Can Homeopathic Remedies Provide Tinnitus Relief?

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Homeopathic remedies

Where there is a medical issue and subsequent intervention, there will always be homeopathic treatment options geared toward that same ailment or illness. However, in most cases, homeopathic treatments are not based on scientific evidence and the medical community as a whole does not view them as legitimate interventions. That being said, many people swear by homeopathic medicines and interventions, and there is a slew of anecdotal evidence supporting the use of homeopathy. Just as there are homeopathic medicines and remedies for everything from stomach pain to joint stiffness, there are those who claim that homeopathy can help treat tinnitus. Even in the absence of scientific research supporting their use, can homeopathic medicines and practices provide relief for tinnitus sufferers? We will take a closer look below.

"As a recent graduate who’s achieved stage four habituation, I cannot thank Treble Health enough for getting me to the finish line."
"As a recent graduate who’s achieved stage four habituation, I cannot thank Treble Health enough for getting me to the finish line."
– Louis
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Tinnitus: Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ inside of a magnifying glass

Before we start, let’s make sure that we have a good grasp on what tinnitus is and why it occurs. From chronic tinnitus to acute cases of the condition, we will dive into the onset of tinnitus, what causes it, and what is typically used to address it.

What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus has been described as the perception of sounds without an external sound found in the environment. While it may not seem common, tinnitus occurs in as many as 1 in 5 people. 80% of tinnitus patients report non-functional impact to their daily lives, but 20% report severe tinnitus causing disruption to their daily lives, including the functional ability to complete day-to-day tasks, such as working, sleeping, engaging with others, reading, and more. Tinnitus is described as sounding like a ringing, buzzing, hissing, or whooshing sound and can occur in one ear or both ears.

What Are The Most Common Causes Of Tinnitus?

Because 90% of the people who have tinnitus also experience hearing loss, hearing loss of any type is considered the most common cause of tinnitus. That being said, hearing loss is not the sole cause of tinnitus. All of the following can be at the root of why tinnitus occurs:

This is not an exhaustive list, but these underlying causes are among the most common ones seen, and often present with similar symptoms. Some alternative medicine practices address these possible causes, which can indirectly aid with symptoms.

How Does Homeopathy Work?

Image and description of Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann

Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, is considered the “father” of modern homeopathic remedies. His system of intervention, homeopathy, was developed at the end of the 17th century, and focuses on utilizing plants and minerals to help provide permanent or temporary relief from various ailments and illnesses. Minute, diluted amounts of these components are said to promote healing through helping the body repair itself and fulfill its own innate ability to do so.

That being said, the term “homeopathy” has become somewhat diluted, itself, and is often considered a generic term to describe any type of non-traditional or non-Western treatment for ailments. This can include everything from medication to therapy, to appliances, and Traditional Chinese Medicines and similar modalities.

How Can Homeopathy Treat Tinnitus?

Homeopathy is not typically regarded as an effective treatment option for tinnitus; however, there are several homeopathic remedies or therapies frequently recommended via anecdotal evidence for tinnitus treatment. As you will see, these interventions do not typically show much efficacy standing alone as a treatment for tinnitus; instead, they are usually evaluated as part of an overall treatment plan. As a result, we suggest that their usage comes as part of a larger, more comprehensive treatment plan with which to address tinnitus.

Homeopathic Remedies For Tinnitus

The following are common alternative interventions used to address the constant sounds of tinnitus. None have been definitively proven as effective, so it is important to recognize that none are currently approved by the FDA or officially recommended as part of a treatment plan by hearing health professionals. Additionally, many supplements fall into the category of homeopathic remedies and supplements are not subject to FDA regulation. Nevertheless, homeopathy frequently recommended for ringing sounds include:

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba supplements

Ginkgo biloba is an herbal supplement derived from the ginkgo tree, and is among the most studied herbal remedies. Use of ginkgo biloba and has been linked to numerous bodily ailments, including tinnitus. Past research has shown little to no effect on tinnitus as a primary concern, with no discernible changes between the placebo group and those taking ginkgo biloba, but a more recent study did suggest some improvement when used in conjunction with antioxidant therapy.

