Tinnitus is a perception of sound when none is there, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. It often manifests as a ringing in the ears, but it may also sound like a buzzing, hissing, whistling or even roaring in the head. Tinnitus is a a symptom of an underlying condition. It can be linked to hearing loss, stress, ear damage, blood pressure, tumors and atherosclerosis, which is a narrowing of the arteries. If correcting the underlying cause fails to provide results, or an underlying cause cannot be found, another form of treatment may help to reduce or eliminate the ringing. One form of treatment is vitamin therapy.
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One of the more common supplements used for treating tinnitus is gingko biloba, according to the Mayo Clinic. A study conducted at the Allgemeines Krankenhaus St. Georg of Hamburg, Germany in 2002 showed that gingko infusion treatment, which is the administration of liquids directly into the bloodstream, coupled with oral gingko biloba is effective in alleviating symptoms associated with tinnitus. Oral gingko was taken in 80 mg doses twice a day over 12 weeks. But, people also have taken 120 to 240 mg of magnesium orally, without infusion, and experienced an improvement as well.
Zinc is another supplement that may help treat tinnitus, according to information provided by the National Institutes of Health. A study conducted by the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at St. Marianna University School of Medicine in 1997 found that people suffering from tinnitus were also deficient in zinc. Participants were given 34 or 68 mg of zinc each day for two weeks. Most experience a decrease in the symptoms of tinnitus as blood zinc levels increased.
Melatonin is a hormone manufactured by the body, but it can also be found as a dietary supplement used for sleep disorders. A study conducted by the Ear Research Foundation of Sarasota, Florida in 1998 showed that it may benefit people living with tinnitus. Participants took 3 mg of melatonin over the course of 30 days and found an improvement in symptoms.
The National Institutes of Health offers B-vitamins as another potential solution for tinnitus. A study performed at the Institute of Noise Hazards Research in 1993 found that some people suffering from tinnitus also suffered from a B12 deficiency. Supplementing the diet with this vitamin provided an improvement in the condition. There's also some anecdotal evidence that both niacin and thiamin can provide relief of tinnitus. Between 100 and 500 mg were take of thiamin. Niacin was taken in 50 mg doses and progressed up to 500 mg. It's recommended to discuss these B-vitamins for the treatment of tinnitus with a doctor before use.