Acupuncture for Tinnitus: What You Need to Know
Have you ever heard a phantom ringing sound in your ears? You may have experienced tinnitus. For some, this condition can be a mild annoyance, but for others, tinnitus can disrupt their lives. While there are many treatment options, many people turn to acupuncture for tinnitus.
And research has found that the ancient practice of acupuncture may be effective at easing tinnitus symptoms. Let’s take a closer look at this condition and how acupuncture sessions may help.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a condition that causes you to hear ringing or other noises in one or both of your ears. The sound can only be heard by the person with tinnitus and isn’t caused by an external source.
While ringing is the most common sound, people with tinnitus may also hear:
Tinnitus is more common than you think and affects up to 20% of people. For some people, tinnitus causes a constant ringing sound, but for others, their symptoms come and go.
In either case, the symptoms of tinnitus can be disruptive and make it difficult to sleep or concentrate.
In many cases, tinnitus is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as an ear injury or age-related hearing loss. Treating the underlying condition can sometimes ease symptoms, but there is no cure for this condition.
That being said, there are many treatments that can help with the management of tinnitus, including acupuncture.
How Can Acupuncture Help with Tinnitus?
The goal of acupuncture is to help restore balance and remove any blockages that are disrupting the flow of qi (your body’s energy or life force).
By removing blockages and restoring balance, the body can better heal itself. Even with a complex condition like tinnitus, acupuncture may be able to help.
In many cases, tinnitus is the expression of a much deeper problem caused by imbalances and disharmony in the body. Acupuncture sessions can help address underlying issues to ease symptoms of both the tinnitus itself and the condition that may be causing it.
Acupuncture may be particularly effective at reducing tinnitus symptoms associated with:
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorders)
- Chronic neck pain
What Science Says About Acupuncture and Tinnitus
Several studies have looked at acupuncture’s effect on tinnitus. While more research is needed, the results thus far have been promising. Recent studies have found that acupuncture may help reduce tinnitus symptoms and improve quality of life.
One small study from 2018 included 88 adults and looked at the effects of acupuncture on tinnitus. Researchers found that acupuncture was effective at reducing the volume and severity of tinnitus.
A meta-analysis also found that acupuncture may be an effective treatment for tinnitus.
Should You Try Acupuncture for Tinnitus?
Although more research is needed on the effectiveness of acupuncture on tinnitus, recent studies show promising results. There is no evidence that acupuncture will make your symptoms worse, so it’s worth trying if your symptoms are disrupting your life. In addition, acupuncture is a generally safe practice that may also ease other issues and correct imbalances.
This article was written by an independent researcher. On matters of acupuncture, this article may not accurately represent the teachings of ITEA.