Tinnitus makes you hear things no-one else can. It may be a buzzing, ringing, roaring, whistling or hissing sound. It may be continuous, intermittent or somewhere in between.

Meniere’s disease often has tinnitus as a symptom, along with dizziness, nausea and a sense of pressure in the ears. Episodes may occur once in a lifetime, or once every few hours.

Why Me?

No-one knows exactly what causes tinnitus or Meniere’s. However, the following list might offer some clues.

  • Continuous loud noises such as found on construction sites and rock bands are commonly held to blame.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Atherosclerosis, high cholesterol and elevated blood fats result in a restricted flow of blood and oxygen to the inner ear.
  • Hyperthyroidism.
  • Excess earwax.
  • Reaction to salicylates, for example aspirin.
  • Prescription drugs: some cases of tinnitus appear soon after taking a drug, for example antibiotics.
  • Hypersensitive reaction to sugar. A rapid release of adrenalin may constrict the small blood vessels of the inner ear.
  • Tumour.
  • Neck problems and tension around the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
  • Food allergy might play a role. The two initial suspects to investigate are milk and gluten.
  • High salt levels may be implicated.

What To Do


  • Reduce fats in the diet. Avoid animal fats (red meat, butter, cream) and fried food.
  • Avoid caffeine, salt and sugar.
  • Follow the hypoglycaemia diet (see Hypoglycaemia).

Herbs and Supplements

  • Vitamin E is good for the circulation. Take 500 iu daily.
  • Magnesium and potassium will help.
  • Take 200 mg of nicotinic acid (vitamin B3) twice daily. Nicotinic acid will dilate the blood vessels.
  • Ginkgo biloba is particularly good for the circulation of small blood vessels, such as those supplying the inner ear.
  • If you notice hypoglycaemic symptoms, take a supplement containing chromium, magnesium, vitamin B6, manganese and zinc to stabilise blood sugar levels (See Hypoglycaemia.)
  • Take 3 g of EPA daily.
  • Take the homoeopathic remedy China 30C for a buzzing, singing or hissing in the ears.
  • If you believe that the problem began after taking a pharmaceutical drug, find out the name of that drug. Some naturopaths and homoeopaths will have (or will be able to order) a homoeopathic version of the drug that may help reverse this irritating and noisy side-effect.

Other Steps

  • Meditation may prove useful, especially if your symptoms are made worse by stress.
  • Hopi ear candles are an American Indian remedy used for a host of problems pertaining to the ears and sinuses. They are hollow wax tubes impregnated with herbs. The idea is that you stick one end in your lug, and light the other. It is quite a spectacle, and besides the crackling sound, feels pleasant. Best to see someone who practices Hopi ear-candling.
  • Give up cigarettes. Nicotine restricts blood flow.
  • Many people suffering from tinnitus and Meniere’s disease experience major improvements from osteopathy. One technique is to adjust the neck to improve blood flow to the ears. Another technique using craniosacral work to relieve tension around the temperomandibular joint allows better drainage of the area. You will need to visit a chiropractor or osteopath for this kind of treatment.

At a glance

Good food
Hypoglycaemia diet.
Food to avoid
Fat, caffeine, salt, sugar.
Remedies to begin
Osteopathy, vitamin E, ginkgo biloba, vitamin A, EPA.
Meditation, stop smoking.
Are you refusing to listen to your inner voice?