Skip to main content

5 Simple Tinnitus Remedies to Relieve Ringing in the Ears

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

As a researcher and author, John provides information in an easy-to-understand way that helps readers understand their conditions.

William Shatner and Tinnitus

What is Tinnitus?

Before looking at tinnitus remedies to relieve ringing in the ears, it will be beneficial to get a good understanding of what tinnitus actually is, its symptoms, causes and mainstream treatment...

First off, tinnitus is not a disease or illness. You see, tinnitus -- often referred to as 'ringing in the ears' -- is a symptom of some other underlying problem. For example, one of the chief causes of tinnitus is noise-damaged hearing.

Tinnitus is just the perception of sounds that don't have an external source. And the mild form of ringing in the ears is very common, with around 10% of people suffering mild tinnitus on occasion. But the number of people who get tinnitus so severely that it prevents them leading a normal life is as high as 1 in 200.

Tinnitus Symptoms

Tinnitus symptoms are the noises a sufferer hears in their head or ears. These sounds can be described as ringing, buzzing, roaring, swishing, whooshing, hissing, ticking, clicking, etc.

And they can be constant, intermittent, severe, mild, and so on, depending on each individual case. The kind of sound heard, e.g. hissing, clicking, etc., may be dependent on the underlying issue(s) causing the tinnitus.

Tinnitus Causes

As mentioned at the beginning, tinnitus is actually a symptom of some underlying issue or problem, not a disease or illness in itself. The underlying causes of tinnitus are many and varied and include:-

  • Hearing damaged by loud noise.
  • Age-related hearing loss.
  • Impacted earwax.
  • Ear infections / inflammations.
  • Head injury / whiplash.
  • Acoustic neuroma (benign tumour of the auditory nerve).
  • High blood pressure (hypertension).
  • Anemia.
  • Stress / anxiety / depression.
  • Atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries).
  • Middle ear effusion (sometimes called 'glue ear').
  • Twisted / kinked arteries in head / neck.
  • Glomus tumour (benign tumour commonly found in the middle ear).
  • Benign intracranial hypertension (increased pressure in the fluid around the brain).
  • Intracranial vascular lesions (abnormal artery - vein connections).
  • Venous hum (increased blood flow through jugular vein).
  • Otosclerosis (tiny bones in middle ear become stiff and less mobile).
  • Sinus allergies / inflammation.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Meniere's disease (resulting from increased pressure in the inner ear).
  • Eustachian tube blockage (the tube equalizes middle ear / atmospheric pressure, and, drains mucous).
  • Lyme disease (disease acquired through tick bites).
  • Thyroid problems.
  • Some drug therapy such as aspirin, quinine, diuretics, chemotherapy, analgesics, antibiotics, etc.

Anatomy of the Human Ear

Subjective Tinnitus

Subjective tinnitus is the most common form of ringing ears by far. It is the name given to the type of tinnitus wherein it is only the victim who actually hears the sounds. No other person, including medical personnel using audio instruments, can hear them. Hence 'subjective.'

But, be in no doubt, the sufferer does actually hear the sounds, they aren't a figment of their imagination. And they can be so severe as to seriously disrupt their everyday lives.

One of the main causes is hearing loss, which can be brought about by issues like excessive noise, age-related hearing loss, impacted ear wax, Meniere's disease, ear infection, middle ear effusion, acoustic neuroma, and some drugs such as aspirin, analgesics, diuretics, antibiotics, quinine, naproxen.

Other causes are head trauma, whiplash, thyroid problems, vitamin B12 deficiency, iron deficiency, depression, anxiety, etc.

Objective Tinnitus

Objective tinnitus is the condition where both the tinnitus sufferer and a medical professional can hear the sounds. The professional can hear them with the aid of an audio instrument as simple as a stethoscope.

Objective tinnitus is usually the result of some sort of arterial disturbance -- turbulent blood flow -- in the head and / or neck.

A particular type of ringing in the ears that falls into this category is 'pulsatile tinnitus.' This is so-called because the sounds that can be heard are rhythmic and can pulse in time with the patient's heartbeat.

Bilateral and Unilateral Tinnitus

As well as falling into two main categories; subjective and objective, tinnitus can also be 'unilateral' or 'bilateral.'

Unilateral is simply where the tinnitus is present in one ear only. Bilateral means that it occurs in both ears at the same time.

Scroll to Continue

Mainstream Treatment to Relieve Ringing in the Ears

It has to be said that conventional treatment for ringing in the ears is not very successful. There is a statistic that shows that only around 3% to 5% of tinnitus sufferers achieve total tinnitus relief. The rest may get some temporary relief or some lowering of the symptoms.

