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Supplements for Tinnitus -- Woman Holding Her Ears


Several supplements are promoted for reducing symptoms of tinnitus, or ringing in the ear, but only two are supported by clinical evidence.

At the same time, use of certain supplements has been associated onset or worsening of tinnitus, although a causal effect has not been proven.

Sign in for details, including the effects on tinnitus of pine bark extract (Pycnogenol), melatonin, vitamin B-12, zinc, Ginkgo biloba, CoQ10, weight loss supplements, vitamin D, calcium, helichrysum oil and caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea. Also, find out if cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and lifestyle changes such as following a healthy diet and exercising to lose weight can have a benefit.

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September 19, 2021

Has anyone tried helichrysum on the bone behind the ear? It's recommended by essential oil companies....This ringing is beginning to drive me crazy!!
September 24, 2021

We've added information about helichrysum oil in the answer above.

September 3, 2021

I am a retired firefighter and suffer also.My ENT Dr. Suffers also, this is a permanent condition that can’t be reversed. This mostly happens from environmental conditions loud music, power tools, ect. He pointed out to me that salt will worsen this. I noticed when I ate pizza, potato chips and any other high sodium food mine worsened. If I do eat these foods I like,mine intensifies. I find increasing my water intake and flushing my system for a few days It will return to my normal ringing. Hearing aids won’t ’help the condition but I can hear better.

September 22, 2021

I have had tinnitus for at least 10 years. I quickly learned that MSG, salt and caffeine exacerbate the problem. But only recently have I cut most sugar out of my diet and have noticed a significant difference in the level of my tinnitus. It's much lower. So consider cutting out sugar - and of course, sugar substitutes.
Of course, one of the most helpful things I learned was to ignore it and not stress over it. Easy to say, harder to learn to do, but possible. At night, if tinnitus is bothersome, I've found that using earbuds to listen to a book on tape (or whatever works for you - music, crickets, white noise) helps me to sleep. A book helps me because instead of focusing on the tinnitus, I'm focusing on the story. Side note: I fall asleep before I finish a chapter, so a book last a long, long time!

September 1, 2021

I had tinnitus for 20+ years--and took HCTZ (hydrocholorthiazide) + an ARB (Angiotensin II Receptor Blocker) for hypertension for those 20+ years. I stopped HCTZ (but continued the ARB) about 6 months ago and my tinnitus disappeared. Can anyone suggest a reason for its disappearance?

August 31, 2021

There is good evidence that alcohol consumption and smoking make tinnitus worse as anyone who has occasionally over-imbibed knows well.

August 29, 2021

I have had tinnitus for around 25 years. I have the strong impression from personal experience that it is temporarily made worse by acetaminophen and naproxen.
I believe it is very difficult to discriminate between the absolute severity of the ringing and how closely one attends to it, so it makes sense to me that CBT and meditation can both be helpful.

July 16, 2021

Thank you for this Valuable update. I am overweight and am beginning a very healthy lifestyle with the help of your research here too. It actually is a good blessing as it made me be more self aware of what foods to ingest daily. Thanks for your wonderful research.

May 9, 2021

Had a hearing test sometime ago as I have too have ringing in my ears, can hear okay except when someone speaks softly; so at the request of doctor during a physical exam, went to an audiologists and it was strange in that the tone of the beep that she tested with sounded the same as the one of the tones in my ears. As a result she said I failed the test and she recommended hearing aid. She also said that I had nerve damage....didn't say what part of the brain, but I recall the first time I got tinnitus, I had a treatment by chiropractic type maneuver around the base of my neck, head and shoulders and since that time have found nothing to stop the noise though have tried many things.

July 16, 2021

I am just wondering what the hearing aid accomplishes? And I know have read many times to never have a chiropractic maneuver necks, ever. I too had that done, and after having ears tested, have now concluded that it is caused by my neck issues.

August 30, 2021

Chiropractic... a whole 'nuther discussion!

MINDY A23324
September 6, 2021

Hearing aids help while you are wearing them, to mask the tinnitus with bringing in background noise that you were not hearing due to your hearing loss. They don't cure your tinnitus so you will hear the tinnitus sound(s) after you remove the hearing aids. Also, there are programs built into hearing aids to mask the tinnitus noise. I am an audiologist.

May 9, 2021

There's tinnitus and there's pulsatile tinnitus (whoosh whoosh). Ginkgo Biloba (120 mg. per day) has stopped my pulsatile tinnitus. It took a while to take effect. I had to find this treatment on my own after consulting my primary care doc, an ENT specialist, and having an MRA scan. No help. My regular tinnitus is still here. I've been able to ignore it so far. I may try Pycnogenol.

