Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears) (cont.)
Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Steven Doerr, MD
Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.
In this Article
- Tinnitus facts
- What causes tinnitus?
- What does the anatomy of the ear look like?
- What are the symptoms of tinnitus?
- What kind of doctor treats tinnitus?
- How is tinnitus diagnosed?
- What are the treatments for tinnitus?
- What home remedies soothe tinnitus symptoms?
- What medications treat tinnitus?
- Is there surgery to cure tinnitus?
- What is retraining therapy and relief therapy?
- Does acupuncture treat tinnitus symptoms?
- Can tinnitus be prevented?
- What's being done in research on tinnitus treatments?
- Tips for Treating Ear Infections
- Take the Ear Infection Quiz
- Overcoming a Balance Disorder
- Find a local Ear, Nose, & Throat Doctor in your town
What are the treatments for tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a common complaint, with up to 20% of Americans having experienced it. It is the most common symptom reported by military service members returning from combat, affecting up to 50% of individuals.
- Tinnitus may last for weeks or months, and then resolve spontaneously. For some people tinnitus it may last for years.
- The tinnitus may be significant enough to interfere with an individual's activities of daily living. For this reason, treatment must also be directed at decreasing the effects of tinnitus on a person's daily life, such as depression, insomnia, etc.
- For those people whose tinnitus is caused by an adverse or toxic reaction to a medication, stopping the drug may allow the hearing mechanism to recover; however, talk with your doctor before stopping any medication. Sometimes the adverse effects of medications on hearing may be permanent.
- Electrical stimulation and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation are some of the other treatment considerations available for certain individuals with tinnitus.
What home remedies soothe tinnitus symptoms?
The following home remedies may be of benefit to some individuals with tinnitus.
- Dietary restrictions including avoiding caffeine and decreasing salt intake
- Smoking cessation
- Zinc supplements
- Ginkgo biloba
What medications treat tinnitus?
- Benzodiazepine medications, including alprazolam (Xanax), may help suppress nerve function and decrease tinnitus symptoms.
- Corticosteroid injections into the middle ear may decrease inflammation in certain cases of tinnitus.
- Antidepressant medications may decrease the intensity of tinnitus or resolve the noise altogether. Moreover, antidepressants may also help with the depression that is sometimes associated with the presence of persistent and chronic tinnitus.
- Prostaglandin analogues, such as misoprostol (Cytotec), may be of some help in some people with tinnitus.
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