While there is no definitive answer to this question, the duration of this symptom depends on its cause and severity. For example, noise-induced tinnitus could be temporary or occasional, whereas, if there is more severe damage over time to the hearing system, tinnitus could be more of a permanent symptom.
Is Tinnitus Permanent or Temporary?
If tinnitus is the result of a one-off exposure to loud noise like a concert, or an extension of an allergic reaction, its typically temporary. It usually will subside within a few hours or a few days; or once the hearing system has recovered or the allergic reaction is addressed. This said, if you experience ongoing exposure to noise or have an underlying medical condition that can cause this symptom, it may, in these cases, be permanent.
As per Statistics Canada, four out of every ten adult Canadians experience some degree of tinnitus, yet most people do not actually report it to their healthcare providers. Ultimately, there’s a number of reasons why tinnitus may occur.
Noise-induced: Have a slight ringing in the ears after attending a loud concert? Chances are, this is only temporary. Since the recovery time varies per person, it may take anywhere between a few hours to a few days for the symptoms to disappear. For sensitive ears, tinnitus from a noisy event may sometimes become permanent too.
Ear-wax related: Has excessive ear wax buildup led to your symptom? To have it removed, visit a qualified Professional. Avoid digging your ears with cotton swabs, as incorrect usage could worsen the blockage and worsen this issue.
Medical conditions: Did you recently indulge in physical workouts beyond your fitness levels? When was the last time you went for a complete medical examination? Certain strenuous exercises, blood pressure issues, or cardiovascular diseases could result in tinnitus. Typically, it goes away once you get the underlying condition treated.
Medications and allergies: High doses of certain medications can cause temporary tinnitus. These are called ototoxic medications. Usually, your symptoms will vanish as soon as you stop taking the drug. Similarly, any allergies that impact your ear and cause swelling, itching or ear pain, may also bring on temporary symptoms, which lasts the duration of your allergic reaction.
Prolonged or consistent exposure to a noisy environment could damage or kill the delicate hair cells in your inner ear. This could trigger long-term, or permanent tinnitus. At times, the root cause may be unrelated to your ears. Certain neurological diseases, head and neck injuries, or blood vessel disorders could also impact your inner ear, leading to this symptom.
Can Tinnitus Go Away by Itself?
In some cases, tinnitus may dissipate on its own, regardless of the cause. For others, it may be long-term or permanent, especially if auditory damage is one of the causes for your condition. Unfortunately, without proper diagnosis, it is difficult to predict how long your symptoms will last. Consulting an Audiologist will help you find the right rehabilitation protocol to resolve or help manage this issue.
Whether your tinnitus symptoms are present at all times, or come and go occasionally, it is not easy to perform your routine activities amidst the distraction of the phantom sounds in your ears. Moreover, keep in mind that tinnitus by itself is a symptom and not a condition. Hence, it may not help to wait for weeks or months in the hopes that it will go away by itself. If your symptoms last more than a couple of weeks, they may start impacting your quality of life. Visit an Audiologist to get clarity on the root cause of your tinnitus.
What is the Most Effective Treatment for Tinnitus?
The most effective way to treat this symptom is to understand its cause. If it is stemming from a physical nature, you may need to consult with rehabilitation professionals like Physiotherapists or Acupuncturists, who may be able manage the source of the problem. If it is from an acoustic nature, hearing aids can typically help to manage this issue. No matter what brought on your tinnitus, there is no known magical cure to stop the perceived, ‘source-less’ noise in your ears. That said, using a holistic approach to analyze your situation and using modern Audiology tools and solutions, are your best chances at helping you manage your symptoms without letting it come in the way of your personal or professional lifestyle.
The first step to resolve your tinnitus is to get a proper diagnosis of the root cause.
- If an underlying medical problem has led to tinnitus, treating that issue may help you get relief from the noise in your ears.
- If the tinnitus is chronic, your Audiologist may recommend fitting you with appropriate tinnitus management hearing aids. These may include sound masking as well as tinnitus retraining therapy. The device can:
- Generate a noise that masks or minimizes the phantom sounds in your ears.
- Produce customizable, low-level sounds that soothe your mind, and help you refocus on the tasks at hand, despite the tinnitus symptoms.
- Essentially, hearing aids are meant to help distract your brain from listening and paying attention to the ringing noise itself.
Your individual mindset and how you approach your tinnitus will also play a critical role in the success of your treatment. Sometimes, consulting with a Professional Counsellor or Therapist may also be helpful to learn to manage your symptoms better, in order to live a healthy lifestyle.
Don’t Let Tinnitus Take Over Your Life
Whistling, buzzing, humming, hissing or ringing – no matter what type of static sounds or high pitch tones you hear, if others around you do not hear them, you are experiencing tinnitus. Instead of worrying about how long your symptoms will last, or whether it will go away on its own, seek timely assistance from a qualified and experienced Audiologist at Echo Audiology. We use a holistic medical approach and counselling, as well as have access to a range of technologically advanced hearing solutions should this be needed to effectively manage your tinnitus. Our supportive environment and patient focused approach will empower you in managing this issue without allowing it to take over or impede on your lifestyle.
Get the right diagnosis and tools for managing and treating tinnitus. Call 613-841-3033 to book a Tinnitus Consultation at Echo Audiology, your local, independent and trusted Orléans Audiology Clinic. You can also contact us online.