As summer winds down, the cicadas seem to be winding up. Boy, they have been noisy this year! When they take a break, the silence makes me realize that living with something like tinnitus must be very trying, indeed!
Tinnitus (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders 2018), the perception of outside noise when no actual external stimulus is causing the sound, affects 15-20% of people of all ages but it is especially common in older adults. Sometimes there is an underlying cause that can be addressed to fix the tinnitus, but usually, treatments to make the tinnitus less noticeable are used (things like hearing aids, sound generators). Common causes are hearing loss, ear infection or ear canal blockage, head or neck injuries and medications (Mayo Clinic 2018).
Like so many chronic conditions, we are told there is no cure. Half the people who experience tinnitus do not have measurable hearing loss. A small percentage of people suffering from tinnitus experience serious debility in their daily lives (Prutsman 2023).
Homeopathically speaking, there are some remedies that can help though it’s not usually a quick fix, so be prepared to be patient.
There are a lot of rubrics and remedies associated with hearing noises in the ears — some of them quite specific as to the sound (for example, hearing bagpipes in the distance — Nat carb) or, specific circumstances or specific times of day when the noises occur.
A few remedies pop up more often than others: Petroleum, Lycopodium, and China officinalis, in particular. There is a theme amongst these remedies of sensitive hearing, hyperacusis, which is a common complaint of tinnitus sufferers (Hebert et al. 2013). It never ceases to amaze me how homeopathy figured this stuff out a hundred plus years before the research was done!
Petroleum is associated with chronic eustachian catarrh, (mucus or gunk in laymen’s terms). Conversely, there may be a dryness or a disagreeable feeling of dryness in the ears. There may be itching deep inside the ear or, diminished hearing in general. There could be an over-sensitiveness of not only hearing, but also of touch and smell, too.
Impaired hearing with noises in the ears; impaired hearing in old people or, progressive hearing impairment.
The sounds which may be heard for which Petroleum may be of benefit: bells; humming; constant roaring or rushing water; cracking; whizzing or the sound of wind.
Lycopodium may help when there is a swelling of the ear with discharge. Perhaps, a sensation as if hot blood has rushed into the ears.
Impaired hearing with discharge from the ear. Sensitive to noises and sounds, particularly music.
The noises which may be helped with Lycopodium are: roaring, humming, whizzing and rushing.
China officinalis is for a great over-sensitiveness of the nervous system — all sights, smells, hearing and taste are too strong. The external ear may be sensitive to touch.
Impaired hearing with constant noises in the ears, possibly with a headache.
The noises which may be helped by China officinalis are humming; ringing, especially with an accompanying headache; roaring; ticking as of a distant watch; buzzing; noises as if hearing singing.
Back to the bagpipes of Natrum carbonicum… this remedy isn’t as prominent as the remedies listed above, but there are some interesting things associated with it.
There may be a stopped sensation with diminished hearing. Sensitive hearing, particularly to music - they can’t bear it or, the rumpling of paper.
Bubbling noises or as if a bubble is bursting; sounds seem to come from the left side when they really come from the right; and, the illusion of hearing singing. And, though they can’t stand hearing music, they have the delusion they are hearing music — that must be frustratingly awful!
A list of a few noise rubrics and some corresponding remedies:
Book a focused consultation and see if we can take the focus off those noises for you.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
Cleveland Clinic, n.d. Tinnitus: Causes, Treatment & Prevention [online]. Cleveland Clinic.
Hebert, S., Fournier, P. and Norena, A., 2013. The Auditory Sensitivity is Increased in Tinnitus Ears. Journal of Neuroscience [online], 33 (6), 2356–2364.
Mayo Clinic, 2018. Tinnitus - Symptoms and causes [online]. Mayo Clinic.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 2018. Tinnitus [online]. NIDCD.
Prutsman, Dr. J., 2023. Tinnitus [online]. Sound Relief Tinnitus & Hearing Center.
Julia Coyte, CHom
I am passionate about homeopathy and I love sharing this passion. Having a working knowledge of homeopathy shouldn't be kept a secret. If people have the ability to help themselves, their children and their friends when they have minor ailments, life just gets better for everyone. That is the purpose behind Ruminating on Remedies.