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

You may have a typical reaction when you first hear that ringing in your ears: pretend that it’s no big deal. You continue your normal routines: you do your grocery shopping, you cook dinner, you attempt to have a conversation with your partner. All the while, you’re trying to push that ringing in your ear out of your mind. Because there is one thing you feel certain about: your tinnitus will go away on its own.

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

You aren’t the only person to ever find yourself in this situation. Tinnitus can be a challenging little condition, at times it will recede by itself and sometimes, it will stay for a long time to come.

When Tinnitus is Likely to Disappear on Its Own

Tinnitus is incredibly common everywhere, virtually everybody’s had a bout every now and then. In almost all cases, tinnitus is essentially temporary and will ultimately vanish on it’s own. The most common example is the rock concert: you go to your local arena to see your favorite band and you discover, when you get back home, that there is a ringing in your ears.

Within a couple of days the type of tinnitus associated with injury from loud noise will commonly disappear (but you accept that it’s simply part of going to a loud performance).

Naturally, it’s exactly this kind of noise damage that, over time, can cause loss of hearing to move from temporary (or acute, as they say) to chronic. Too many of those kinds of concerts and you might wind up with permanent tinnitus.

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

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

Something like 5-15% of individuals around the world have documented indications of chronic tinnitus. The precise causes of tinnitus are still not very well understood even though there are some known associations (such as hearing loss).

When the causes of your tinnitus aren’t clear, it often means that a quick “cure” will be unidentifiable. If your ears have been buzzing for more than three months and there’s no identifiable cause, there’s a strong chance that the sound will not disappear by itself. In those situations, there are treatment possibilities available (such as cognitive behavioral therapy or noise-canceling devices) that can help you manage symptoms and maintain your quality of life.

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

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

Here are some likely causes of acute tinnitus:

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

So…Will The Buzzing in My Ears Subside?

The truth is that in most cases, yes, your tinnitus will recede by itself. But it becomes increasingly more likely that you’re experiencing chronic tinnitus the longer these tinnitus sounds linger.

You can convince yourself that everything is fine and hope that the ringing will just go away. But there could come a point where your tinnitus starts to become uncomfortable, where it’s difficult to concentrate because the sound is too distracting. And in those cases, you might want a treatment strategy more comprehensive than crossing your fingers.

In most instances, however, in fact, throughout most of your life, your tinnitus will often subside by itself, a typical reaction to a noisy environment (and your body’s means of letting you know to avoid that environment in the future). Only time will tell if your tinnitus is acute or chronic.