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man holding onto his ear

How Long Does Tinnitus Last?

Have you ever experienced a persistent ringing, buzzing or hissing sound in your ears that just won’t go away? If so, you might be dealing with tinnitus. You’re not alone. Research indicates that approximately 15% of the global population experiences tinnitus, encompassing over 50 million individuals in the United States alone. While tinnitus can affect anyone, it tends to be more prevalent among individuals aged 40 to 80.

Dealing with the different durations of tinnitus, whether it’s a brief annoyance or a long-lasting challenge, can be quite bothersome. It’s crucial to understand how hearing aids can bring relief and to highlight the importance of having a hearing test to figure out the root cause. Keep reading to learn more about how long tinnitus lasts and effective ways to cope with it.

Causes and Indications of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a prevalent condition that varies from mild to severe, with some individuals experiencing occasional episodes and others facing constant symptoms.

Although it can stem from various factors, the primary culprits are often exposure to loud noise, age-related hearing loss and ear infections. In many instances, pinpointing the exact underlying cause remains challenging.

Additionally, tinnitus can serve as an indicator of certain medical conditions, including Meniere’s disease, middle ear fluid or a vestibular neuroma.

Tinnitus manifests in diverse forms, with some common symptoms including:

  • Ringing in the ears.
  • Buzzing or whooshing sounds.
  • Humming sounds.
  • Clicking noises.
  • High-pitched ringing, roaring or whistling sounds, audible only in quiet environments.
  • Pulsatile tinnitus – a rhythmic noise resembling a heartbeat, heard in one or both ears.

How Long Does Tinnitus Last?

Determining the duration of tinnitus can be challenging since it varies based on the individual and its underlying cause. Tinnitus is frequently temporary, resolving on its own, but for some, it can persist for years or become a permanent condition.

The duration of tinnitus symptoms hinges on whether it resulted from a one-time occurrence or repeated exposure to loud noises over an extended period.

  • If you were suddenly exposed to a very loud noise causing a ringing sensation in your ears, the sound may naturally fade within a few days or weeks.
  • If you’ve been consistently exposed to loud sounds over time, such as in a construction work setting, the ringing may persist beyond the initial period and develop into chronic tinnitus.

Chronic tinnitus, lasting for more than six months, has the potential to endure for years or even a lifetime. Nevertheless, with appropriate treatment, the impact of tinnitus symptoms can be effectively managed, leading to an improvement in the quality of your life.

Can Tinnitus Go Away On Its Own?

In many cases, tinnitus cannot be cured (although instances where tinnitus results from ototoxic medications might see improvement after discontinuing the medication). While tinnitus itself may not have a cure, it is manageable through counseling and the application of technology.

How Do I Know If Tinnitus Is Permanent?

Recognizing that not every form of tinnitus lasts forever is vital. Initially, tinnitus may be temporary, but without proper management, it could potentially evolve into a permanent condition. Several factors influence whether tinnitus is temporary or not. Let’s explore the three factors below.


The primary consideration is identifying the cause of your tinnitus. Loud noises are a common cause, potentially leading to permanent damage if exposure is prolonged. Protecting your ears with devices is crucial, especially in noisy work environments where employers should provide appropriate hearing protection.

Alternatively, a blockage in the ear, such as earwax or a growth, typically indicates temporary tinnitus. Cleaning the ears or surgical removal of the blockage can often resolve the issue. In some cases, tinnitus may be neurological, but once the root cause is addressed, symptoms usually dissipate.


The duration of tinnitus plays a crucial role in determining whether it is a temporary or permanent condition. In general, the longer tinnitus persists, the higher the likelihood it becomes permanent.

If you encounter tinnitus for short durations, perhaps only a few minutes each time, there’s a good chance it will diminish over time. However, if it persists for months or even years, the likelihood of it being a permanent condition increases.

The permanence also hinges on the underlying cause. Tinnitus might be due to an undiagnosed growth or blockage in your ear, making it potentially temporary.


The sound associated with tinnitus can offer insights into its temporary or permanent nature. If the noise is audible to others, especially when using listening devices, it may suggest a temporary condition. Conversely, if only you can hear the noise, the likelihood of permanence increases.

Considering the volume of the noise is also important; permanent cases of tinnitus often involve louder sounds that gradually intensify over time.

How Long Does Noise-Induced Tinnitus Last?

Tinnitus might diminish over time, yet it can persist intermittently or consistently throughout an individual’s life, affecting one or both ears. Temporary hearing loss, triggered by exposure to sudden or continuous loud noises, may resolve within 16 to 48 hours. However, recent studies indicate that even when the apparent hearing loss fades, there could be lasting damage to your auditory abilities.

Your Journey Toward Relief Starts Here!

Whether your experience with tinnitus is temporary or ongoing, it can profoundly impact your overall quality of life. Understanding the duration of your specific tinnitus and taking the necessary steps to find suitable solutions are crucial for effective management, therefore, taking action is key.

Remember, your journey towards relief begins with a simple step — book a hearing assessment with your local Beltone. Don’t allow tinnitus to hold you back; regain control of your auditory well-being today.

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