If you have tinnitus, your health care professional will first treat any underlying disorders. There is usually no cure for tinnitus itself, but there are many treatments that can help you manage the condition.
- Hearing aids can help with tinnitus if you have hearing loss.
- If medication is the cause of the tinnitus, your doctor may switch you to another type of medication (never stop taking any medication without first consulting your doctor).
- If tinnitus interferes with your sleep, masking techniques like white noise machines, behavioral therapies, or medications may help. Discuss these therapies and medications with your doctor.
- Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) trains you to accept the sounds from tinnitus as normal, helping you to be less aware of it. Masking devices resemble hearing aids and produce low-level sounds that can help reduce awareness of tinnitus sounds.
- Similar to TRT, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may help retrain you to feel less distressed with the noise of tinnitus.
- Biofeedback can help you manage reactions to tinnitus, and may make it less stressful.
- Discuss with your doctor any supplements you are taking such as vitamins (vitamin E, niacin, copper).
- Herbal remedies (ginkgo biloba, melatonin), the vitamin zinc, and a treatment called transcranial magnetic stimulation are billed as treatmens for tinnitus, are not recommended by the Academy of Otolaryngology.
- Time. Not all treatments work for all patients. Though tinnitus may worsen over time for you, most people tend to find it less bothersome as time passes.
If you have tinnitus you also may become depressed, suffer from anxiety, or become more stressed. Discuss with your doctor medications or seek counseling because they can reduce the stress associated with tinnitus.
Medically reviewed by Peter O’Connor, MD; American Board of Otolaryngology with subspecialty in Sleep Medicine
UpToDate. Patient information: Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) (Beyond the Basics)