure will result in far more serious consequences. Frequent exposure to loud sounds can result in irreversible hearing damage, including tinnitus.

Permanent tinnitus is considerably less common than its more short-term counterpart. But permanent or chronic tinnitus still impacts millions of Us citizens every year.

How Can You Get Your Tinnitus to go Away?

You will want to get relief as soon as possible regardless of whether your tinnitus is long term or short term. There isn’t a cure for tinnitus but you can do certain things to lessen the symptoms (however long they may endure):

  • Wear earplugs (or earmuffs): If you cannot steer clear of loud situations, then protecting your hearing is the next best step. (And, really, whether you suffer from tinnitus or not, you should wear hearing protection.)
  • Find a way to cover up the sound: You can in some cases mask the sound and get a good nights sleep by using some source of white noise like a fan or humidifier.
  • Try to keep calm: Maybe it sounds a little… abstract, but staying calm can really help keep your tinnitus in check, mostly because increases in blood flow can stimulate tinnitus flare-ups.
  • Avoid loud noises. Going to another live show, hopping on another airline, or cranking up the volume on your earpods another notch might extend your symptoms or double down on their severity.

Sadly, none of these practices will get rid of long term tinnitus. But it can be equally important to control and minimize your symptoms.

When Will Your Tinnitus Disappear?

In most scenarios, though, your tinnitus will subside without you needing to do anything about it. Just wait the 16-48 hours and your hearing should go back to normal. However, if your tinnitus lingers, you’ll want to seek out a solution. The sooner you find a treatment that works, the sooner you can get relief. Get your hearing tested if you think you have tinnitus or hearing loss.

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