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

Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D.Hearing Loss Treatment

Acupuncture for Hearing Loss & Tinnitus: Does it Really Work?
Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D.
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Acupuncture is a method of helping to improve the body in various ways. It includes some methods of helping with problems like hearing loss and Tinnitus. Some people have found that acupuncture helps them with their maladies, but others have a different experience. In the end, it’s going to come down to whether you think that it works for you. At the least, most people find that there’s not much downside to trying the ancient Chinese practice out, just to see if they will like it or not, but again, your mileage may vary.

Understanding Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can happen in at least two major ways. It can either affect the little hairs that exist in your ear canal that are responsible for being affected by sounds on the outside and then relating this information further on into your brain, or it can affect the auditory nerve which actually brings the data to the brain for processing. In the case of a problem with the little hairs, they can get old and not work right anymore, or even stop growing in sufficient numbers. They can become damaged in a hundred different ways.

The other issue is with the auditory nerve, which can be damaged from loud noises from a head injury, and from many other things besides.

Understanding Tinnitus

Tinnitus refers to a ringing in the ears. It doesn’t have to be a ringing though; it can be any repetitive sound that’s happening to a problem with your auditory nerve and not because of any sounds that are happening in the outside world. It can be a repetitive clicking, a buzzing sound, or any number of other annoying noises. This usually happens because of an auditory nerve issue. It can happen just for an hour or two, or it can be a nonstop sound that goes on and on for days or even longer. The problem can just be ever-present, distracting and ruining your experience of life including your ability to sleep or to concentrate on just about anything.


Acupuncture is a technique in Traditional Chinese Medicine that involves putting very thin needles into various parts of your body in order to solve different problems. According to Chinese Medicine, problems in the body occur due to imbalances. You could have too much of one kind of energy, and too little of another, essentially. The energy in the body is called Qi in this version of the world. By putting needles at the right points in the body, the idea is to eliminate these imbalances and put the body back into balance. This practice has been done for conditions like tinnitus and hearing loss as well.

Does Acupuncture Relieve Tinnitus and Improve Hearing?

This is certainly a controversial issue. Some studies indicate that the practice of acupuncture can have a positive effect on reducing hearing loss and the sounds associated with Tinnitus. Many other studies have mixed results for this, however. The jury is still out on whether acupuncture has any real effects on conditions like Tinnitus or hearing loss. There are specific procedures within acupuncture for treating the issues, which generally involve putting the famous thin needles into various parts of the ear, but there isn’t a lot of conclusive evidence that this will have any strong effect on the problem for the majority of people who try to get it done this way.

Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss and Tinnitus

The only sure proof approach to getting help for these conditions is to go to a traditional doctor near you. Once you get there, you should be able to get a hearing test so that the doctor can determine the best course of action to aid you in your quest to feel better and to be free of problems that are bringing down our quality of life. At this point, what will happen most likely, is that your doctor will fit you with a hearing aid to make sure that you can hear normally again. The quicker you do this the quicker you can be back to normal.