Tinnitus is the perception of sounds, including ringing, in your ear. Though there is no cure for this bothersome condition, states the American Tinnitus Association, some cases of tinnitus may be managed by addressing the underlying factors that cause this condition. Treatment outcomes, however, largely depend on the specific cause of your tinnitus. Certain dietary supplements may help control your tinnitus, but you should only use supplements if you are under the care of a knowledgeable health care provider.
Age-related hearing loss, exposure to loud noises, earwax accumulation and changes in your ear bones are all possible causes of tinnitus. One of the most common causes of this condition, however, may be inner ear cell damage, notes MayoClinic.com. If you have tinnitus, you may hear the following noises in your ears: ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, whistling or hissing. There are two principal types of tinnitus: subjective and objective. Subjective tinnitus is tinnitus that only you can hear, whereas objective tinnitus is tinnitus that your doctor can detect during an examination.
Dietary supplements have commonly been used in treating tinnitus, although research evidence into their effectiveness for this condition may be lacking. According to naturopathic physician William A. Mitchell Jr., author of "Plant Medicine in Practice," ginkgo is a dietary supplement that has historically been used in treating this condition. Other dietary supplements that may be helpful in treating this condition include coenzyme Q10, manganese, magnesium, a multivitamin and mineral complex, vitamin E, and echinacea.
Manganese is a dietary supplement that may be a helpful adjunct therapy in treating your tinnitus or hearing loss. Manganese deficiency has been associated with numerous ear disorders, notes Phyllis A. Balch, a certified nutritional consultant and author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." Manganese is an essential nutrient that is found in numerous foods, and consuming a small amount of this trace element every day is important to your health, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Too much manganese in your diet, however, may cause health problems, especially nervous system problems.
If you experience ringing in your ears, or other unusual sounds, consult your family physician. Your doctor can assess your condition and offer helpful treatment suggestions or refer you to a hearing loss specialist to help diagnose the underlying cause of your condition. Dietary supplements should always be used with caution and under the supervision of a licensed health care professional. The use of dietary supplements does not guarantee a cure for your tinnitus.
- American Tinnitus Association: ATA's Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions
- "Plant Medicine in Practice"; William A. Mitchell Jr., N.D.; 2003
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Toxic Substances Portal: Manganese