Survey on the Effectiveness of Dietary Supplements to Treat Tinnitus Purpose We surveyed the benefit of dietary supplements to treat tinnitus and reported adverse effects. Method A website was created for people with tinnitus to complete a variety of questions. Results The 1,788 subjects who responded to questionnaires came from 53 different countries; 413 (23.1%) reported ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 2016
Survey on the Effectiveness of Dietary Supplements to Treat Tinnitus
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Claudia Coelho
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Richard Tyler
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Haihong Ji
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Eveling Rojas-Roncancio
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Shelley Witt
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Pan Tao
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Hyung-Jin Jun
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Tang Chuan Wang
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Marlan R. Hansen
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Bruce J. Gantz
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Richard Tyler: rich-tyler@uiowa.edu
  • Editor: Sumitrajit Dhar
    Editor: Sumitrajit Dhar×
  • Associate Editor: Owen Murnane
    Associate Editor: Owen Murnane×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 2016
Survey on the Effectiveness of Dietary Supplements to Treat Tinnitus
American Journal of Audiology, September 2016, Vol. 25, 184-205. doi:10.1044/2016_AJA-16-0021
History: Received February 4, 2016 , Revised April 7, 2016 , Accepted April 29, 2016
 
American Journal of Audiology, September 2016, Vol. 25, 184-205. doi:10.1044/2016_AJA-16-0021
History: Received February 4, 2016; Revised April 7, 2016; Accepted April 29, 2016

Purpose We surveyed the benefit of dietary supplements to treat tinnitus and reported adverse effects.

Method A website was created for people with tinnitus to complete a variety of questions.

Results The 1,788 subjects who responded to questionnaires came from 53 different countries; 413 (23.1%) reported taking supplements. No effect on tinnitus was reported in 70.7%, improvement in 19.0%, and worsening in 10.3%. Adverse effects were reported in 6% (n = 36), including bleeding, diarrhea, headache, and others. Supplements were reported to be helpful for sleep: melatonin (effect size, d = 1.228) and lipoflavonoid (d = 0.5244); emotional reactions: melatonin (d = 0.6138) and lipoflavonoid (d = 0.457); hearing: Ginkgo biloba (d = 0.3758); and concentration Ginkgo biloba (d = 0.3611). The positive, subjective reports should be interpreted cautiously; many might have reported a positive effect because they were committed to treatment and expected a benefit. Users of supplements were more likely to have loudness hyperacusis and to have a louder tinnitus.

Conclusions The use of dietary supplements to treat tinnitus is common, particularly with Ginkgo biloba, lipoflavonoids, magnesium, melatonin, vitamin B12, and zinc. It is likely that some supplements will help with sleep for some patients. However, they are generally not effective, and many produced adverse effects. We concluded that dietary supplements should not be recommended to treat tinnitus but could have a positive outcome on tinnitus reactions in some people.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Audiology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access