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In what ways can tinnitus be treated?

tinnitus treatment ways treatment options
Because tinnitus can have many different causes, no treatment or medication exists (to date, Jan 2023) that is effective in every tinnitus patient. Below is an overview of some treatment options.

Non-invasive techniques

such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS) seem to be a promising way for reduction of tinnitus. These techniques can modulate the activity of brain cells, which can inhibit overactive areas that cause the tinnitus.

Invasive neuromodulation

In several clinics (including Detroit and Belgium), cortical implantation is being performed as a new treatment. This involves implanting an electrode under the skull that delivers electrical shocks to the overactive part of the brain. The idea is that this will suppress hyperactivity in the brain so that the tinnitus can diminish or disappear. For now, this form of treatment is suitable only for people with severe tinnitus who cannot be treated by other means and seems to be especially effective if the tinnitus has not been around for a long time.

Tinnitus implant

At Maastricht UMC, the first patient who is deaf on one side received this implant in 2017. The goal is to find a silence code that will relieve the patient of the tinnitus. The results are still pending.

Treatment of surrounding muscles

The muscles in the jaw are responsible for closing the jaw. Overuse of these muscles is one of the possible causes of tinnitus. Treatment focuses on getting these muscles to relax permanently through a combination of neuro-muscular techniques.

Nerve stimulation

Because of the positive initial test results on rats, researchers have begun testing the treatment on humans. The results were published in an article in the authoritative journal Nature.


Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)

was developed by J. Hazell and P.J. Jastreboff. In this therapy, the patient initially learns to understand how tinnitus occurs. In addition, the patient is given tools to better cope with the emotional and physical reactions it evokes. In doing so, the patient must convince himself that the sound of the tinnitus is not a cause for panic and thus it is not actually a nuisance.

Sound Therapy

In this process, sound from outside is used to distract attention from the tinnitus. In some cases, in order to fall asleep, it may be necessary to avoid silence and fall asleep with music. Wearing a tinnitus masking device, which produces a masking sound, thereby distracts attention from the hissing or squeaking.

Low-intensity laser therapy

Hither uses red and infrared light. A so-calledear laser is used to treat the inner ear with laser light on a daily basis. In order to improve symptoms, a daily treatment with “soft laser” of at least 50 to 100 mW is desired, for a period of at least three months (or longer).


For tinnitus caused by traumatic noise, stress, panic, exhaustion, anxiety and depression, resolving the psychological problems can reduce or eliminate the tinnitus.


Relaxation exercises, meditation, mindfulness, yoga and body-oriented therapy such as relaxation massage can all help calm the overactive nervous system and thus positively affect tinnitus. In conclusion, there thus appears to be a strong link between the overactive nervous system (flight or fight response) and tinnitus. The tinnitus may fluctuate depending on the degree of stress. In the vast majority of cases, habituation eventually occurs, the tinnitus diminishes or even disappears altogether.

Nutritional supplements

  • Zinc; four of the five small-scale studies conducted in this area show that some tinnitus patients may benefit from a dietary supplement containing zinc.
  • Ginkgo Biloba; the standardized Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 (standardized at 24% ginkgo flavone glycosides and 6% terpene lactones) has been found effective in the treatment of tinnitus.
  • Magnesium; exposure to noise causes magnesium deficiency in the body. A dietary supplement containing magnesium can prevent hearing loss, after exposure to noise. Research has also shown to improve the hearing of people with hearing damage.


For almost all forms of tinnitus, some antidepressants, certain tranquilizers and mild beta-blockers can provide rest and relief.


Proper education by specialized counselors at an audiology center can contribute to improved well-being. Positive experiences from peers, understanding of the condition and (temporarily) modified living conditions can also help ease suffering.