Tinnitus is a hearing condition caused by exposure to noise at high decibel levels. It can be long term or short term. Short term tinnitus will typically fade in 16-48 hours, long term tinnitus may never fade and will require a hearing device to reduce any discomfort. 

In the inner ear there are tiny hair cells on the cochlea – a snail shaped structure in the inner ear. When sound enters the ear these tiny hairs move and send a signal to the brain. The brain interprets them as sound. As you age these hair cells become damaged and send faulty signals to the brain causing tinnitus. 

How long does tinnitus last?

There is no reliable formulary for how long tinnitus will last. It can last for a short time following exposure to a loud noise at a rock concert or an airport. In some cases, it will resolve in up to two weeks. 

If you have long term tinnitus you probably have a low ringing in your ear continuously, this could be loud and invasive, or quiet and unnoticeable unless you pay attention. Long term tinnitus is caused by frequent exposure to high decibel noise, it won't go away on its own. 

Can mild tinnitus go away?

In most cases tinnitus is mild and temporary, it is the result of exposure to loud noises such as power tools, music, aircraft, and lawnmowers. These devices and engines produce decibel levels well over the recommended 75-80 decibel levels. This type of mild tinnitus should fade in a few days. 

Mild tinnitus that results from temporary exposure to high decibel noise should disappear on its own quickly, but mild tinnitus that develops later in life and is caused by long term exposure to noise will not fade on its own. To resolve this issue, you will have to visit an audiologist for a consultation. 

Is tinnitus temporary or permanent?

Tinnitus is caused by noise that affects the delicate hair cells on the cochlea of the inner ear. These hairs cannot be repaired or replaced so once they are damaged your hearing may be affected long term. The hair cells can be damaged after a noisy event or over a longer period. 

Temporary tinnitus is usually short term, the hair cells have been affected by the decibel levels but they are not broken or damaged. The brain simply interprets the signals differently for a short period. With permanent tinnitus, these hair cells are broken making the condition permanent. 

Can tinnitus go away after six months? 

Although the tiny hair cells of the cochlea do not grow back or repair themselves following a trauma, they can bounce back from a setback and restore your normal hearing after a period of weeks or months. 

If you have been exposed to high decibel levels and you experience tinnitus as a result this effect will likely disappear in days or weeks. The upper limit of temporary tinnitus is six to 12 months after which time your hearing should have returned to normal.