> Tinnitus Treatments

Tinnitus Treatments
Natural Remedies


Tinnitus treatments: Learn about sound therapy, vibration, masking, retraining, supplements and natural home remedies for tinnitus relief.

Are your ears ringing? Do you have a humming or buzzing in your ears? Or does it seem like a pulsing (Pulsatile Tinnitus)? Discover a variety of tinnitus remedies from alternative medicine and from Medical Doctors.  

Sound therapy for tinnitus relief

Sound Cure Serenade®

The Sound Cure Serenade® system involves a handheld device to generate a customizable acoustic treatment that may address the underlying neurological cause of tinnitus. It includes SleepAssist technology, for relief while sleeping. This system is prescribed and customized by your hearing care provider. For more details on this tinnitus treatment, see here:

Also see this Google search on "patterned sound therapy for the treatment of tinnitus."

Tinnitus Pro Music Therapy

Tinnitus Pro Music Therapy aims to reduce the loudness of tinnitus through listening to individually tailored music. The app identifies a one-octave band around the patient’s tinnitus frequency and removes this swath of frequencies from the music's energy spectrum. In time, tinnitus sufferers should experience a significant reduction in the loudness of their tinnitus. See more details on this tinnitus treatment here:

Sound Therapy Perth

An Australian company has a tinnitus sound therapy product, "a powerful therapeutic program for the ear and brain" for $499 Australian dollars. There is no guarantee. They provide extensive data and testimonials.


Before reading any further,
see our medical disclaimer.


Tinnitus maskers

White noise for tinnitus masking

For ringing in the ears or other repetitive sounds, humming, buzzing, etc., tinnitus masking may help. Masking devices generate low-level white noise that can reduce the perception of tinnitus.

If you shop for a tinnitus white noise machine, be sure to get a good one. The sounds from many of the cheaper digital machines are annoying. Get a good one from Sharper Image, or you can get a mechanical one, like mine, a Marpac. It has only one noise, like heavy wind, with volume that is somewhat adjustable. Search on “Marpac sound.”

The digital tinnitus maskers can produce all kinds of sounds--waterfall, rain, birds, railroad train, etc., and the volume is totally adjustable. I also have a Sharper Image machine, and I like "Yosemite Waterfall."

Get the app!

Easier yet, and free, you can download white noise to your phone or MP3 player and listen with headphones. Check out this noise creation site, which has an app you can download and customize. As home remedies for tinnitus go, you can't beat this one for ease and cost.

To test yourself for the effectiveness of tinnitus masking devices, turn on the water full force in your shower, tub or sink. If the sound masks some or all of your tinnitus noise, then white noise for tinnitus may work for you.

Vibration

Sonicare toothbrush

In Health & Healing newsletter 4/2005, a reader wrote he got tinnitus relief by slipping an big replacement pencil eraser over the head of his Sonicare toothbrush for tinnitus treatment. Each morning, he used it around his ear (NOT in his ear) until he could feel the vibration inside his ear. He said this tinnitus remedy made the problem pretty much go away. He uses it every four or five days to keep tinnitus at bay. 

Julian Whitaker, M.D., who writes the newsletter liked this idea so much he’s started to use this  alternative tinnitus treatment at his clinic. He says it works by relaxing a muscle in tendon in the ear that distorts how we perceive sound.

Personal note: Some time after I put up this page, I developed a thumping sound in my right ear. I read somewhere that it's not tinnitus if the sound goes away when you put your fingers in your ears, and it did go away when I did that, so maybe it wasn't tinnitus.

After I had it for three days, however, it was driving me crazy, and I was having trouble sleeping, so I tried the Sonicare method, but I didn't have an eraser, so I just used the smooth side, opposite the bristles. I did a single two-minute cycle, and it worked. About 24 hours later, it started coming back, so I did it again.  It didn't work; in fact, it got a little worse. So I did another cycle, and it went away and hasn't come back at all. Update: It's been years now, and it hasn't come back.