June 7, 2021

Thank you for your post. I have pulsatile too and it keeps getting worse. I've had MRI scans and consults but no answer. May try the Ginkgo. I think it is related to inflammation.

July 17, 2021

My pulsatile immediately stopped completely when I had a permanent dental bridge installed in my mouth. I had a tooth extracted a few years before and apparently that space caused the problem. Many problems in the body can be related to oral health that you'd never think could happen.

February 27, 2017

My late father who worked as a studio musician for decades, had pretty severe tinnitus and in his early 80s was having trouble hearing a normal conversation in a quiet living room. Also, the severe ringing could be triggered by even normal percussive sounds.
I gave him small plastic bags with a combination of ginkgo, zinc, vitamin C and vitamin E and within a couple of weeks or a month of daily use his symptoms seem to disappear, as far as I could tell he was then able to hear the conversations at a normal volume and did not have the same complaints of triggering from the usual sounds.
None of the doses were "megadoses" although the vitamin E might have been somewhere at the 200 to 400 IU level. I always used and still use 'natural' form vitamin E and in it's mixed tocopherol forms.
(Some years later I was told by the head cognitive doctors at Kaiser Permanente that the natural type of vitamin E was approximately four times less blood thinning. That was on a day when they prescribed my father 2000 IU for vascular dementia. Within two weeks of him starting that His Aphasia started clearing up. That was pretty amazing and surprising as prescribed by the major HMO!)
March 7, 2017

Hi Robert - Thank you for those experiences. To clarify one of your points, both the natural and synthetic forms of vitamin E can have a blood thinning effect. However, the synthetic form can have this effect at a slightly lower dose than the natural form, as explained in the "How Much Is Too Much?" section of the Vitamin E Supplements Review ( So, although the natural form is slightly less blood thinning than the synthetic form, it is not "four times less blood thinning," as you wrote.

March 7, 2017

Thank you for that clarification on the blood thinning affective natural versus synthetic form vitamin E.
This to take place quite sometime ago so memory might be a factor here., Maybe I need to take more vitamin E!
March 8, 2017

Your'e welcome Robert. It's certainly hard to keep track of all the details regarding vitamins – and the science is continually changing. But that's why we're here!

September 9, 2015

As an "anecdote" - over the course of several years, 3 or 4 people have independently related similar experiences to me (as an employee and as an owner of health food businesses). They had tried Ginkgo Biloba for tinnitus, taken it for a couple of months with no results, and were about to give up on it, and said that at some point between 2 and 3 months, they woke up one morning and the ringing was gone. I know that is only a few people, but I was impressed by the similarity of their stories.

January 19, 2021

Thank you, If you receive this, will you share what amount they took of Gingko Biloba thanks

May 9, 2021

I started hearing a "sizzle" in my ears when I was 6 years old or so. It sounded just like when 'snow' was on the television set screen(1950's) The only time I ever really hear it is when I pay attention to my ears and listen. It is always the same. It doesn't bother my life in anyway. It seems I am lucky to just have the "sizzle" and not what others have to put up with.

July 16, 2021

I ignore my sizzle and it only gets stronger when I eat improperly and also I like to meditate with ear buds and that is a huge no even at a low low volume.

September 22, 2021

Michael, mine started around age 8, after an ear infection. Since I grew up w/it, I guess I just got used to it, & only notice it if the room is very quiet. Like you, I feel fortunate that it doesn't bother me, or keep me awake at night. I didn't even really know which ear it was, until I made it a point to figure it out recently! I do notice I can make the sound louder or softer by tilting my head to one side or the other, so I feel it's connected to the muscles or joints of the neck or jaw (also have bruxism.)

July 10, 2015

After getting T in my later yrs ( 60 )and I think from other medications, Being a Insulin Diabetic and taking 5 Meds a day thru the VA for yrs.

I found Taking a Multi B Vitamin and "Clear Tinnitus" from Puritans Pride has helped and calms things down..

But it does get rough at times, in the evenings and I think is related to Being Tired by the evening.. Fortunatley, it hasn't interfered with my sleeping ( yet)

When it does, Flare UP ? and Taking Xanax and other Sedatives & Laying down for a nap have helped

Wm Shatner ( Star Trek Actor Fame) has it and is President of the Association to Find a Cure for T..

I also Lobby my Congressman and Senator to Increase funding for a Cure ..

July 16, 2021

Good for you Dennis. Five years later, we still though have to increase funding for a cure. Such a shame for us t sufferers.

