Tinnitus is the condition where a person hears noises in the ear without the presence of any external sound. This condition can affect either one ear or both the ears. Affected people also mention symptoms like the ‘change of side (or ear)’ from where the sounds are coming, as well as the intensity, pitch, volume, and type of sound. In a few cases, symptoms like vertigo, difficulty in hearing, discharge from ear and fullness/heaviness in the ears are also present. Homeopathic medicines for tinnitus can help decrease the severity of the symptoms and also treat the condition on a long-term basis.
People dealing with tinnitus often develop other conditions like depression, anxiety, insomnia, stress and difficulty in concentrating as a result of hearing constant sounds. According to a report published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology (2014), ‘many patients have suggested that their distress is an inevitable consequence of the psychophysical characteristics of tinnitus.’
Different people hear different sounds when afflicted with tinnitus. Some common sounds associated with the condition are ringing, buzzing, hissing, roaring, and whistling.
Is There a Homeopathic cure for Tinnitus?
There are no conventional drugs available to cure tinnitus completely. In most cases, tinnitus may develop as a result of some other underlying issue. Certain drugs are used to reduce the complications or severity of tinnitus. Other methods involve suppressing the symptoms with the help of noise-masking contraptions. While they do provide a certain degree of relief from the symptoms of tinnitus, they rarely treat the problem. Often, discontinuation of these treatment options leads to worsening of the condition. Side-effects of drugs used in these cases can also be severe, and more often than not, a person has to try out different medicines to find the ones that suit them and cause less-severe side effects. Fixing the problem from the root cause is the surest way to manage and treat tinnitus.
A Natural Remedy For Tinnitus
Being an ancient, 200-year-old medical art, and science that was founded by German physician Samuel Hahnemann way back in the 1700s, the cures used in homeopathy are derived from nature and thus devoid of toxins. Naturally occurring substances are used to make the remedies, which work in harmony with the system. These also help restore the natural healing processes of the body.
It has No Side-Effects
Homeopathy for tinnitus does not cause any side effects because of their extremely diluted nature, and the fact that they are made of natural substances. Conventional drugs that contain tricyclic antidepressants are used only to manage severe tinnitus since the side-effects of these can be debilitating. Some side effects include blurred vision, heart problems, constipation, and dry mouth. Another commonly used drug called alprazolam helps reduce the symptoms of tinnitus, but it too comes with side effects like nausea and drowsiness. This drug also causes dependency and can be habit-forming.
Another advantage is that homeopathy aims to cure the problem from the root. Instead of suppressing the symptoms of a disorder, homeopathy takes into account all the associated symptoms and offers a comprehensive treatment approach. Noise-masking contraptions like noise-cancellation machines or solutions like hearing aids only suppress the symptoms and provide temporary relief. These are more like supplementary solutions and do not treat the main problem.
Individualisation is the key to homeopathy treatment. Every person is treated as a unique individual with their own set of symptoms rather than being classified into a category. This aspect of focussing on the individual symptoms is an important criterion in the case of tinnitus since tinnitus is a condition that develops due to a variety of reasons. To find the correct solution, it is necessary to know the exact cause of the problem. In some cases, tinnitus occurs due to a blockage or obstruction within the inner ear, while in others, it may be a side-effect of a drug. These two cases cannot be treated with one medicine. Individual treatment for every case is therefore necessary, and this is the very basis of homeopathy.
Similarly, different people hear different types of sounds as a result of tinnitus and require different medicines. For example, for drumming sounds inside the ears, Lachesis Muta is indicated, while for humming sounds, China Officinalis is used.
Simple and Effective
The fact that a homeopath individually selects every medicine prescribed to a patient makes homeopathy a simple yet effective course of treatment. A blanket approach of prescribing the same medicine for every patient clubbed under tinnitus is not followed. A single dose of the correct medicine can have a lasting effect for months or even years.
The first course of treatment for tinnitus involves identifying underlying causes and screening the treatable conditions. This includes measures like cleaning excessive earwax, changing medications or surgical intervention. With homeopathy, invasive treatments like surgery can be held off since there are different treatment options available to fix internal problems naturally.
A Safe Option
Natural remedies for tinnitus have given proven results in treating cases where the symptoms are mild to moderate. In case of a severe tinnitus problem, homeopathy can help reduce the severity and recurrence of the symptoms. Conventional treatments for tinnitus that involve the use of drugs or masking techniques may not be suitable across all ages. Children and adults alike are susceptible to side-effects from drugs, and this treatment option is rarely recommended for children. Homeopathy works in harmony with the body by restoring the natural healing processes. It can be used safely to treat tinnitus in people of all age groups.
