Tinnitus Symptoms

    Last Updated: March 17, 2022

    Tinnitus (pathological ringing of the ears) is known to be affected by various supplements, which may reduce the degree tinnitus disturbs sleep or impairs quality of life.


    Tinnitus[1] is defined as a condition during which a person hears sound that isn’t caused by an external source. The sound most people with tinnitus describe is a steady, high-pitched ringing, but the sound has also been described as continuous or intermittent whistling, static, whooshing, musical noise, or buzzing. Approximately 1 in 10 adults[2] in the U.S. experienced at least one bout of tinnitus over the course of a year, with just over a third of those reporting chronic problems. If tinnitus is persistent and intolerable or extremely bothersome, it can cause functional impairment[3] in thought processing, emotional state, hearing, sleep, and concentration.

    There are two general types of tinnitus. Objective tinnitus (about 5% of cases) refers to sounds that are able to be heard with external instruments, such as a stethoscope. This type of tinnitus is usually caused by damage to the bones or vasculature of the ear. Subjective tinnitus (about 95% of cases) refers to sounds that cannot be heard from the outside and is thought to be caused by damage to the neuronal system of the ear. Figure 1 provides more detail about the differences between these types.


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    1. ^Esmaili AA, Renton JA review of tinnitusAust J Gen Pract.(2018 Apr)
    2. ^Bhatt JM, Lin HW, Bhattacharyya NPrevalence, Severity, Exposures, and Treatment Patterns of Tinnitus in the United StatesJAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg.(2016 Oct 1)
    3. ^Henry JA, Dennis KC, Schechter MAGeneral review of tinnitus: prevalence, mechanisms, effects, and managementJ Speech Lang Hear Res.(2005 Oct)

    Examine Database References

    1. Ginkgo Biloba - Seon-Sook Han, Eui-Cheol Nam, Jun Yeon Won, Kang Uk Lee, Wanjoo Chun, Hyun Kyung Choi, Robert Aaron LevineClonazepam quiets tinnitus: a randomised crossover study with Ginkgo bilobaJ Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry.(2012 Aug)
    2. Melatonin - Neri G, De Stefano A, Baffa C, Kulamarva G, Di Giovanni P, Petrucci G, Poliandri A, Dispenza F, Citraro L, Croce ATreatment of central and sensorineural tinnitus with orally administered Melatonin and Sulodexide: personal experience from a randomized controlled studyActa Otorhinolaryngol Ital.(2009 Apr)
    3. Zinc - Arda HN, Tuncel U, Akdogan O, Ozluoglu LNThe role of zinc in the treatment of tinnitusOtol Neurotol.(2003 Jan)
    4. Ginkgo Biloba - Hilton MP, Zimmermann EF, Hunt WTGinkgo biloba for tinnitusCochrane Database Syst Rev.(2013 Mar 28)
    5. Ginkgo Biloba - Drew S, Davies EEffectiveness of Ginkgo biloba in treating tinnitus: double blind, placebo controlled trialBMJ.(2001 Jan 13)
    6. Melatonin - Hurtuk A, Dome C, Holloman CH, Wolfe K, Welling DB, Dodson EE, Jacob AMelatonin: can it stop the ringing?Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol.(2011-Jul)
    7. Ginkgo Biloba - Herrschaft H, Nacu A, Likhachev S, Sholomov I, Hoerr R, Schlaefke SGinkgo biloba extract EGb 761® in dementia with neuropsychiatric features: a randomised, placebo-controlled trial to confirm the efficacy and safety of a daily dose of 240 mgJ Psychiatr Res.(2012 Jun)
    8. Magnesium - Cevette MJ, Barrs DM, Patel A, Conroy KP, Sydlowski S, Noble BN, Nelson GA, Stepanek JPhase 2 study examining magnesium-dependent tinnitusInt Tinnitus J.(2011)
    9. Melatonin - Uchechukwu C Megwalu, Joshua E Finnell, Jay F PiccirilloThe effects of melatonin on tinnitus and sleepOtolaryngol Head Neck Surg.(2006 Feb)
    10. Melatonin - Rosenberg SI, Silverstein H, Rowan PT, Olds MJEffect of melatonin on tinnitusLaryngoscope.(1998 Mar)