• Ears (Ringing)
Tinnitus aurium is the technical term for ringing in the ear, although it may actually involve sounds better described as buzzing, roaring, or hissing. The noise can be intermittent or continuous and can vary in pitch and loudness. Most people have experienced tinnitus occasionally for a minute or two. However, some people have tinnitus continuously, over long periods of time. It can range from a minor annoyance to a serious and nearly intolerable condition.
Exposure to loud noise can lead to tinnitus, as can ear obstructions,
One approach involves covering up the noise to make it more tolerable. This includes using hearing aids or tinnitus maskers (devices worn in the ear that emit pleasant sounds), or simply playing music to cover the noise. Avoiding loud noises, nicotine, aspirin, caffeine, and alcohol may help, since these often aggravate tinnitus.
Drugs such as carbamazepine, benzodiazepines, and tricyclic antidepressants may be tried, although none of these have been proven effective for tinnitus.
Proposed Natural Treatments
There are no well-documented natural treatments for tinnitus.
Several studies have evaluated Ginkgo biloba
A separate set of researchers performed an additional study on ginkgo for tinnitus, and then additionally conducted a meta-analysis (statistically rigorous review) of the published data. Their conclusion: The evidence is strong enough to state that ginkgo does
One double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that
For a discussion of homeopathic approaches to tinnitus, see the
20. Rejali D, Sivakumar A, Balaji N. Ginkgo biloba does not benefit patients with tinnitus: a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind trial and meta-analysis of randomized trials. Clin Otolaryngol . 2004;29:226-31.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © 2007 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.