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How Long Can Tinnitus Last? Is It Temporary Or Not?

By James Donovan

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This article was created after thorough research and has been improved with the assistance of AI technology. Furthermore, our dedicated editorial team has meticulously fact-checked and polished its content for accuracy and clarity.

Tinnitus, the perception of sound without an external source, is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Whether it’s a persistent ringing, buzzing, hissing, or other noise in the ears, tinnitus can be a frustrating and sometimes debilitating experience. One of the most common questions people with tinnitus ask is, “How long will this last?”

How Long Does It Take For Tinnitus To Go Away?

Tinnitus is not a disease but rather a symptom of an underlying condition. As such, the duration of tinnitus can vary greatly depending on the root cause. For some, it may be a temporary inconvenience, while for others, it can become a chronic and persistent issue. Understanding the causes and potential duration of tinnitus is essential for seeking appropriate treatment and managing the condition effectively.

How Long Does It Take For Tinnitus To Go Away

Key takeaways:

The duration of tinnitus can vary widely based on its underlying cause and individual factors. While some cases may resolve within weeks, others can persist for months or even become chronic conditions lasting for years.
It’s crucial to seek professional medical advice to identify the root cause of tinnitus and explore appropriate treatment options. This may involve consulting with an audiologist or otolaryngologist to develop a personalized management plan.
Effective management strategies, including sound therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and lifestyle adjustments, can help individuals cope with tinnitus and improve their overall quality of life, even in cases of chronic tinnitus.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), over 25 million adults in the United States have experienced tinnitus lasting at least five minutes in the past year. While tinnitus is not a life-threatening condition, it can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, leading to sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression.

Causes And Symptoms Of Tinnitus

Tinnitus can arise from various underlying causes, including:

Exposure to loud noises, such as those from machinery, music concerts, or firearms, can damage the delicate hair cells in the inner ear, leading to tinnitus.

As we age, the hair cells in the inner ear gradually deteriorate, which can result in tinnitus.

Excessive earwax can obstruct the ear canal and cause tinnitus.

Trauma to the head or neck can affect the inner ear or the auditory pathways, potentially leading to tinnitus.

Tinnitus can be a symptom of conditions such as Meniere’s disease, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and thyroid disorders.

Certain medications, including aspirin, certain antibiotics, and chemotherapy drugs, can cause tinnitus as a side effect.

The symptoms of tinnitus can vary widely among individuals. Some may experience a continuous, high-pitched ringing, while others may hear intermittent buzzing, whistling, or even music-like sounds. The volume and pitch of the perceived sound can also differ, ranging from soft background noises to loud, intrusive sounds.

Related: Can Allergies Cause Tinnitus? Exploring The Link!

Care and Treatment

The treatment approach for tinnitus largely depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. In some cases, addressing the root cause can alleviate or eliminate tinnitus. For instance, removing earwax buildup or treating an underlying medical condition may resolve the issue.

However, in many cases, tinnitus cannot be cured, but it can be managed through various techniques and therapies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends seeking professional help from an audiologist or an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) to explore treatment options.

Common tinnitus management strategies include:

Sound therapy:

Using devices that generate pleasant background noises, such as white noise, can help mask the tinnitus and make it less noticeable.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT):

CBT can help individuals develop coping strategies and change negative thought patterns associated with tinnitus.

Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT):

This technique combines sound therapy with counseling to help the brain habituate to the tinnitus sounds.

Hearing aids:

For individuals with hearing loss, wearing hearing aids can amplify external sounds, making tinnitus less prominent.


Although there are no medications specifically designed to treat tinnitus, certain drugs, such as antidepressants or anxiolytics, may help alleviate the associated stress and anxiety.

    Can Tinnitus Be Prevented?

    While tinnitus cannot always be prevented, there are several steps individuals can take to reduce their risk:

    Protect your ears:

    Wear earplugs or earmuffs when exposed to loud noises, such as at concerts, construction sites, or while operating power tools.

    Practice safe listening habits:

    Keep the volume of personal audio devices at a reasonable level and take regular breaks from prolonged exposure to loud sounds.

    Manage underlying conditions:

    Maintain a healthy lifestyle and seek prompt treatment for medical conditions that may contribute to tinnitus, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or thyroid disorders.

    Avoid ototoxic medications:

    If possible, avoid medications known to be ototoxic (damaging to the inner ear), or consult with a healthcare professional about alternative options.

      As Dr. Jennifer Ganz, an audiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, states, “While tinnitus can be a challenging condition, there are many effective strategies available to help individuals manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life.”

      Related: Can Tinnitus Cause Vertigo? Are They Closely Linked?

      How Long Can Tinnitus Last?

      The duration of tinnitus can vary significantly depending on the underlying cause and the individual’s response to treatment. In some cases, tinnitus can be temporary and may resolve within a few days or weeks. This is often the case when tinnitus is caused by a temporary condition, such as an ear infection or exposure to a loud noise.

      According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), most cases of tinnitus resolve within three months, especially when the cause is identified and treated promptly. However, for others, tinnitus can become a chronic condition, lasting for months or even years.

      Chronic tinnitus, defined as tinnitus lasting six months or longer, can be challenging to manage. In such cases, the goal of treatment is to reduce the impact of tinnitus on daily life and promote habituation, which is the brain’s ability to adapt and filter out perceived sounds.

      Dr. Michael D. Seidman, an otolaryngologist at the Henry Ford Health System, emphasizes, “Tinnitus can be a very frustrating and debilitating condition, but with the right combination of therapies and a strong support system, many individuals can learn to manage their symptoms and regain control over their lives.”


      Tinnitus is a complex condition with varying durations, depending on the underlying cause and individual factors. While some cases may resolve on their own within a few weeks, others can persist for months or even years, becoming a chronic condition.

      It is essential to seek professional medical advice to identify and address the root cause of tinnitus. With proper treatment and management strategies, individuals can often find relief or learn to cope more effectively with their tinnitus symptoms.

      By understanding the potential duration of tinnitus and seeking appropriate care, individuals can take proactive steps towards improving their overall quality of life and minimizing the impact of this condition.


      1. How long is too long for tinnitus?

      There is no definitive timeline for when tinnitus becomes “too long.” However, if tinnitus persists for more than six months, it is considered chronic and may require ongoing management and treatment.

      2. How do you know if your tinnitus is permanent?

      Tinnitus is often considered permanent if it persists for more than six months and an underlying cause cannot be identified or treated. However, even in cases of permanent tinnitus, effective management strategies can help alleviate the symptoms and improve quality of life.

      3. Can tinnitus go away on its own?

      In some cases, tinnitus can resolve on its own, especially if it is caused by a temporary condition such as an ear infection or exposure to loud noise. However, if tinnitus persists for more than a few weeks, it is advisable to seek medical attention to identify and address the underlying cause.

      4. When should I be worried about tinnitus?

      You should seek medical attention for tinnitus if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as hearing loss, vertigo, or pain. Additionally, if tinnitus is persistent, impacts your quality of life, or interferes with your daily activities, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and treatment.

      5. What is the simple trick to stop tinnitus?

      Unfortunately, there is no simple trick or quick fix to stop tinnitus. However, various management strategies, such as sound therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and lifestyle modifications, can help reduce the impact of tinnitus and promote habituation to the perceived sounds.


      James Donovan

      Dr. James Donovan, MD, is an esteemed otolaryngologist renowned for his exceptional expertise in ear, nose, and throat (ENT) health. With a profound dedication to advancing medical knowledge and improving patient outcomes, Dr. Donovan has emerged as a leading authority in the field.

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