Further, these remedies also help treat accompanying symptoms like vertigo, ear discharges, fullness/heaviness in the ears and conditions linked to Meniere’s disease. The duration of homeopathy treatments for tinnitus varies from person to person, although in most cases, gradual improvement over a given period has been noted. The chances of a relapse of the condition, once the treatment has been successfully administered, are next to none.
Homeopathic Remedies for Tinnitus
Remedies that are effective in treating tinnitus are Kali Mur, Natrum Salicylicum, Chenopodium Anthelmenticum and Chininum Sulph. Chosen carefully on the merits of the indications they can be the perfect homeopathic relief for tinnitus
1. Kali Mur- Top Grade Natural Medicine for Tinnitus
Kali Mur is used to treat tinnitus where there is an excessive buildup or discharge of mucus in the nose or throat area. A history of long-standing ear discharges (otorrhea) is also indicative of this medicine. Popping and crackling noises in the ear are typical, and the latter sounds get worse upon swallowing. Deafness from ear catarrh is also possible.
2. Natrum Salicylicum- For Vertigo and Tinnitus
Natrum Salicylicum is used to treat tinnitus that develops as a result of Meniere’s disease, where a triad of symptoms including noises in the ear, hearing loss, and vertigo appears. The sounds are low in tone and almost constant. Vertigo gets worse on sitting up or rising from bed and lying down provides relief. This is an excellent medicine for vertigo and tinnitus
3. Chenopodium Anthelminticum – For Tinnitus with Sudden spells of Vertigo
is used to treat tinnitus where there are sudden spells of vertigo. The person may be able to hear high pitched sounds but be deaf to human sounds. The noises in the ear in these cases are mainly buzzing, ringing or roaring in nature. Tinnitus synchronous with heartbeats is another feature indicating the need for this medicine.
4. Graphites Naturalis- For Ear Tinnitus when Hissing and Buzzing sounds are present
is used to treat cases of somatic tinnitus, where the symptoms of tinnitus worsen when there is a movement of the head and jaw. The noises in the ear are mainly hissing, buzzing, whistling or roaring in nature. In some cases, cracking sounds in the ears are present. A feeling of ‘stuffed ear’ and dryness in the ears also indicates the need for this medicine.
5. Chininum Sulph- For Ringing In Ear
is used in cases of tinnitus where intense sounds of varies kinds of ringing, roaring, and buzzing are present. Vertigo and a decline in the hearing ability also indicate the need for this medicine. In some cases, a severe headache may be present. Chininum Sulph is also used as an effective homeopathic remedy for Meniere’s disease.
Remedies For Specific Noises
Tinnitus can cause a person to hear different sounds within the ear, and these sounds vary from case to case. Among the many sounds that a person hears inside the ear as a result of tinnitus, the most common ones include buzzing, roaring, whistling, hissing, humming, chirping, drumming, flapping, fluttering, machine-like, waterfall-like, ringing sounds and sounds of the wind. There are specific remedies that are used to treat these sounds.
Petroleum Oleum is used to treat tinnitus where there are ringing noises in ears. There is clear bell-like sound in the ear. Other symptoms include dryness, intense itching deep in the ear. People who cannot tolerate the sound of several people talking together, and elderly persons dealing with deafness are often treated with this medicine.
Formica Rufa is used to treat tinnitus where buzzing noises in the ear are present. Pain in the ear and hardness of hearing are also common. The pain may radiate to the temporal region of the head. In most cases, earache gets worse in the morning, and the ears may feel hot and be sensitive to touch.
Salicylicum Acidum is used to treat tinnitus where there are roaring sounds in the ear. The hearing may be diminished, and the person may experience episodes of vertigo. Nausea and a sensation of blood rushing to the brain may also be present.
This medicine is also used to treat Meniere’s disease, tinnitus due to influenza and cases where tinnitus occurs as a result of consuming the drug ‘aspirin.’
Manganum Aceticum is used to treat tinnitus where whistling noises are heard within the ear. Other symptoms include hardness of hearing that gets worse in damp weather, an obstructed sensation in the ears and shooting pain that gets worse upon speaking or laughing.
