Have your ears started to ring recently? Why did it start? Was it after you attended a loud concert or went to a very noisy club with blaring music, while you stood in front of a wall of speakers? Or, did it come on after you went on a new medication? In some cases, Tinnitus can also come after an ear infection or even a very bad sinus allergy.
Regardless of how it came on, you probably have only one question on your mind right now, which is probably is Tinnitus permanent, and we have the answers for you.
How permanent is your Tinnitus? It depends on what caused it!
Loud noise – Anything over 75 dB is loud. Even a noisy washing machine in your home can reach those levels. Prolonged exposure to such sounds can cause damage to hair like cells in your inner ear. These hair-like cells are what convert mechanical sound waves into electrical sounds. When they are subject to very loud noise, they begin to die. When they begin to die, your brain receives less and less auditory signals. Then, your brain tries to compensate for this lack of auditory signals by firing neurons on its own, mimicking the usual supply of auditory inputs. These are the sounds you then hear as ringing, hissing, clicking or even whooshing in some cases. If your Tinnitus is caused by loud noise, it will go away in 24 hours or probably 48 hours if it is temporary in nature. The longer it stays on after 48 hours, the more likely your Tinnitus is going to be medium-term or long-term in nature. But, there are exceptions where someone’s ears have rung for a full two weeks after loud noise exposure, only to suddenly stop. But, it would be safe to say that Tinnitus that lasts beyond 3 weeks after loud noise exposure is probably long term or chronic in nature.
Ear or sinus infections – Bad ear or sinus infections can affect your hearing. This is why things sound muffled when you have a bad head cold. It happens because the pressure in your ears are not equalized like they normally should be. This pressure equalization doesn’t happen because a small narrow tube between your nose and your ears is clogged because of your sinus or ear infection. Air and pressure is then not regulated properly, leading to problems like muffled hearing, vertigo and even dizziness in some cases. After an ear or sinus infection, your Tinnitus will go away in a few days after the infection subsides.In some rare instances, people don’t get Tinnitus when they have an ear or sinus infection. It comes on after said infection has subsided or resolved. In such cases, Tinnitus is usually more permanent in nature.