Acupuncture may well be one of the best ways to quickly reduce the symptoms of ringing in the ears, whether or not it cures it altogether. However, there are still many more studies that have to be carried out to prove how well patients respond to this alternative treatment by itself. Nevertheless, the evidence is mounting that acupuncture is effective in treating tinnitus. It is used as an additional form of treatment alongside traditional medicine.
The first systematic review of acupuncture for tinnitus was published in 2021. A group of Chinese researchers report that there was a reduction in the severity of subjective tinnitus when patients were treated with acupuncture. It also seems that there are some longer-term benefits from acupuncture. In a later study, another set of researchers reported that patients who underwent acupuncture treatments were less likely to experience the onset of a new attack of tinnitus. This was a relatively small study, however.
Acupuncture is especially useful for a person suffering from sensorineural hearing loss, which can result from exposure to loud noises over a period of time. Sensorineural hearing loss is sometimes referred to as “tinnitus silent disease.” Patients who suffer from this condition experience a constant ringing or buzzing sound in the ears. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for this condition, and those who suffer from it typically spend their lives in discomfort and confusion about its causes and treatments. Acupuncture has been proven to be effective in helping patients who suffer from this hearing loss to cope with the disorder.
Acupuncture has also been proven to ease the frustration and stress that can result from tinnitus. Therefore, it stands to reason that it could also relieve the irritation caused by tinnitus. A systematic review of these studies found that acupuncture reduced the annoyance experienced by tinnitus sufferers by more than two thirds. The severity of this symptom was even more relieved. The results of these studies were published in the Journal of Headache, the Journal of Alternative Medicine, the journal of General Internal Medicine, and the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
A recent systematic review of eleven such studies confirmed that acupuncture did reduce tinnitus-related annoyance by almost three quarters. The studies had randomly assigned patients to one of four different treatment arms and monitored how often the treatments worked, as well as how long it took for the treatments to work. The randomization procedure was done by a blinded team of medical professionals. These scientists concluded that the results were indeed impressive, especially when comparing the results of the randomly assigned treatment arms to those of a manual acupuncture control intervention.
In addition, a large pooled study published in 2021 in The American Journal of Pain Medicine showed a very significant positive result when comparing the results of acupuncture with those of a control intervention. This study included people who were experiencing persistent ear ringing symptoms that were either mild or severe. The participants in this study were subjected to three different interventions. One group received a manual manipulation of their ears; another group underwent acupuncture; and the third group received a psychological counseling session. Those who had the acupuncture showed significantly lower levels of annoyance and loudness than those receiving the other three interventions.
Studies also demonstrated that acupuncture reduced the degree of muscle tension that accompanies tinnitus. The degree of muscle tension is very indicative of annoyance and pain. When the muscles around your ears are tense, it is very easy to tell when you are experiencing an irritation or a loud sound. By using acupuncture, it is possible to relieve the tension in these muscles around your ears, thereby helping you to better cope with your tinnitus. There are several theories on exactly how acupuncture works. However, one thing that is certain is that acupuncture does promote healing within the body when used as a part of a total treatment plan.
If these studies are anything to go by, then there is certainly a lot to like about traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture is an age old method that has been successfully used to treat ailments and illnesses for centuries. The only problem that people seem to have is that they have not been able to find better ways to treat tinnitus. It has taken the results of these trials to show that acupuncture is a viable alternative to more traditional forms of treatment for tinnitus sufferers.