NOTE: Some people say Sonicare is the CAUSE of their tinnitus.

Supplements for tinnitus treatment

The supplements most frequently recommended for tinnitus are lipoflavonoid, zinc, copper, taurine, pycnogenol, gingko biloba, and melatonin. These come recommended from credible sources, yet other credible sources say they don’t work, or there isn’t enough evidence to prove they work. Talk to your medical professional before using these natural home remedies for tinnitus.

Lipo-flavonoid for tinnitus

Lipo-flavonoid is a natural, over-the-counter product designed specifically for tinnitus and Meniere's disease. It improves circulation in the inner ear to help relieve the ringing. There is a lot of info at their Web site. Also see 1000+ reviews at Amazon.com. Look at those from verified purchasers.

Zinc, copper, taurine, pycnogenol, gingko biloba for tinnitus

  • Jonathan Wright, M.D., practiced alternative medicine, specializing in healing through diet and nutrition. He suggested 80 milligrams standardized gingko biloba three times a day, 30 mg of zinc picolinate twice a day and 2 mg copper twice a day as a tinnitus remedy, but says that although they "have shown promise," they are "not a cure for the problem."
  • Julian Whitaker, M.D. recommends zinc, 30-50 milligrams and ginkgo, 120 milligrams of a standardized extract; and pycnogenol, 100-150 milligrams; and taurine 2-4 grams for tinnitus.
  • In Germany, ginkgo biloba is endorsed as a tinnitus treatment. Over 40 clinical trials have indicated that the herb does help tinnitus. Be sure to double check with your doctor if you are on blood thinners, as this herb is also a blood thinner.
  • Prevention magazine, 9/13: A zinc and/or vitamin B12 deficiency may be a factor in tinnitus, says Michael Seidman, M.D. Zinc and B12 may help in 30 to 40 percent of tinnitus patients. In addition, 11 studies show a benefit from gingko. Dosages, according to the article, are 240 mg of gingko twice daily, zinc, 30 mg daily, and B vitamins, 25 to 50 mg daily.
  • From consumerlab.com: Two clinical studies suggest that pine bark extract (Pycnogenol) may improve blood flow to the inner ear and reduce symptoms of tinnitus. Melatonin has also been found to reduce symptoms in some, but not all, studies.

Since professionals disagree on dosages, you MUST consult your own medical practitioner on dosage.

Melatonin

Ask your doctor about this easy tinnitus treatment: Take 3 milligrams of melatonin before bed.  At Washington University of St. Louis, 24 patients with tinnitus and sleep disturbances participated in a study where they were given 3 mg of melatonin a day as a tinnitus treatment and also for better sleep. All of those studied, with both mild and severe tinnitus, showed improvement in both the tinnitus and in their quality of sleep. 

Sources for melatonin: Dr. Rowen's Health Dispatches and Late Breaking Cures, by Robert Rowen, M.D; and Health & Healing newsletter by Julian Whitaker, M.D. 9/15.

Herbal remedies for tinnitus

Special gingko biloba for tinnitus

"EGb 761®, a standardized Ginkgo biloba extract, is an evidence-based treatment option in tinnitus," it says in this study:

I looked and looked for this product and only found it here, along with a few “verified purchase” customer reviews.

Herbal ear drops

There are a lot of ear drops that claim to help tinnitus. For some they are effective as a tinnitus treatment, others find no help with them. Go to Amazon, search on “tinnitus ear drops,” and read the “verified purchase” reviews. 

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)

Retraining therapy for tinnitus is offered at specialized tinnitus treatment centers. The relatively few studies report high success rates.

Tinnitus retraining therapy assumes tinnitus results from abnormal neuronal activity. The aim of TRT is to get the auditory system accustomed to the tinnitus signals, making them less noticeable or less bothersome. It consists of individual counseling and sound therapy. A device is inserted in the ear to generate low-level noise and environmental sounds that match the pitch, volume, and quality of the patient’s tinnitus. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, treatment may last one to two years.