Melatonin

Melatonin may be considered a relative newcomer to homeopathy for tinnitus, but a 2019 study demonstrated that it may have some promising effects of symptoms like ringing in the ears. As an antioxidant, it has benefits for neuroplasticity and sleep regulation. Although further research was intended, no follow-up studies have been reported. Alleviating oxidative stress in the body and improving sleep can have positive effects on tinnitus as well as general health, which makes melatonin a potentially beneficial supplement.

Vitamins And Minerals

  • Magnesium
    • One study found that magnesium may actually help protect inner ear conditions by protecting inner ear hair cells from loud noise exposure. In the study, 300 subjects were given magnesium prior to loud noise exposure, and were found to experience less noise-induced hearing loss than the control group.
      • Foods rich in magnesium include fruit, dark chocolate, almonds, and whole grains, making supplementation unnecessary if dietary sources are abundant.
  • Zinc
    • Zinc has been shown to help repair tissues in the body and promote immune health. A diet high in zinc has also been reported to coincide with a lower incidence of tinnitus onset. While this is not the only nutrient linked to improvements in tinnitus risk factors, it can be yet another piece of the puzzle in tinnitus management and prevention.
      • Zinc can be found in red meat, beans, nuts, dairy, and eggs.
  • Potassium
    • The fluid found within the inner ear, called endolymph, is partly made up of potassium. Naturally, a discussion of diet and tinnitus is not completele without a discussion of potassium. This nutrient helps convert auditory information to the electrical signals that can be recognized by the brain to process sound – a key process in maintaining hearing health.
      • Foods rich in potassium include bananas, spinach, avocado, and sweet potato.
  • Vitamin B12
    • Diets high in vitamin B12 have been shown to decrease risk factors for developing tinnitus. At present, the precise relationship between vitamin B12 and tinnitus symptoms is still not fully understood, so it is not typically recommended to supplement with vitamin B12. Nevertheless, some people with tinnitus prefer adding vitamin B12 to their diet as a precaution and as part of a generally healthy diet, even if it does not definitively reduce symptoms of subjective tinnitus.
      • Foods high in vitamin B12 include beef, milk, and eggs. Vitamin B12 can also be found in dietary supplements, but a healthy diet often includes plenty of foods that provide adequate vitamin B12 levels.

It is important to note that although some supplements may choose to voluntarily pursue United States Pharmacopeia verification, the FDA does not evaluate dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness or approve labeling.

Homeopathic Products For Tinnitus Treatment

While supplements are frequently used to address ear infections and other concerns linked to tinnitus, there are dedicated products that have also been marketed as intended to address roaring sounds and the issues that come along with tinnitus. These include:

Flavonoids

Variety of foods that contain flavonoids

Flavonoids are products made up of different combinations of hundreds of herbs, seeds, vegetables, fruits, and other organic compounds. They are typically considered anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-viral powerhouses within homeopathy, though their efficacy has not been well-supported in the medical community. Lipo-Flavonoid is one of the most commonly recommended over the counter products for tinnitus.

According to the product manufacturer, this particular flavonoid supplement contains a blend of vitamins B and C, and other ingredients. The manufacturer also claims that these ingredients successfully target inner ear health and function, and suggests taking 6 caplets per day at first, followed by 3 caplets per day as a maintenance dose. While studies evaluating flavonoids have suggested some potential changes in symptoms, none have specifically identified this particular product as effective in treating tinnitus – one study actually found that it was not effective.

Arches Tinnitus Formula

The base of Arches’ formula uses ginkgo biloba for its properties as a vasodilator, or dilator of blood vessels. Arches’ Tinnitus Formula claims to increase blood flow to the inner ear (cochlea), to better support hearing and improve the auditory pathway’s health. Zinc is another Arches ingredient said to improve the health of the ears and auditory pathway, though neither of these claims are supported by medical research. Manufacturer recommendations suggest taking 4 capsules each day for 2-3 months to relieve symptoms, which can quickly grow expensive, particularly if the dosage is not actually effective.

