Tinnitus is a known ear problem that affects almost a quarter of the population but the question Is Tinnitus Permanent or temporary? Having this condition may affect your daily activities hugely.
Some people find it hard to sleep or concentrate on their jobs while others often have difficulties engaging in conversations. Tinnitus can be either temporary or permanent, all these depending on the cause and extent of exposure.
How to know if tinnitus is permanent or temporary?
Temporary tinnitus can be caused by a one-time exposure to loud noise like a gunshot or attending a rock concert. This will always fade away quickly in a matter of hours or days.
Permanent tinnitus is caused by continued exposure to loud noise or having a medical condition that leads to the onset of these symptoms. Medical conditions such as Meniere’s disease is a known cause of tinnitus. Research indicates that tinnitus affects nearly 15% of the general population in the USA.
Causes of Tinnitus
Several diverse things can cause tinnitus. Though the condition might go away, it is always safe to consult a doctor to determine the level of damage it might cause or to get treatment to ease the symptoms. Here are some of the most common causes of this condition:
- Perforated eardrum
A perforated eardrum can cause tinnitus. Your eardrum can be perforated in many ways such as exposure to loud noise, ear infections, and a change in air pressure which could result from flying or driving at high speeds.
If you feel like the eardrums have been damaged such that you keep hearing buzzing or hissing sounds, you need to consult a doctor. When the eardrum has fully recovered, you will feel less of the buzzing sounds.
- Too much earwax
Earwax is another cause of tinnitus. Excess earwax blocks sound waves from traveling to the inner ear hence your brain does not get enough stimulation.
Hence, it will create its sounds to try to fill the void created. So, your overall ear cleanliness is important to ensure sound signals travel smoothly to your inner ear. Always strive to spend time cleaning your ears regularly to prevent wax build-up. Additionally, you can see a professional to help you get rid of the excess wax in your ears.
- Ear infection
Having an ear infection can cause tinnitus. The condition can be temporary but you should seek the help of a physician to get treatment.
The buzzing fades away as soon as the ear infection is treated. Besides, a condition such as Meniere’s disease causes irreversible tinnitus. Though the condition is permanent, there are hearing aids fitted with the latest technology to help reduce the noises and help you relax.
- Loud noise
Loud noise is the most common cause of temporary tinnitus. Do you love listening to loud music via your earphones? How were your ears after you attended that rock concert last summer? Continued exposure to loud noise causes damage to the hair cells in your ears. These hairs are responsible for trapping sound signals, so when they are destroyed tinnitus sets in. Though it is a temporary condition, prolonged exposure might make the situation permanent.
- High blood pressure
Underlying medical conditions (1) like high blood pressure can cause tinnitus. When the body is stressed and anxious, your heartbeat increases and the blood pressure rises resulting in tinnitus. Getting the services of a doctor helps treat the condition, and tinnitus goes away once your blood pressure and heartbeat return to normal.
- Ototoxic medication
Tinnitus could also be a result of high doses of the medicine you are taking. Immediately you finish or stop taking the medication tinnitus also fades away.
Constant exposure to loud noise in concerts, via your headphones, or factory environment kills the hair cells in your ear. Thus, tinnitus could turn from temporary to permanent depending on the extent of damage caused to the inner ear. Furthermore, head injuries, neurological disorders, or blood vessels block could affect your inner ear causing you to feel source-less sounds in your ears.
When is tinnitus considered permanent?
Well, at times tinnitus fades away quickly. But to others, the condition may take a long time or become permanent. Only a doctor will be able to diagnose the problem and predict the length of the symptoms.
So, once you feel like you are having these symptoms, you should seek the help of an audiologist to help you solve the problem. There is no cure for tinnitus yet, so the best way to get treatment is to understand its root cause.
If wax build-up, perforated eardrums, or an ear infection causes tinnitus, it is only temporary. It will eventually fade away within a matter of days, but you need to get treatment in the form of antibiotics or having the excess wax removed.
If you have an underlying medical condition such as high blood pressure, you need to seek treatment to resolve the problem. Thus, tinnitus will also fade away after treatment is administered.
Furthermore, hearing loss or prolonged exposure to loud noise could damage your inner ears severely causing a long-term problem or worse a permanent condition.
In such cases, manufacturers have come up with hearing aids to help distract your brain from unclear noises. These hearing devices mask the ringing or buzzing sounds. Additionally, some hearing aids produce white noise that help you keep calm and focus on what you are doing.
Tinnitus can be either a temporary or a permanent condition. Understanding the root cause could help you find a better treatment approach. To prevent your condition from becoming permanent, you need to avoid noisy environments. If they cannot be avoided then wearing hearing protection is your only option.