TRT was developed in the 1980s by neuroscientist Dr. Pawel Jastreboff. Studies have reported improvements in up to 80% of patients. In a Cochrane review of the one randomized trial that followed Jastreboff’s protocol and met the organization’s standards, TRT was much more effective in reducing tinnitus severity and disability than a technique called masking. For many more details on TRT, see the Web site of Jastreboff and his wife.

Another kind of retraining therapy for tinnitus treatment

Research in neuroscience done at the University of California, Berkeley resulted in several new approaches to treating tinnitus, including retraining the brain. Read the article, posted 2011: "Tinnitus discovery could lead to new ways to stop the ringing."

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for tinnitus treatment

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) aims to change the way you think about and respond to tinnitus. Patients often keep a diary and work to build their coping skills. A 2010 review of six studies by the Cochrane Collaboration (an international group of health authorities who evaluate randomized trials) found that after CBT, the sound was no less loud, but it was significantly less bothersome, and patients’ quality of life improved.

Trans-electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)

Stimulation of areas close to the ear with TENS resulted in improvement in 46% of patients. Twenty-three percent could not hear it anymore and in 23 % it was reduced. See the study.  I just know some of you will contact me to find out where to get it. I cannot legally respond. Ask your doctor.

More therapies, remedies for tinnitus treatment

  • Dental problems, chelation, thyroid, Bowen therapy, acupuncture
    Robert Rowen, MD, says that TMJ may be involved in tinnitus. He recommends contacting dentists Farrand Robson of Tacoma, Washington (253-272-8651) or Dwight Jennings of Alameda, California (510-522-6828), or anyone they have trained, for help with possible TMJ problems. He also says that hidden infections in wisdom teeth sockets might be a cause.

    In his Second Opinion newsletter, October 2011, he also mentions chelation therapy, thyroid therapy and Bowen therapy as possible options. In addition, he talks about supplements: gingko biloba, bioflavonoids (such as Alginol) and zinc.

    He also says that acupuncture has helped some people as a  tinnitus treatment, and  that using a white noise machine can help with tinnitus relief.

    Although I don't have tinnitus now, I have used acupuncture (approved by my doctor) very successfully for other conditions, and I couldn't sleep without my white noise machine to mask the sound of my heavy breathing and snoring. 
  • Correct Posture
    Ears should be in line with shoulders and hips, says the article mentioned above, to avoid the kind of slouching that affects muscle-nerve connections involved in tinnitus.
  • Food Allergies
    Tinnitus treatments can include changes to your diet. The foods most often mentioned in connection with tinnitus treatment, foods to avoid, are those containing caffeine, those with saturated fats, alcohol, salt and sugar.  Common allergens, such as nuts, soy, wheat and milk may be associated with susceptibility to ear infections, which may, in turn, be associated with tinnitus.
  • Hearing Aids
    Since tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss, some tinnitus sufferers may be helped by a hearing aid.  See your doctor for details.
  • Herbal Ear Drops
    Tinnitus treatments can include herbs for tinnitus.  A product called Bio Ear has been found to help some people, and there are testimonials at pennherb.com, which sells the product.
  • Morning Roar
    Some tinnitus sufferers report that the noise is worst first thing in the morning. If that's you, two tinnitus treatments you can try are: 1) elevating your head slightly, with an extra pillow, while you sleep.  2) have something that's high in sugar when you wake up, like a glass of orange juice, or just take a tablespoon of sugar (needless to say, this tinnitus remedy is not for diabetics...always check with your doctor...)  The reasons behind these natural remedies for tinnitus are speculative, not scientific, but some people find that they work.

My main source for the information above, starting with Food Allergies, is a book titled Tinnitus: The Complete Self-Help Guide. Last time I looked, you could buy it used for under six dollars, plus shipping at Amazon.com.  The book is 197 pages long, and as you can see, I haven't written nearly that much, so there is a lot more.  I got my copy on an interlibrary loan from my local library.  You probably can, too.