Graphites Naturalis

Graphites Naturalis is a product said to intervene when hissing and buzzing are present within the ear. It is said to be used for the treatment of somatic tinnitus, or when the symptoms of tinnitus worsen following movement of the head and jaw. Feeling as though you have a “stuffed ear” or experiencing dryness in the ears is also said to indicate the need for Graphites Naturalis. Ringing sounds, buzzing, hissing, and cracking are all said to benefit from this particular homeopathic remedy, though these claims, of course, have not been validated by any trusted scientific sources.

Natrum Salicylicum For Vertigo And Tinnitus

Natrum Salicylicum is said to treat tinnitus and Meniere’s disease. Meniere’s disease and tinnitus both involve the inner ear, and this particular supplement is said to address a triad of symptoms involving noises in the ear, hearing loss, and vertigo. While the FDA has not cleared this treatment for use in tinnitus treatment, it is said to target tinnitus with low-pitched sounds and constant humming, and tinnitus found in conjunction with vertigo.

Is There A Homeopathic Cure For Tinnitus?

The word “cure” should not be used in conjunction with tinnitus, as there is not currently a known or recognized cure for the condition. There are, however, many well-studied and evidence-supported treatments that have been shown to provide significant improvements to symptoms of tinnitus for those currently exhibiting symptoms. While some have claimed to find these interventions useful, the homeopathic treatments above are unlikely to truly reduce tinnitus symptoms or function as effective tinnitus treatments–at least not without additional interventions.

Evidence-based treatment options like those offered by Treble Health have years of supporting evidence to sufficiently prove that they can and will deliver significant relief to people who suffer with tinnitus, both mild and severe. The most common treatment options include:

  • Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT). Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is a treatment approach utilizing both hearing aids and mixing-point partial tinnitus masking, along with educational counseling. TRT helps tinnitus patients experience relief from symptoms, provided that it is delivered in a structured format with a licensed hearing professional, like an audiologist.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a common therapy modality employed by mental health professionals. It effectively addresses an individual’s response to their circumstances by helping modify their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors regarding their particular issues, to develop better coping mechanisms and healthier outcomes. CBT can be used to combat the depression and anxiety that frequently accompany ear disorders and related complications, including tinnitus and hearing loss.
  • Sound Therapy. By providing a contrasting, soothing sound to a tinnitus patient’s environment during waking and sleeping hours, sound therapy can distract the brain and provide relaxation to an overtaxed limbic system. It is often used in conjunction with other therapy modalities.

Many people who struggle with symptoms of tinnitus turn to every possible intervention they can think of, to reduce the frustration and discomfort associated with the condition. While many alternative interventions, like ginkgo biloba and acupressure can have positive effects on health, their effectiveness in treating tinnitus has yet to be scientifically validated. Using the treatments identified above with hearing health professionals is most likely to yield the greatest results and provide lasting relief from tinnitus.

Treble Health Can Help You Find Relief From Tinnitus

At Treble Health, our team of audiologists have spent decades understanding the mechanisms of tinnitus and helping patients find lasting relief. We understand how bothersome tinnitus can be, and our team is here to help guide you through the complexities of this condition.

If you are looking to take the next step in your tinnitus relief journey, we encourage you to take advantage of our complimentary telehealth consultations. In this 20-minute Zoom session, we will address your unique situation, answer all of your pressing questions, and offer tailored strategies for managing your tinnitus. This is a chance to connect with our experienced audiologists and learn about the different options that can help your personal situation, all from the comfort of your home. We know how critical finding relief can be, and we are committed to helping you navigate the journey to a life less affected by tinnitus. Schedule your free consultation today and take a pivotal step towards tranquility and well-being.

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