Nearly 50 million Americans experience tinnitus, and around one-fifth of these have what is known as chronic tinnitus. Anyone who experiences tinnitus in any form will ask their audiologist whether tinnitus is a permanent condition, or can it go away in time. Here, we will endeavor to provide background on tinnitus, what it is, what can cause it, and how to treat it, as well as explain whether or not it is a permanent condition. 

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is where people experience a sound in their ear without this sound having a natural source. While we can, typically, identify noises, such as ambient noises from traffic, the wind, and nearby music, tinnitus occurs without any real source. 

Those who experience tinnitus describe the noise as a ringing, hissing, roaring, buzzing, or whooshing sound in one or both of their ears. When experiencing tinnitus, it can be a consistent sound, or it can happen intermittently. 

Causes of tinnitus

The exact cause of tinnitus is difficult to identify as there are so many factors that can contribute to it. Despite this, some instances can accelerate and exacerbate the onset of tinnitus. These include: 

  • Hearing loss
  • Consistent exposure to loud noise
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Ear infections
  • Earwax buildup
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Glue ear
  • Otosclerosis
  • Perforated eardrum

Other causes that are not as common include head injuries, changes in blood flow, such as anemia or high blood pressure, side effects or reactions to medication, acoustic neuroma, thyroid disorders or diabetes. 

How to recognize signs of tinnitus

If you catch instances of tinnitus early, you significantly increase your chances of reducing its effects on your daily life. It's useful to understand the common symptoms of tinnitus. These are: 

  • Ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, hissing or whooshing noises without a locatable source
  • Experiencing these sounds frequently or all of the time
  • Encounter adverse effects as a result of these sounds

You should also consider the cause of such noises. Exposure to loud noises one night could cause mild tinnitus that will likely go away by the end of the day. However, if you have not been somewhere where these causes are prevalent, such as a music concert or construction site, then it is a sign of tinnitus. 

Is tinnitus permanent?

Tinnitus is not a permanent condition, and in many cases, it will go away entirely by itself. For most people, tinnitus will disappear after a few weeks, or even a few days depending on the possible causes behind it.

However, while tinnitus can go away on its own, and this is the experience that many people can attest to, you should not merely wait around for the tinnitus to stop. Indeed, if you continue to experience the signs and symptoms of tinnitus for an extended period, such as more than a few weeks or months, then you must consult an audiologist. 

Finding help as soon as possible once you recognize that you may experience tinnitus will give you a better chance of reducing further problems. You should also seek assistance from an audiologist if you find your tinnitus gets louder. 

While tinnitus will go away for most, it does not for everybody. Typically, this is a result of more severe issues, such as hearing loss from consistent loud noise exposure. 

How to treat tinnitus

Even though most instances of mild tinnitus will dissipate by itself relatively quickly, continued experience of tinnitus is a sign of more severe hearing loss problems. To treat tinnitus, schedule a consultation with an audiologist. From here, they can determine whether you are experiencing tinnitus and offer advice on the next steps to take.

You can also make arrangements to prevent tinnitus from becoming more pronounced. This can include reducing exposure to loud noises. Also, be sure to clean out your ears, take medication to cure ear infections and using relaxation methods to ease stress and anxiety. 

While over-the-counter treatments are available in the form of herbal remedies, these are not approved treatments for tinnitus, so it is not advised to use them. 

Get in touch today

If you or somebody you know experiences any of the symptoms of tinnitus or hearing loss, speaking with your audiologist about having a hearing aid fitted could be the solution. To learn more about Hinderliter Hearing Services, get in touch today at (248) 430-7353 and speak to a qualified audiologist for advice and guidance.