By: Dr. Victor Marchione
Tinnitus is a condition that causes constant ringing, buzzing, and humming in the ears even in the absence of an external sound. Finding the exact cause might be difficult, but there are many home remedies for tinnitus (ringing in ear) management.
The symptoms can go on and on, negatively impacting one’s quality of life, hindering proper hearing, and disturbing good night’s sleep.
Tinnitus is a growing problem. In fact, one in 10 Americans are living with the condition. Lead researcher Dr. Harrison Lin said, “Durations of occupational and leisure-time noise exposures correlated with rates of tinnitus and, accordingly, there are likely correctable risk factors that can be addressed in the workplace and at home.”
If you’re struggling with day-to-day living with tinnitus, here are some natural home remedies you can try for coping with and managing your tinnitus.
Home remedies for tinnitus
Apple cider vinegar
If you have an underlying infection that is causing tinnitus, then apple cider vinegar may help with the infection thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- Mix about two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and a small amount of honey in a glass of water.
- Drink this mixture twice daily until the sensation of ringing in the ears has subsided.
Holy basil can be made into a paste and put into the ear to help clear out any bacterial infections.
- Blend a handful of basil leaves in a blender making a paste-like mixture.
- Press the paste through a strainer with a spoon to extract the juices.
- Warm the juice mixture up slightly, about lukewarm.
- Drip the holy basil juice into the affected ear using a dropper.
- Repeat twice daily for three to four days.
Onions contain antibacterial properties. Put a few drops of the juice of a heated-up onion into your ear to clear out bacteria.
- Chop a small onion into small pieces.
- Microwave those pieces for about one to two minutes.
- When cool, strain the onion pieces through a strainer to extract the juices.
- Once you have obtained the onion juice, use a dropper to put two to three drops of juice into the affected ear. Leave it there for about five minutes before tilting your head and draining it out.
- Repeat this a few times per week.
Garlic can be used to treat tinnitus caused by high altitudes or cold weather as it helps reduce inflammation. Make a paste with sesame oil and garlic and add a few drops into your ear.
- Crush two cloves of garlic and fry with one tablespoon of sesame oil.
- Let it cool, then strain the mixture to get rid of any solid bits.
- Put two to three drops of the oil into the affected ear canal.
- Do this at night before going to bed for about a week.
Saline solution can help with tinnitus caused by blocked nasal passages. A saline solution can be sprayed with a nasal spray to help clear passages.
- To make your own homemade saline solution, mix one teaspoon of salt and glycerin in two cups of warm water.
- Using a nasal spray bottle, inject the solution into each nostril until it starts to drain into the back of your throat.
- Follow this recipe three times a day until your nasal passages are clear.
Mustard oil is an antifungal agent, so it can help clear infections and boost the immune system.
- Slightly warm a little mustard oil in a microwave.
- Put a few drops of warm mustard oil directly into the affected ear.
- Allow the oil to sit for five to 10 minutes.
- Then tilt your head to the other side so that the oil drains out of the ear.
- Remove the softened earwax with the help of an ear bud.
- Repeat once daily for a few days.
Pumpkin is packed with vitamin A, and a deficiency in vitamin A has been found to contribute to tinnitus. Vitamin A plays an important part in the proper functioning of the cochlea (inner ear), which is responsible for transmitting sound. Pumpkin can be incorporated into soups, stir fry, and even baked dishes.
Pineapple can help lessen inflammation and also contains vitamin A.
Other treatment options for tinnitus
This is a home remedy to help relieve the symptoms of tinnitus. However, it is important to note that this method does not work for all people. The exact reason that this method relieves tinnitus symptoms is not known. It is thought that distracting the mind from the buzzing helps the brain recalibrate, ridding itself of the ringing.
This is how you do the finger drumming technique:
- Place both palms on the right and left ears respectively. Both middle fingers should be touching ends at the back of your head.
- Your middle fingers should be at the base of your skull. This is a ridge at the back of the head where you should link your middle fingers.
- Now, place your index fingers over the middle fingers. Begin snapping the index finger against the skull producing a sharp drumming sound,
- Repeat this process about 20 to 30 times and about two to three times a day. It may also be useful to do this technique during times of tinnitus itself.
There are many different types of essential oils containing various properties, with some more appropriate for certain conditions than others. Some essential oils that are great for tinnitus are lavender oil, cypress oil, and juniper oil
Tinnitus is permanent in about 25 percent of patients. In many cases, addressing the underlying cause of tinnitus can help ease the symptoms. Treatment methods may include taking antibiotics, removing obstructions or ear wax, changing medications or dosages, treating certain neurological illnesses, getting a surgery to correct joint problems, going for counseling for stress or depression, and getting dental work done.
If no underlying cause has been identified, then alternative treatments may be required. Common options include wearing a device (similar to a hearing aid) that provides soothing or pleasing sounds, training the brain not to hear the annoying sounds, wearing hearing aids in case of hearing loss, as well as avoiding loud sounds, caffeine, and stressful situations as all these factors can aggravate your tinnitus condition.
If managing tinnitus on your own is a challenge, speak to your doctor about your treatment options.