Have you ever wondered whether supplements may improve your tinnitus? Are you curious if your tinnitus might be caused by a vitamin or mineral deficiency?
These questions often lead people with tinnitus to investigate whether vitamins, minerals, and supplements might improve their condition by treating a deficiency or improving overall health. Here is the essential guide to learn about the potential benefits and risks of using vitamin and mineral supplements for tinnitus.
What Does Research Say About Vitamins And Mineral Supplements For Tinnitus?
The short answer is that there is very little scientific evidence to suggest that supplements improve tinnitus. Some studies reported weakly positive results or were inconclusive and suggested that additional research may be useful for improving tinnitus by treating specific vitamin deficiency.
A more useful way to approach this question is whether treating a vitamin deficiency may improve overall health and thus also improve tinnitus. A good way to guard against a vitamin or mineral deficiency is to follow a balanced diet and to consult a registered dietician or your general practitioner if you suspect that you might be lacking in a proper diet.
If a person is lacking or deficient in a vitamin or mineral, it may be advisable to treat the deficiency. By doing so, overall health may be improved and a reduction in tinnitus severity may be observed.
Conversely, one study found that increased intake of certain vitamins and minerals such as calcium and iron (as well as dietary fat) increased likelihood of perceiving tinnitus, which highlights the relationship between diet, tinnitus, and hearing difficulties. It's important to consider that taking a vitamin or supplement could potentially exacerbate tinnitus.
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What Vitamins Are Good For Tinnitus?
What vitamins are good for tinnitus is a tricky question. There is not one vitamin, mineral, or supplement that has been proven to treat tinnitus.
Some people with tinnitus turn to a web search to investigate vitamins and supplements that might improve their tinnitus. The British Tinnitus Association offers a comprehensive and trustworthy resource to explore vitamins and supplements for tinnitus relief. Some of these include:
Tinnitus and Vitamin Deficiency
If your registered dietician or general practitioner determines that you are deficient in a specific vitamin, improving your diet so as to include enough of that vitamin can be a valuable step toward improving your health. Always consult a medical professional before starting a vitamin or supplement regimen.
Some studies have investigated whether there is a connection between specific vitamin deficiencies and tinnitus such as Vitamin B12 levels in patients with tinnitus but the results suggested that additional research would need to be completed in order to make a strong statement about the link between the two conditions.
A Vulnerable Target Market Hoping For A Tinnitus Cure
Many people with tinnitus feel desperate for a cure for their tinnitus and will turn to any possible remedy. The important thing to remember is to follow evidence-based recommendations.
Some people with tinnitus may find it confusing or overwhelming to know where to find professional tinnitus help given the variety of websites and treatments available to them. A good rule of thumb is to consult a general practitioner, audiologist, or otolaryngologist for professional advice.
Labelling Loopholes And Deceptive Marketing
Supplements aren't regulated and as such it's important to take caution before ascribing to a supplement regimen. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission of the United States recommends avoiding any supplement that claims to be a "cure."
Some companies may make deceptive or misleading claims about their products in order to increase sales. This can lead to false hope, continued suffering, and lack of proper treatment.
Of note, "natural" does not necessarily mean "safe." It's possible that some vitamins or supplements could interact with medications or have implications for medical procedures.
Supplements can take many forms and include:
- Amino acids
- Animal products
Problematic Ingredients And Risk of Drug Interactions
Supplements should never be started without consulting your general practitioner regarding drug interactions and risks first. It's important to prioritise safety above all else.
Whilst the ingredients of some supplements are thought to be harmless, the ingredients for others, such as CBD have been shown in animal studies to cause or make tinnitus worse.
Dosage recommendations may not be appropriate for people depending on their age, weight, or sex, or for people with certain medical conditions. It's important to consult a safe and reliable source for medical advice regarding recommended daily intake for vitamins and minerals.
Whether the supplements are helpful or not, a disadvantage of using supplements is that it can be costly to subscribe to long term treatment when other treatments may be less expensive but just as effective as a taking a supplement. Another consideration regarding the cost of vitamins and supplements is that the cost over time may be more expensive than other safe and effective forms of reducing tinnitus intrusion such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques.
While it might be affordable to pay for a month or two of vitamins or supplements, it's important to consider that this will be an on-going or potentially permanent cost. Other forms of treatment, such as masking or mindfulness, may be free or much less expensive and treatment carryover may be long-lasting.
It's important to be aware of potentially expensive sales tactics such as the requirement to sign up for a long-term subscription or to pay hefty cancellation fees if you wish to cancel the subscription.
Other non-financial costs include the risk to safety and overall wellbeing, as well as the risk or using a supplement in lieu of receiving proper medical care.
Find Tinnitus Treatment
There are various effective treatments for tinnitus such as listening to pleasant and relaxing sounds and practicing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques. Check out Oto's CBT for Tinnitus: The Ultimate Guide. Of note, whilst a number of treatments are thought to be safe only Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is rated “green” for efficacy i.e. that there is reliable evidence that it helps improve tinnitus. The British Tinnitus Association analyses and details the evidence and information for various treatments for tinnitus.
Whilst we’d all love there to be a quick fix for tinnitus, whether as a pill or some other form of medication, at present it does not seem that vitamin supplements are what we’re hoping for.
Whether or not you find vitamins and minerals to be helpful, 86% of users see improvement in their tinnitus with Oto and over half (57%) were able to sleep better after using the app. Download the Oto app to get started on improving your tinnitus.
Check out Oto's Tinnitus Support Group, a supportive community for individuals with tinnitus or related conditions to receive regular tips and tricks from the expert team at Oto!