One of the reasons for this could be that in order to remedy tinnitus you first need to identify the root cause. Unfortunately, this can sometimes prove fruitless. There is a study that showed that in 43% of victims, the underlying cause could not be identified.

The following are examples of typical conventional treatments for tinnitus:-

  • The use of drugs such as intravenous lidocaine, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, cardiovasculars, antibiotics, and antihistamines, etc.
  • Safe removal of impacted ear wax.
  • Technical approaches such as tinnitus (sound) maskers and hearing aids to help reduce the difference between external noise and the tinnitus sounds, so that the sounds appear less.
  • Tinnitus retraining therapy, which uses a combination of counselling along with background noise generation to help reduce the patient's perception of their tinnitus sounds.
  • Electrical stimulation of the auditory cortex.
  • Biofeedback, that helps patients to change their body's reaction to the stress and anxiety in their lives, and so helps to reduce the tinnitus that their stress / anxiety contributes to.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which combines cognitive (beliefs, thoughts) therapy with behavioural (behaviours as a result of those thoughts, etc.) therapy in order to change negative behaviours into positive ones.
  • Surgery, where necessary and usually as a last resort.

Complementary Therapies for Ringing in the Ears

There are several natural complementary therapies that are popular. These are things like: acupuncture, acupressure, hypnosis, yoga, reflexology, meditation, stress-relieving exercises, massage, and so on. Many complementary therapies are based around relieving stress and anxiety and fostering a state of well-being.

Why Natural Remedies for Tinnitus?

Because of the failure of conventional medicine to provide better outcomes more often, sufferers are increasingly searching out and using natural remedies to help relieve their ringing ears.

These remedies include things such as herbal remedies, homeopathy, dietary changes, lifestyle changes, dietary supplements, aromatherapy, etc...

5 Natural Remedies to Relieve Ringing in the Ears

There are many natural remedies for tinnitus out there, so to help you along, here are 5 popular home remedies to relieve ringing in your ears:-

1. Dietary Changes

Avoid food that may help to trigger tinnitus. For example, reduce your fat and salt intake as these can lead to narrowing of the arteries and hypertension which we know can cause tinnitus.

You should also think about avoiding refined sugar, dairy products (especially cheese), caffeine, red wine, chocolate products, honey, soy / soy products, and over-ripe bananas.

Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit as part of a healthy diet, so that your body gets the correct amount of vitamins, minerals, etc., that it needs.

But remember to talk to your doctor before making any significant changes to your diet.

2. Exercises

High stress and anxiety levels can lead to tinnitus. So using stress-reducing exercises can help to counter this.

And exercise physically everyday. It can be as simple as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, etc. As well as helping to reduce stress, this also helps to improve overall health, reduce hypertension, and lower cholesterol, especially when combined with a healthy diet.

3. Herbal Tinnitus Remedies

One of the most talked-about tinnitus remedies is Gingko Biloba which is believed to improve blood circulation in the small blood vessels in the head and ear and so helps to relieve tinnitus. It is widely used in Japan and Germany in particular. You can get it in supplemental form.

Other popular tinnitus herbal remedies are; lesser periwinkle, niacin, goldenseal, black cohosh, wild hyssop and burdock root.

4. Take Supplements

Since much of popular western diet nowadays is low in many important vitamins, minerals and nutrients etc., which can adversely affect tinnitus, the use of supplements can prove pretty effective in helping to reduce the symptoms of ringing in the ears.

For example, it is known that the lack of vitamin B12 can help to trigger tinnitus, as can the lack of sufficient magnesium, zinc and melatonin. And vitamins A and E are also important.

But remember to first consult with your physician about dietary supplements in relation to your tinnitus.

5. Homeopathy

For this you need to locate a fully-qualified homeopathic practitioner. Homeopathy is an extremely old treatment system based on the idea of treating 'like' with 'like' using totally natural ingredients.

In other words, if a natural ingredient can produce symptoms of the problem in a healthy person (without the problem), then that same ingredient can actually cure the person who actually has the problem, when applied at the correct dosage.

So there you have it...5 natural remedies to relieve ringing in the ears.

Your Tinnitus Poll

References for Tinnitus Remedies to Relieve Ringing in the Ears


The content of this Hub is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be a substitute for proper medical diagnosis, treatment or advice, and you should not assume that it is. Always consult your health-care provider / physician / doctor before taking any medications, natural remedies, supplements, or making any major changes to your diet.

Please take a second to leave a comment, thanks!