Silicea is used to treat tinnitus where there are hissing sounds inside the ear. Other symptoms include a blocked sensation in the ear, shooting pain, hardness of hearing, sensitivity to cold air and presence of discharges. These discharges can be purulent (pus-like), blood-stained and may have a fetid odor. A history of a perforated ear-drum is also present in some cases.
China Officinalis is used to treat tinnitus where there are humming noises in the ear. These are accompanied by a stitching/tearing pain in the ears that worsens with touch. There may be overall weakness, debility, and headache. This medicine is also used in cases where a ticking noise is heard inside the ears.
Bryonia Alba is used to treat tinnitus with chirping noises inside the ear. The ear may feel blocked, intolerance towards noises in the environment may be present along with spells of vertigo.
A deep, stitching or shooting pain that gets worse in the open air may be present. The ear is usually sensitive to touch. This medicine works well to treat cases of tinnitus where a person hears a particular sound, like the pouring of water over a dam.
Lachesis Muta is used to treat where there are drumming sounds in the ear. A decrease in hearing along with excessive dryness and hardness of the ear wax is present. The ear is sensitive towards the wind. The ear may feel stiff, and pain may develop towards the evening or night time.
Antimonium Tart is used to treat tinnitus where there are fluttering or flapping noises in the ear. A prominent warm sensation inside the ear, twitching and tearing pain in the ear during the evening is also present.
Hydrastis Canadensis is used to treat tinnitus where there is a machinery-like sound inside the ear. There may be a thick mucus discharge from the ear, and a sensation of fullness in the in the forehead may also be present.
Causticum is used to treat tinnitus where a re-echo of words is heard in the ear. Other symptoms include a pulsating, burning sensation in the ear, pressure in the head and ears, and a purulent, gluey/sticky ear discharge along with an excessive accumulation of the ear wax is also present in some cases.
Theridion Curassavicum is used to treat tinnitus where there are noises of a waterfall present in the ear. The person also experiences sensitivity along with pressure and fullness in the ears.
Pulsatilla Nigricans is used to treat tinnitus where there are sounds of the wind inside the ear. Difficulty in hearing in cold and damp weather, earache, and chronic ear infection with a thick yellowish-greenish colored discharge indicate the need for this medicine.
Prevention is the cure here – protecting the ear, staying away from loud sounds or using earplugs or noise cancellation earphones in noisy areas, assessing other risk factors that may contribute to the condition are some ways to prevent the symptoms of tinnitus from getting worse.
Causes and Risk Factors
Many conditions can give rise to tinnitus. Although prolonged exposure to loud sounds is the most common cause, other reasons for tinnitus include age-related hearing loss, Meniere’s disease, high blood pressure, head or neck injuries, build-up of excessive ear wax, ear infections, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, emotional or chronic stress and excessive intake of alcohol. Tinnitus is also more common in males as compared to females.
Specific Conditions that lead to Tinnitus
There are certain conditions that are directly related to tinnitus. In some cases, tinnitus may be a direct result of an infection or injury within the inner ear. These conditions include:
- Obstruction in the ear canal, chronic infections within the ear and ear-related disorders like otosclerosis.
- Damage in the inner ear that changes the way in which the tiny hairs inside the ear respond to pressure from sound waves.
- Chronic sinus infections.
- Damage to the cranial nerve or the growth of a tumor.
- Degenerative disorders like cervical spondylosis that lead to compression of the arteries joined to the neck and ears.
- Conditions like Bell’s Palsy (a condition that causes weakening of facial muscles).
Risk Factors for Developing Tinnitus
Use of certain medications can also lead to tinnitus, like aspirin, quinine, certain antidepressants, anti-inflammatory medicines and some antibiotics. These drugs may be ‘ototoxic’ and cause damage to the inner ear.
Age may also be a leading cause of tinnitus – people aged 60 years or above are at high risk to develop this problem due to age-related degenerative changes in the cochlea.
Certain medical conditions that predispose a person towards tinnitus, like high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, anemia, nerve disorders, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, allergies, and circulatory issues. A history of ear-related disorders and chronic ear infections can also lead to tinnitus.
Regarding lifestyle, it has been noted that people who smoke excessively are more likely to develop this problem since smoking affects the sensitive nerve cells inside the ear and also acts as a stimulant, which may worsen the noises inside the ear.
People with a history of excessive alcohol or drug abuse also tend to develop tinnitus as a result of neurological damage.
Malnutrition as a result of rapid weight-loss or improper diets can also give rise to this problem.
Exposure to noise pollution by continually being in an environment of loud noises, like a job or using earphones with a loud volume are some other risk factors.
