Homeopathy for Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears)
Tinnitus, a sensation of ringing, buzzing, or humming in the ears, is a common condition with no known effective pharmacological treatment; leaving many patients to just learn to live with the condition. However, homeopathy takes a different approach to treatment and may prove to be effective where other treatments have failed. While there may be several underlying causes of tinnitus, homeopathic remedies focus on balancing specific symptoms of the entire individual, including tinnitus, and therefore can be safe and effective in providing relief for this condition.
The main objective of homeopathy in the treatment of tinnitus is to induce or create small manifestations of similar symptoms in order to reduce or eliminate the body’s awareness of them and its negative physiological response to them. Most homeopathic remedies for tinnitus involve natural substances derived from plants. But in recent years, another exciting homeopathic remedy has incorporated the use of electronic and computer software that endeavors to “retrain” and reprogram the brain to process differently the background sounds caused by tinnitus.
Traditional Homeopathic Remedies for Tinnitus
While homeopathy specifically caters to individuals and their specific symptoms, there are a few common remedies that address the classic symptoms of tinnitus (a sensation of ringing, buzzing, or humming in the ears), including:
- Carbo vegetalis
- China (Cinchona officinalis)
- Calcarea carbonica
- Chininum sulphuricum
- Lycopodium (Clubmoss)
It must be emphasized that plant-derived homeopathic remedies are intricately prepared and involve a process that includes a series of precise dilutions and successions (referred to as potentization). Substances used in homeopathic remedies are so diluted and contain such a small amount of the active ingredient that they should not cause adverse symptoms to develop. Undiluted, non-homeopathic doses of any listed substances are counter-effective and can be toxic.
Specific Homeopathic Remedies for Combinations of Symptoms
For persons experiencing specific symptoms in the ears on a fairly continuous basis, especially in elderly persons, many practitioners suggest homeopathic doses of the following:
- Kali iodatum: Ringing sounds with no other symptoms
- Chininum sulphuricum: Buzzing or hissing sounds
- Natrum salicylicum: Low, dull, humming sounds, with or without vertigo (dizziness) or hearing loss
- Carbo vegetalis: Classic sounds in addition to nausea, vertigo, chills
- Calcarea carbonica: Classic sounds or other hearing problems; cracking or pulsing sensation in the ears, alone or with vertigo and chills
- Salicylic acidum: Roaring sounds along with giddiness and diminished hearing
- Carbonium sulphuratum: Roaring sounds plus tingling sensation and a feeling that the ears are clogged or plugged
- Graphites: Classic sounds in addition to hissing or clicking and associated hearing loss; may also be dry skin inside the ears and moist eruptions behind the external lobes
- Lycopodium: Humming or roaring in the ears, often accompanied by hearing loss and an echo sensation in the ears
- Cocculus: If the main symptom is nausea and dizziness, accompanied by light-headedness and tinnitus
- Cimicifuga: If the main symptom is a sensitivity to noise, often accompanied by a despondence or feeling of depression (improved with food and warmth)
- Salicylic acid: If there is reason to believe that symptoms of tinnitus (loud roaring and/or ringing) followed the taking of too much aspirin (often affecting the elderly)
- Chininum sulphuricum: If there is reason to believe that symptoms of tinnitus (very loud buzzing and ringing, and sometimes vertigo) followed the taking of quinine tablets
Choosing the proper homeopathic remedy at the correct dosage often requires the assistance of a professional homeopath. Consider a professional homeopathic consultation if you are not experiencing any relief of your tinnitus.
How Can Computer Software and Electronic Sounds Improve Tinnitus?
Invoking one of the main tenets of homeopathy, that “like treats like,” researchers have developed aural software (something listened to) that can help alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus. There are two main approaches to these engaging homeopathic remedies. One involves listening to other sounds in an effort to lower the influence of tinnitus on one’s attention. The other endeavors to change the way the human brain processes and responds to sound.
In electronics, experts often refer to what is called the signal-to-noise ratio. This refers to the difference between background noise (optimally none) and the specific sound being recorded. Compare an old, scratchy 78-rpm record of classical music (with high background hiss, fuzz, etc.) with a new, crisp digital recording of the same music (where the signal-to-noise ratio nears 0), and the concept is more readily understood. The theory behind a homeopathic treatment for tinnitus is to decrease the signal-to-noise ratio between the tinnitus sounds (ringing, humming) and other sounds. The concept of white noise being used to blur or blot out other noises during sleep or relaxation operates on a similar theory.
In the homeopathic software designed for tinnitus, the effect is accomplished by blending and changing the parameters of as many as 14 different sounds in the three different frequency ranges (low, middle, high). These can be individually controlled by the user until the right mix either mutes out or makes indistinguishable the irritating tinnitus sounds.
Another electronic software approach also involves easing the shift between silence and sounds associated with tinnitus. An artificial sound is produced that is believed to be very similar in sound and effect to those experienced by sufferers of tinnitus. By manipulating and repeating the sound, researchers hope to induce incremental responses by the human ear and brain that ultimately change how the brain processes the sounds and responds to them. A simple analogy might be to consider a person who lives rurally and hears the shrill sound of an ambulance siren in the middle of the night. Conversely, consider a city dweller so accustomed to hearing ambulance and fire sirens that he or she is not even aware of them when they occur. Researchers of homeopathic electronic remedies hope to produce a similar nonresponsive effect in the retrained brains of tinnitus sufferers so that they are seldom bothered by the “background” noise of ringing or humming.
While both of these promising electronic approaches essentially operate by masking or disguising the more frequently experienced sounds of tinnitus, they nonetheless can provide relief from the more irritating symptoms. These products may be found commercially under brand names such as Tinnitus Tamer and Tinnitus Masker Pro.
What Is Homeopathy?
One of the oldest forms of medical treatment worldwide, practitioners of homeopathy rely on the “Law of Similars” to “treat like with like.” The principle behind this practice is that any substance that can produce symptoms can also be used as a medicine for the same symptoms when used in much smaller doses. Vaccine drugs (using dead or live viruses or organisms) operate on a similar principle to generate a protective immune response in the body, preventing future symptoms of the disease.