Drugs for tinnitus treatment

Rx Acamprosate
Although this does not fall within tinnitus treatments from alternative medicine, the success rate appears to be so high that it may be worth looking into.  In a three-month study of 50 people with tinnitus, researchers found general improvement of symptoms in 87% of those taking the drug acamprosate, which is actually designed to reduce cravings for alcohol.  You must go to your doctor for this, and for goodness sake, ask about side effects, the downside of almost all prescription drugs.

Source: Bottom Line Health, January 2007.  Their source: Andreia Aparecida de Azevedo, M.D., otolaryngologist, South Fluminense Otolaryngology, Volta Redonda, Brazil.

Rx Alprazolam and Lidocaine

When you're really suffering, you're ready to consider any and all tinnitus treatments.  One study showed that a combination of the anesthetic lidocaine and the drug alprazolam (Xanax) produced at least partial relief of tinnitus.  Lidocaine was injected in the middle ear and on the arm for three days straight.  The improvement appears to be permanent.  This treatment worked for both high-tone and low-tone tintinitus.  Good people, be careful.  As a subscriber to a myriad of alternative health newsletters, I have read so many bad things about Xanax.  You'll need to go to your MD for this, and when you do, please be sure to research the side effects.  However, if I were really suffering, I would try just about anything for awhile, after consulting my MD and checking things out thoroughly.

Source: Bottom Line Health, January 2007.  Their source: John J. Shea, Jr., MD, chief otologic surgeon, Shea Ear Clinic, Memphis, Tennessee.

Drugs That May Aggravate Tinnitus
The following drugs may temporarily cause or worsen tinnitus: antibiotics, such as erythromycin, vancomycin, neomycin; cancer drugs such as mechlorethamine and vincristine; and diuretics such as bumetanide, ethacrynic acid and furosemide. Even NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen may cause a problem. I had this happen to me once, temporarily, when I took so much aspirin to relieve jaw pain that I got a ringing in my ears. Ask your doctor for a complete list of drugs that can cause or aggravate tinnitus.

What causes tinnitus

Things that cause tinnitus (and hearing loss) include loud noise, medications that damage the nerves in the ear (ototoxic drugs), impacted earwax, middle ear problems (such as infections and vascular tumors), abnormal bone growth in the ear, head injuries, heart and/or blood vessel disorders, and aging.

People who work in noisy environments can develop tinnitus over time when ongoing exposure to noise damages tiny sensory hair cells in the inner ear. More than 200 drugs are known to cause tinnitus when you start or stop taking them.

Good overview of tinnitus

Finally, there is a lot of good, general info about tinnitus here:

I hope one of these tinnitus treatments works for you.  As always, check with your doctor.  Only you and your doctor know your medical conditions and how any of these tinnitus remedies might interact with them.

Common misspellings of tinnitus

If you spelled tinnitus in one of the following ways, you are not alone. The most common misspelling is "tinitus."

Many people write variations of that:

  • tinitus
  • tinitis
  • tenitis
  • tenitus
  • tinittus
  • titinus
  • tinatus
  • tinutus
  • tintus
  • tintinus

Some people add an extra "n" to the word:

  • tinnutus
  • tinnius
  • tinnus
  • tinnutis
  • tennitus
  • tinntus

Others add another "t."

  • tittinus

Finally, some add an extra syllable:

  • tinnitius
  • tintinitus
  • tinnitinitus

If you wrote it any of these ways, know you are in good company, as these versions are very common.


Prayer

"Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28.

A number of studies have linked prayer to healing, and although the results have been inconclusive, what could it hurt to talk to the omnipotent creator of the universe? A prayer for healing might go something like this:

"Dear Lord, please hear me now as I pray for your help with (name your problem). I pray you’ll cleanse my body and heal me completely. In Jesus’ name I pray; Amen."

Curious about the Christian religion? What is Christianity?
What is a Christian? What is Christian faith?
To see the answers and find out how to become a Christian,
check out this Web site.


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