Acupuncture for Hearing Loss & Tinnitus: Does it Really Work?

Acupuncture for Hearing Loss & Tinnitus: Does it Really Work?

by Dr. Kevin Ivory

Hearing loss is sometimes the result of inner ear damage and even nerve damage in the ear. Hearing loss otherwise known as "deafness" is summarized by the inability to be able to hear from one or both of your ears. Hearing loss can be the result of many different things including, exposure to loud noise suddenly or over a long period of time, medication side effect especially if taken over a long period of time, sometimes hearing loss comes with age after years and years of wear and tear on your ear, any type of ear injury whether it be on the inside or outside of the ear and then lastly certain diseases can cause hearing loss.

Understanding Tinnitus

Tinnitus is categorized as a constant or frequent ringing in the ears, it can also sound like buzzing. People describe it as a loud buzzing in their ear that occurs for otherwise "no reason". Tinnitus can occur when someone is exposed to a sudden loud noise or loud noises over a long period of time, sometimes when people are involved in a car accident and get whiplash or a certain head injury it can induce tinnitus. Medications can have certain side effects that will also cause ringing in the ear. Some people experience tinnitus when they have a buildup of ear wax or over cleaning their ear and damaging their inner ear nerves with a cotton swab. Although there are currently no "cures" or "cure" for this condition many people have found relief with certain medications and therapy. One of the most common is Acupuncture.


Acupuncture is a relatively new approach to treating tinnitus but it has shown a lot of relief when it comes to the constant ringing in the ears and has impressed many medical professionals with its benefits and results. The best part is that unlike medication acupuncture has no side effects aside from relief! When acupuncture is used to treat tinnitus, a professional points on certain nerves that are directly involved with the sense on hearing, and vibration that the brain uses to convert these messages to your ear. It relaxes those nerves from being tensed up and kind of shocks them to work properly again back to normal function.

Does Acupuncture Help Relieve Tinnitus and Improve Hearing?

Research shows that people who experience tinnitus have neurons that are hyper active in the cochlear nucleus after experiencing certain traumas to the ear such as whiplash, head injury or loud noise that traumatizes the ear. When this happens and the neurons are over active it produces this ringing noise. In studies over 80% of candidates who were on the trial team for exposure to acupuncture saw immediate results and relief after trying it. When the somatosensory is overwhelmed it can even cause jaw pain which in result causes tinnitus, however when acupuncture is used in those areas people saw a major improvement to their condition. After many studies acupuncture has time and time again to be proven to improve the condition and give patients a relief from this chronic disorder.

Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss & Tinnitus

If you feel that you or someone you care about could benefit from acupuncture to relieve the symptoms of tinnitus there is no better time to go and get a consultation to see if it’s a good fit. Many doctors will also use medication and acupuncture to get the best results since sometime medication isn't enough. It is important to get a proper hearing test to see where you stand on your hearing and then also find out what may be causing tinnitus in your ears. Since many things can cause it it’s important to make sure if your ears are damaged from an injury that you see a doctor before starting acupuncture since it is a form of therapy that is done over time. With all the medications and substitutes available such as acupuncture which has a high success rate for relieving symptoms there is no reason why you shouldn't try it. With many benefits and no side effects acupuncture is a great option.

Written by
Reviewed by
Dr. Kevin H. Ivory
Audiologist & University Instructor
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Dr. Kevin Ivory, Au.D., CCC-A received his Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He then went on to earn his Doctor of Audiology degree from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, one of the top 10 audiology residential programs in the country.

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