Are you hearing a ringing, buzzing, or clicking sound in your ear? Odds are you’re experiencing tinnitus. If so, you’re not alone. 15- 20% of people will experience tinnitus at some point in their lives.1
Tinnitus can interrupt your daily life and make concentrating on anything else a challenge. It can make working and sleeping feel like impossible tasks.
If you’re suffering from this irritating condition, you may be wondering, “Is tinnitus permanent?”
The good news is that some cases of tinnitus will resolve over time. And those that don’t can be managed.
Our experts at Holland Hearing Center have been trusted by thousands of local people in Abilene. Our passion is helping people like you overcome troubling tinnitus.
We’ll diagnose your case and provide proven, effective treatment options to help you alleviate the unpleasant symptoms of tinnitus.
How Long Does Tinnitus Last?
How long tinnitus lasts depends on the underlying issue causing it. Common causes of tinnitus are:
- Ear infection
- Ear canal blockage
- Loud noises
- Certain medications
- Certain health conditions
Tinnitus is often temporary. If your ears are ringing after one loud rock concert, you likely don’t have much to worry about.
If your symptoms are caused by medications, they’ll typically resolve once you stop taking the medication.
If tinnitus is brought on by a cold, flu, or sinus infection, it usually resolves in about a week. If not, you should consult your doctor.
If the cause of your tinnitus is built-up earwax, your hearing may return to normal when the blockage is removed. But leave this to the professionals—don’t go digging around with a cotton swab.
In some cases, tinnitus can last months or even years. Without a proper diagnosis, it’s tough to determine how long your individual case of tinnitus will last.
What Causes Permanent Tinnitus?
Although tinnitus often goes away with time, the condition can be permanent. Permanent tinnitus is often caused by:
Prolonged exposure to loud noises: Over time, repeated exposure to loud noises can cause hearing damage. It’s not uncommon for musicians or construction workers to experience permanent tinnitus.
Hearing loss due to aging: You can experience tinnitus at any age, but it becomes more common as you get older. As you age, your ears experience wear and tear, which can lead to hearing loss.
Tinnitus commonly accompanies age-related hearing loss. If you are experiencing hearing loss due to aging, it’s important to talk to your doctor so they can address the problem right away.
Head injuries: A concussion or traumatic injury to the brain can trigger tinnitus. How long tinnitus lasts and whether or not the condition is permanent depends on the severity of the injury.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Tinnitus?
Prevention is key. Always protect your ears from loud noises, especially above the 85-decibel limit.
If you’re a regular concertgoer, invest in a pair of earplugs that will block out the damaging decibels while still allowing you to enjoy the music.
If you work in an industry that requires you to be around loud sounds on a regular basis, quality over-the-ear headphones offer great protection against hearing damage and permanent tinnitus.
And when you’re listening to music with headphones, consider turning down the volume.
Sometimes, exposure to loud noises can’t be prevented. If you find yourself suffering from ringing in your ears, there are many ways to make your situation more bearable.
How Can You Find Relief From Tinnitus?
This may be easier said than done—but try not to focus on your tinnitus. Concentrating on the ringing in your ears can stress you out, and stress can lead to a number of unwanted side effects.
Instead, try to take deep breaths and relax. Loud noises can make your condition worse, so try to avoid them.
Yoga and meditation can be powerful in helping you cope with tinnitus symptoms. A white noise machine can distract you and help you sleep at night.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) can help you learn to manage your symptoms. Many online groups and forums offer support.
Stay positive—though tinnitus can be frustrating and difficult to deal with, many treatment options can help relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Research – as a hearing care clinic, we understand the significant impact tinnitus can have on a person’s life, and we strive to provide our patients with comprehensive care to manage their condition effectively. In our efforts to assist our patients, we highly recommend the American Tinnitus Association (ATA) as an excellent resource for tinnitus relief, prevention, and research.
When Should You See an Audiologist?
There’s no cure for tinnitus since it’s not an illness—it’s a symptom of an underlying health issue.
If you’re experiencing ringing in your ears that’s not going away, you should book a visit with your audiologist.
Our award-winning doctors of audiology at Holland Hearing Center are trusted by thousands of local people. We’ll work with you to identify the underlying cause of your tinnitus and recommend the best treatment for your individual case.