1. Lifestyle and Tinnitus
Specific lifestyle-based changes can help manage tinnitus and prevent it from getting worse. Avoiding environments with loud noises, adopting measures to manage stress (as it can worsen the tinnitus), avoiding the intake of alcohol, caffeine, and smoking are some preventative steps.
Stress and inflammation are two lifestyle-related issues that tend to increase the risks of ear problems like hearing loss, ear infections, lowered immunity and vertigo. These are therefore linked to tinnitus and can act as contributing factors.
A sedentary lifestyle with little or no physical activity, poor diet, and lack of sufficient sleep can lower the immunity and increase susceptibility towards ear infections and nerve damage. Dealing with chronic stress and inflammation issues with the help of natural stress busters like exercise, consuming a clean, anti-inflammatory diet and meditation are some options.
3. Using Q-Tips
Aggressive use of Q-tips to clean the ears is another widespread cause of tinnitus. Earwax helps protect the ear by trapping dust and bacteria, so ideally it should not be cleaned up too frequently. In cases where tinnitus is already present, it is best to speak to a doctor about keeping the ears clean, and Q-tips should not be used at all.
4. Drugs and Medication
In some cases, conventional drugs like certain anti-depressants, antibiotics, recreational drugs and anti-inflammatory medications may contribute to the condition.
In such cases, switching to alternative treatment options often helps resolve the problem. A doctor can find out alternative treatment options or lower the dosage of these drugs to help manage tinnitus.
A holistic health practitioner can help a person transition into alternative medicine. Working with the body’s natural restorative processes to treat issues like tinnitus shows good long-term results.
5. Diet and Tinnitus
When it comes to diet, certain foods can directly affect the working of the inner ear and contribute to the symptoms of tinnitus. Factors that lead to high blood pressure can increase the severity of tinnitus; therefore an elimination diet is recommended to help narrow down the list of what foods are safe and which ones are not. Foods or preservatives that tend to increase blood pressure and thereby aggravate the symptoms of tinnitus include excessive salt, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, stimulants like coffee, tea, sodas and monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Foods that Help
Certain foods and supplements help increase blood circulation in the body, while others help reduce inflammation. Together, these foods can help manage the symptoms of tinnitus. A deficiency of essential minerals like zinc can also aggravate tinnitus.
Fruits like pineapples increase blood circulation in the body and help lower blood pressure due to the high levels of potassium. Other fruits that are rich in potassium include pears, bananas, and papayas.
Garlic helps increase the blood circulation and reduce inflammation and is known to reduce the reduce the build-up of plaque in arteries connected to the inner ear, which may lead to inhibited blood flow to the cochlea and aggravate tinnitus.
Research also shows that garlic helps reduce hearing loss caused by ototoxic medications. (Garlic-Supplemented Diet Attenuates Gentamicin-Induced Ototoxicity: An Experimental Study)
Zinc deficiency affects the overall health of a person, but its effects are far worse on people with hearing issues, particularly tinnitus. Consuming appropriate amounts of zinc through diet can help relieve the symptoms of tinnitus. Foods that contain high levels of zinc include seafood and spinach.
Tinnitus – Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I’ve been hearing noises in the ear from the past six months; do I need to conduct any investigations?
Yes, there are specific investigations recommended for tinnitus to find out the cause of the problem, like an audiometry test. In cases where a head tumor is suspected, a CT scan or MRI is required.
Q. I have tinnitus, will it predispose me to loss of hearing?
No, tinnitus does not necessarily point towards a loss of hearing. In some cases, these conditions co-exist, but one is not indicative of another. A person can have hearing loss with no tinnitus or may have tinnitus without any hearing loss.
Q. Can exposure to loud noise lead to tinnitus?
Yes, prolonged exposure to loud noises can lead to tinnitus. A tinnitus condition that follows a short-term loud noise exposure is usually short-lived and tends to resolve quickly. Exposure to loud noises, on the other hand, for a long duration of time may cause permanent damage to hair cells in the inner ear and lead to chronic tinnitus.
Q. Can my tinnitus be linked with TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder?
Yes, there are chances that the cause of tinnitus is a TMJ disorder. The primary symptoms of TMJ disorder include pain in the TMJ joint while talking, eating, or opening the mouth widely.
Q. I suffered a neck injury four months ago, followed by noises in my right ear. Is there a link between these two incidents?
Yes, these can be related. A neck injury can damage the inner ear or nerves linked to hearing and lead to tinnitus.