Elizabeth Griggs on May 09, 2015:

Very helpful hub for those dealing with this disorder. Thanks you for sharing your expertise. Voted up as useful.

jaivathan on January 01, 2014:

I had some shoulder pain and the doctor prescribed Diclofenac Sodium 100 mg, one tablet per day. I had three tablets over three days about 10 days ago. I have had ringing in my ears ever since. I stopped taking Diclofenac after taking the three pills. Any thoughts on how reversible Tinnitus is, in my case ?

Fraser on December 23, 2013:

Like Bex I took Diclofenac for 4 days and my head has been ringing ever since. Does anyone know of a cure for Diclofenac induced tinnitus?

JCielo (author) from England on November 07, 2013:

Pamela99, thanks for stopping by. Let us know how you get on won't you?

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 07, 2013:

I am glad to read of all the great possible remedies, as I have yet to find one that works. So, now I have some more to try. Thanks.

JCielo (author) from England on May 24, 2013:

RAYMOND - It may not be tinnitus. You need to see your doctor for a professional diagnosis. Once they have established what is actually causing the bad buzzing in your head, follow their advice. If they confirm that it is tinnitus, then talk to them about some of the options outlined here. But always be advised by them.

RAYMOND on May 24, 2013:

i have very bad buzzing in the head can i get help for it.

JCielo (author) from England on April 10, 2013:

Thanks all for leaving such insightful and informative comments.

Lucy Jones from Scandinavia on April 06, 2013:

Very helpful hub for those dealing with this disorder. Thanks you for sharing your expertise. Voted up as useful.

seanorjohn on April 05, 2013:

Thanks for the info. My son suffers from tinnitus and his doctor was very unhelpful. Never realised that exercise could help. Voted up

Justlife98 from Georgia on April 05, 2013:

I like this article it explain some of the symptoms that are going on in my ear right now.It only happens when my allergy and sinus are acting up.I will be giving some of the natural remedies a try.Good article

JCielo (author) from England on February 07, 2013:

@Peter Geekie, thanks so much for leaving a comment.

@mperrottet, thanks for sharing your experience with us.

Peter Geekie from Sittingbourne on September 03, 2012:

Dear JCielo

Thank you for a comprehensive article which could help many people

Kind regards Peter

Margaret Perrottet from San Antonio, FL on September 01, 2012:

I had tinnitus for about a month after, of all things, my husband kissed me on my ear. I looked it up on the internet, and found that others have had the same thing happen to them. Fortunately, it went away by itself. This is a really thorough, well crafted hub on the subject. Voted up, useful and interesting.

JCielo (author) from England on August 14, 2012:

Bex, Tinnitus is a known side effect of Diclofenac (and other NSAIDs) although only a small percentage of patients are affected. The tinnitus is usually reversible after the drug is ceased.

But, it's always best to consult your doctor for expert opinion and advice.

Bex on August 13, 2012:

I started taking diclofenac (a NSAID) and got tinnitus. Stopped taking it Saturday, now I'm horrified that I'll be living with this forever! Have you ever heard of such a thing happening? I was only on diclofenac for 3 days.

JCielo (author) from England on August 06, 2012:

Ignugent & Nick, thanks for your very positive comments. I'm so pleased that you found my article helpful.

Nick Hanlon from Chiang Mai on August 05, 2012:

As a musician this is fantastic to know.This is the one thing that scares me about music.

ignugent17 on August 04, 2012:

Very useful and interesting. This is full of information and very helpful for those people who are suffering ear ringings. Thanks!

JCielo (author) from England on August 04, 2012:

GoForTheJuggler, I really hope that you find something here that helps you. Thanks for leaving your valuable comment.

JCielo (author) from England on August 04, 2012:

Rajan, thanks so much for stopping by. Appreciate your taking time to leave a comment.

Joshua Patrick from Texas on August 04, 2012:

Thanks for this. I have a mild case of tinnitus, and I've been wondering what to do about it. I will definitely try some of these suggestions. Voted up!

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 04, 2012:

John this is an interesting and in depth article on tinnitus varieties, causes and treatment.

Glad that you shared some natural remedies.

Voted up, useful and interesting.

Shared this hub.

JCielo (author) from England on May 15, 2012:

Pamela99... Thanks for stopping by and leaving such an interesting comment. Hope you find something here that helps.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 15, 2012:

This is a very informative article as I've been looking for help with this problem. I have a lot of medical issues and have had bilateral mild tinnitus for a long time. Recently I was given tobramycin for a resistant infection the tinnitus in my both ears is worse, but especially in my left. I already take B12 injections. I am going to try some of the other things you suggested and I appreciate such a thorough hub on this topic. Thanks.

White Sapphire from New England, USA on April 20, 2011:

Very informative article.

Related Articles