McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

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 hear that ringing in your ears: pretend everything’s ok. You continue your normal habits: you have a conversation with family, go to the store, and prepare lunch. While you simultaneously try your best to dismiss that ringing. Because you feel sure of one thing: your tinnitus will go away by itself.

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

This situation happens to other people as well. sometimes tinnitus will go away by itself, and at other times it will linger on and that’s why it’s a challenging little disorder.

When Tinnitus is Likely to Go Away by Itself

Around the world, nearly everyone has had a bout of tinnitus because it’s very common. In almost all situations, tinnitus is essentially temporary and will ultimately vanish on it’s own. A rock concert is an excellent illustration: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local stadium (it’s a good show) and when you get home, you discover that your ears are ringing.

The kind of tinnitus that is linked to temporary damage from loud noise will normally subside within a few days (and you chalk it up to the price of seeing your favorite band play live).

Eventually loss of hearing can develop from temporary or “acute” to permanent or “chronic” because of this exact type of injury. One concert too many and you might be waiting quite a while for your tinnitus to recede on its own.

When Tinnitus Doesn’t Seem to be Going Away on its own

If your tinnitus doesn’t subside (with help or on its own) within the period of three months or so, the disorder is then categorized as chronic tinnitus (this does not, by the way, mean that you should wait three months to talk to a specialist about lingering ringing, buzzing, or thumping in your ears).

Something like 5-15% of people globally have recorded symptoms of chronic tinnitus. The precise causes of tinnitus are still not very well understood although there are some known associations (such as loss of hearing).

When the triggers of your tinnitus aren’t clear, it normally means that a fast “cure” will be evasive. There is a strong chance that your tinnitus won’t recede on its own if you have been hearing the ringing for over three months. In those cases, there are treatment options available (like cognitive behavioral therapy or noise-canceling devices) that can help you manage symptoms and maintain your quality of life.

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

When you can determine the underlying cause of your tinnitus, dealing with the condition quickly becomes much easier. For instance, if your tinnitus is created by a stubborn, bacterial ear infection, treatment with an antibiotic will usually solve both problems, resulting in a healthy ear and crystal-clear hearing.

Some causes of acute tinnitus may consist of:

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

So…Will The Buzzing in My Ears Stop?

Generally speaking, your tinnitus will go away by itself. But it becomes significantly more likely that you’re coping with chronic tinnitus the longer these tinnitus sounds last.

You think that if you just disregard it should disappear by itself. But eventually, your tinnitus might become uncomfortable and it may become tough to concentrate on anything else. And in those instances, you may want a treatment strategy more thorough than crossing your fingers.

Most of the time tinnitus is just the body’s reaction to loud noise that may be damaging over time and will recede on its own. Only time will tell if your tinnitus is acute or chronic.