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.
Before reading any further,
see our medical disclaimer.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Take a look at this study: Melatonin: can it stop the ringing? "Melatonin is associated with a statistically significant decrease in tinnitus intensity and improved sleep quality in patients with chronic tinnitus."
Sources for melatonin: Dr. Rowen's Health Dispatches and Late Breaking Cures, by Robert Rowen, M.D; Health & Healing newsletter by Julian Whitaker, M.D. 9/15; Confidential Cures by Alan Sears, M.D. 3/17.
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.
Since professionals disagree on dosages, you MUST consult your own medical practitioner on dosage.
"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.
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.
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) 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.
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.
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.
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, acetaminophen and naproxen may cause a problem, as well as indomethacin, piroxicam and etodolac. 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.
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.
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.
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:
Some people add an extra "n" to the word:
Others add another "t."
Finally, some add an extra syllable:
If you wrote it any of these ways, know you are in good company, as these versions are very common.
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"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."
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