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Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears) (cont.)

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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
  • Melatonin
  • 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.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/24/2015


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