“Cure your Tinnitus in 1 Hour” and other false promises
If you are seeking treatment for Tinnitus, chances are you have seen recommendations for at-home remedies and over-the-counter treatments. You may have even tried some of them. But the question we’re hoping to answer is “do they actually work.”
The answer is a muddy, yes and no, but mostly no.
Some of the largest, most impactful research studies on Tinnitus treatments used in the medical community show a reduction in 80-85% of participants. In these studies, a reduction in Tinnitus perception is measured via questionnaires about how bothersome the Tinnitus is. If initially the score is very high, suggesting a moderate or severe perceived handicap from Tinnitus, and 6 months into treatment, the score is at least 50% better, this is considered successfully treated. While it is possible for a patient’s Tinnitus to go away completely, this is not the standard response. A more typical response is that Tinnitus is reduced and less bothersome.
As you can see, there are no guarantees made. The treatments that are FDA approved for Tinnitus may provide a significant reduction, and a significant reduction may still leave you with some Tinnitus. No claims are made to guarantee that you will benefit or to guarantee that the Tinnitus will be completely gone. If we use this as a guideline for the best possible expectations for Tinnitus treatment, it becomes easier to spot false advertising.
Examples of things to stay away from include: “Cure your Tinnitus in 1 hour”, “Get rid of Tinnitus forever”, and “6 steps to banish tinnitus and get your life back”. While tempting, if any of these claims were true, we would see far fewer people with Tinnitus around.
Tinnitus can occur for many different reasons, so it is important to seek treatment depending on what is causing yours. This is one reason we don’t automatically discredit all home remedies or over-the-counter treatments. Certain vitamins may overcome a deficit in the vascular system that is causing your Tinnitus. It is possible that certain maneuvers or massages will relax the muscles causing TMJ or tension in the jaw, which is causing your Tinnitus.
It is also possible that these same strategies will not have any effect on your Tinnitus because yours is caused by exposure to loud noise. Therefore vitamins and massage are ineffective treatments.
No matter what you choose to do, it is always advised to pursue treatment under medical supervision. Even though vitamins or massage may seem harmless, a doctor will be able to help you avoid negative medication interactions or furthering any damage to the sensitive structures in your ears. Additionally, it is important to rule out the somewhat small chance of Tinnitus being caused by something worse.
If you have any questions about an over-the-counter product you’ve been interested in, you can do a few things to see if it’s right for you. First, always consult with an ENT doctor to make sure there will be no negative impact on your health. Second, look into the research surrounding the product – what claims do they make regarding Tinnitus treatment? Are there research studies to suggest that this works for some patients and not as well for others? Hint: Do not put weight into reviews, as you cannot verify that they are real, edited, or inaccurate. Third, you can try whatever you find, knowing that there is a chance it could help and a chance it may not.
In the case that the over-the-counter method you choose does not work out for you, schedule a consultation with an Audiologist or ENT doctor about medically recommended treatment options. Our team has been successfully providing Tinnitus relief since 2017.