Tinnitus is the technical term for ringing in the ear, although it may actually involve sounds better described as buzzing, roaring, or hissing. The noise can be intermittent or continuous and can vary in pitch and loudness. Most people have experienced tinnitus occasionally for a minute or two, perhaps in reaction to a loud sound. However, some people have tinnitus continuously, over long periods of time. It can range from a minor annoyance to a serious and nearly intolerable condition.
Exposure to loud noise can lead to tinnitus, as can ear obstructions, ear infections, otosclerosis (abnormal bone growth in the ear), head injuries, or heart and blood vessel disorders. In some cases, treating the underlying disorder will relieve the tinnitus; however, in many cases the cause either cannot be found or cannot be treated.
A 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial with 21 participants tested the effectiveness of a homeopathic remedy containing Sodium salicylate, Ascaridole (Chenopodium), Conine (Conium), and Quinine as a treatment for tinnitus.1 The results were negative in all measures of the condition.
In classical homeopathy, there are many possible homeopathic treatments for tinnitus, to be chosen based on various specific details of the person seeking treatment.
The remedy Carbo vegetabilis is sometimes used for tinnitus accompanied by vertigo and nausea, especially when symptoms are most severe at night.
Chininum sulphuricum might be recommended for use by people whose tinnitus is extremely loud (to them).
When tinnitus is associated with hearing loss, Graphites is often considered. The type of tinnitus associated with this remedy is described as involving hissing or clicking sounds, as well as loud reports (like gunshots).
For herbs, supplements, and other alternative treatments that may be useful for this condition, see the Tinnitus article.
For a thorough explanation of homeopathy, including dilution of therapies, see the Homeopathy Overview.
1. Simpson JJ, Donaldson I, Davies WE. Use of homeopathy in the treatment of tinnitus. Br J Audiol. 1998;32:227–233.
Last reviewed September 2014 by EBSCO CAM Review Board Last Updated: 9/18/2014