Will Acupuncture Help My Tinnitus?

Acupuncture and Tinnitus treatment.

Tinnitus is a ringing or buzzing you hear in your ears. It can develop for a number of reasons, many of which are related to prolonged noise damage. Maybe you’ve been dealing with your own tinnitus for a number of years now and you’ve encountered various setbacks. Are you at the point where you should try acupuncture to help?

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a traditional, eastern practice during which tiny needles are inserted into various points on the body to achieve a desired effect. The effect you achieve varies depending on the “hotspot” targeted. Acupuncture, in particular, has been widely used to help control pain and manage stress.

What does the science say about acupuncture?

There’s not enough evidence to entirely dismiss the notion that acupuncture might actually help with tinnitus or hearing loss symptoms. Indeed, at least two major studies have been performed trying to answer this exact question. Unfortunately, both studies were largely inconclusive.

Will acupuncture actually temper my tinnitus?

In one study, acupuncture seemed to have a minimal but positive effect. Another study reported the same thing. But in both cases, the studies were small and acupuncture was not the sole treatment being sought out.

So scientific research is rather inconclusive. That said, there is not a significant body of evidence that suggests acupuncture will improve your tinnitus symptoms.

Acupuncture and stress

Here’s the thing: if acupuncture helps you manage your stress (that’s why many people seek it out), then it may, as a corollary action, help you manage tinnitus symptoms. That’s because stress is often a trigger for many people. (High blood pressure, for example, can make tinnitus symptoms worse).

Reducing stress may give you some relief from tinnitus. But if the idea of needles freaks you out (and stresses you out), there isn’t a compelling reason to recommend this treatment.

The downsides of treatment

There are two major downsides to acupuncture treatment that you’ll have to weigh:

  • Complications: It’s rare, but it’s not unheard of for needles to become contaminated and cause infections. Most reputable acupuncture clinics take steps to ensure that doesn’t happen. But it’s still a risk that you should be aware of.
  • Compensation: Your health insurance is, in all likelihood, not going to cover your acupuncture session. Count on paying for this treatment out of pocket. (How much money you’re talking about will likely depend on the clinic and on the specific acupuncture treatment you’re getting).

Final thoughts

The final word on acupuncture and tinnitus is, scientifically anyway, forthcoming. Acupuncture as a practice has been around for thousands of years for a reason, though, and research does support that it can reduce stress. Stress, in turn, has been shown to be associated with tinnitus symptoms.

Is this the best treatment for you? Ultimately, it will be up to you to weigh the rewards and benefits. But it’s worth talking to a hearing specialist before making a final decision. Having a hearing test can help uncover what’s causing your tinnitus and reveal the best ways to deal with it. Many people who have hearing loss also have tinnitus, and treating the hearing loss can help with tinnitus as well.

Want more information?

Checkout these related articles

Vertigo illness concept. Man hands on his head felling headache dizzy sense of spinning dizziness,a problem with the inner ear, brain, or sensory nerve pathway
Kevin St. Clergy
| October 19, 2022

What Tests Can Be Done for Balance Issues?

Imagine taking a cruise and immediately getting seasick. It would take the fun out of everything, right? And there’s always that adjustment period when you […]

Read More… from What Tests Can Be Done for Balance Issues?

Woman holding her ear in pain
Kevin St. Clergy
| September 27, 2022

Tinnitus Could Be Affecting Your Relationships

Do you manage to ignore your tinnitus? You may have altered how your brain processes emotions. […]

Read More… from Tinnitus Could Be Affecting Your Relationships

Man closes ears with fingers because of Tinnitus.
Kevin St. Clergy
| September 23, 2022

New Research Connects Tinnitus to Diet

You walk into the kitchen and you look for a snack. You want something salty… maybe some crackers? Some crisps? Or, maybe you should just […]

Read More… from New Research Connects Tinnitus to Diet

Find A Hearing Expert Near You Today

Discover everything you need to know about hearing loss and hearing aids and find top local hearing experts.

Find An Expert