Still Have Tinnitus After 48 Hours?

It’s Better to Get Help Sooner Than Later

One of the most difficult periods of living with tinnitus is the first few days and weeks after it begins. Either gradually or suddenly, you realize that you are hearing a sound no one else around you is hearing. At first, in addition to the sound causing distress, one might wonder about other factors, such as why, what, and how long. The thoughts that follow have a lot to do with how we perceive our tinnitus and how it affects us. What is this sound? Where does it come from? Am I going crazy? Do I have a tumor? These are all perfectly normal questions that come to mind when we first perceive an internal sound (for the record, the latter two are hardly ever the case).

In some cases, taking the proper first steps can make a significant difference in how you react to the new sound or sounds. In some cases, you might even find that it is not tinnitus. Even if you have had tinnitus for a long time, it may be worthwhile investigating different management strategies to help you cope with tinnitus. This page describes many of the conditions that can lead to tinnitus and hearing internal sounds and what you can do to get help.

It is not possible to account for every possible cause of tinnitus, as any disruption to the auditory nervous system has the potential to cause tinnitus and many conditions may cause somatosounds. However, these are the most common causes and effects of tinnitus and the healthcare providers who can help you with them. Addressing tinnitus immediately after it begins is one of the best ways to ensure that it does not become highly bothersome. But even if it does, help is available to reduce its negative impact.

John A. Coverstone, AuD, is the president and CEO of Sentient Healthcare, an audiology consulting company and parent company of Audiology Ear Care clinic in New Brighton, Minnesota, where he provides clinical and educational audiology services. Dr. Coverstone received bachelor degrees in speech communication and in speech and hearing science from Portland State University, a master’s degree from Portland State University, and an audiology degree from PCO School of Audiology (now Salus University). He previously worked in hearing instruments and medical equipment manufacturing.

Dr. Coverstone is a regular contributor to Tinnitus Today and a former columnist and occasional contributor to Advance for Audiologists, Feedback (former ADA member publication), and Audiology Today. He is the cohost of AudiologyTalk, a monthly podcast for audiologists available at, and of Conversations in Tinnitus, the official podcast for the American Tinnitus Association.