July 9, 2015

I've had tinnitus for about 20 years. Tried Lipo-flavonoid, melatonin, and many other so-called remedies. None of them worked. Also tried chiropractors, acupuncture and going to an ENT (who told me nothing would work). Had a head MRI, which was fine. Went to Mass Eye and Ear for a hearing test and some tinnitus trials which included more acupuncture and tens therapy. If I had to pick one that may have had a slight temporary positive effect, it was probably acupuncture. I've given up and am just trying to accept it. I found the more I worry or get stressed out about it, the worse it gets. I have been using a sound generator that helps me sleep and the high pitched sound of crickets seems to cancel it out.

August 12, 2019

Yes! Crickets are the best. I've had T for 4 years and would not have made it this far without crickets. Its the only masking that works for me. I had given up on supplements over the years but started back out again test as now Im happy with any improvement. For the first couple years I was hoping to find something to completely eliminate it. Recently I was just trying to find a supplement that help with well being as that is what Tinnitus takes from us. About 6 months ago started taking a supplant named of all things "Well Being" by pure encapsulations. I take it in the morning and at bedtime. Recently, I started taking 100mg of Pycnogenol in the morning. I must say this stuff helps with energy and seems to block some of the depression that the T can bring. It seems to change the sound of the T a bit in a positive direction and seems to give me a little more energy to do thing that distract me from it. At this point, I don't care how or why, just anything that helps a little makes a big difference.

Judith S.5849
July 9, 2015

I've had tinnitus ever since I was 9 years old. It started after a case of the mumps. Luckily, it's very high pitched and doesn't interfere with my hearing, but it's gotten worse recently. I've noticed that salt, sugar, and caffeine make it worse. I already take B12 and melatonin. I cut back on vitamin D supplementation for the summer, but I don't notice a difference. All the doctors in my life have said there's nothing to be done about it, which is really discouraging. I'm thinking of going to an ENT or audiologist to see if they can help.

May 12, 2021

I've had tinnitus for eight years. At first it was very mild buzz sound. Within a couple of years it became so loud it interfered with my hearing and sleep. It was driving me crazy. I tried different supplements but had no relief. On the recommendation from a friend I went to an acupuncturist. At first there was no change but I stuck with it out of desperation. I continued the treatments twice a week for a year. After about 3 months the noise faded a bit every week. It is now almost gone. If you do decide to try acupuncture, try to get referrals from others or research the background. There is a great deal of difference in the skill level of acupuncturist.

July 16, 2021

Thank you for this. Can you please suggest how and what questions to ask regarding acupunture for t. Many physicians here in Ohio actually say, Oh yes, I can do that. But how does one really know. Its expensive for out of pocket treatment.

July 8, 2015

I've found that 5 Hour Energy gives me tinnitus. I believe it's because of the caffeine in it. Another nootropic, truBrain also gives me tinnitus (the one with caffeine). I still take them because benefits outweigh the minor ringing. I read tinnitus is caused by over-excited neurons for a particular frequency, and isn't a physical defect. I believe (hope) it's temporary, which it seems to be when I lay off the caffeine.

July 16, 2021

Oh Yes. I imagine it would. That is a very unhealthy concoction. I had a caffeine soda today and it reared up my t very strong. I am trying to drink water to rinse it out, but dont think it works that way. Take care, and please stay off the energy drinks, they are full of inflammatory ingredients. I am learning toooo!

July 8, 2015

My ENT has recommended Lysine and it does help. In the event of a severe flare, he has prescribed 2 mg of Valium which directly calms the cochlear of the ear and 4 mg of cortisone for a couple days. It has been 13 years since onset. The point of intervention for tinnitus is far from understood but research is ongoing. If one has neck pain due to any insult, tinnitus is likely to worsen. The vagus nerve would be antagonized. It is also the case that tinnitus depresses dopamine, seratonin and norepinephrine. Unfortunately, replacement with an anti-depressant usually exacerbates the problem. In fact, tinnitus is a side effect of SSRIs, SNRIs, and even St. John's Wort.

July 16, 2021

Helen, this is excellent information. I am just learning it 5 years later, but thank you. I do not have neck pain, but have neck issues and really believe it is stemming from that. You must have an excellent ent. I hope to find one someday soooooon.

July 8, 2015

There has been some evidence that the use of Vinpocetine, which increases blood flow to the brain may be helpful in relieving Tinnitus. Please comment.
July 9, 2015

Hi Alan - Vinpocetine is a synthetic derivative of a substance found in the periwinkle plant. There is one study showing that it improved symptoms in people with chronic tinnitus when they took a combination of intravenous (20 mg in 250 mL of saline) and oral doses (10 mg) twice daily, in addition to physiotherapy and laser treatment ( However, there do not appear to be any studies of vinpocetine on tinnitus when taken orally, without an intravenous dose.

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