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

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Are you struggling with hearing loss or tinnitus? Approximately 48 million Americans have hearing loss, and many more have tinnitus, that ringing or hissing sound that only the person with tinnitus hears. The most effective treatment for hearing loss is wearing hearing aids that help you hear all the sounds around you. Many also come with built-in sound therapy programs to manage tinnitus and find relief from the sound. Along with hearing aids, many people try natural remedies for hearing loss and tinnitus, such as trying herbal remedies, quitting smoking, or altering their diet. Acupuncture is another possible treatment for hearing loss and tinnitus.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient tradition that has a lot of benefits. It’s part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and works with the energy flow in your body. This energy is called qi, and it moves throughout your body following particular pathways, or meridians. The qi helps your body stay strong and heal itself, and sickness can be caused by a blockage of the qi. Acupuncture is a way to remove the blockage, and let the qi flow freely. An acupuncture treatment involves inserting very thin needles into the skin at certain pressure points to stimulate the body, activate the nervous system, and promote healing.

Acupuncture and Hearing Loss

Acupuncture can relieve stress, reduce back pain, and increase energy levels. But does acupuncture have an effect on hearing loss? An analysis of the research does show that acupuncture could improve hearing for some individuals with hearing loss. The authors of this data analysis note that all the research has small sample sizes, and many don’t provide enough data to determine if acupuncture is really effective in treating hearing loss.

However, another study found that acupuncture was very effective for sudden hearing loss, and 63.5% of participants had some improvements in their hearing health. The bottom line is that more research is needed to determine if acupuncture is an effective treatment for hearing loss

Acupuncture and Tinnitus

Acupuncture may also relieve tinnitus. As with hearing loss, it’s hard to know if tinnitus does actually have an effect on tinnitus, and research is sparse. However, acupuncture could be a great treatment for tinnitus since it has very calming benefits. Stress and tinnitus are closely linked, and more stress will lead to more symptoms of tinnitus. Reducing stress levels will have a positive effect on tinnitus, and bring some relief from tinnitus. In this way, acupuncture could greatly benefit someone suffering from tinnitus.

Trying Acupuncture

If you want to ty acupuncture for your hearing loss or tinnitus, go for it! Acupuncture can’t make your hearing loss worse, and you may find it has some other benefits to your health and wellbeing, such as reducing stress, or relieving back pain. Just remember than acupuncture can be costly, and may not be covered by your health insurance plan. Be sure to ask your doctor if acupuncture is safe for you, since it’s not recommended for pregnant women, anyone with a pacemaker, or people taking blood thinners.

When you decide to try acupuncture, make sure you’re receiving treatment from a trained professional. When done correctly acupuncture is safe, but if the acupuncturist doesn’t insert the needles in the correct location, or the needles haven’t been serialized, your health could be at risk. In the US all licensed acupuncturists use disposable needles.

Does Acupuncture Really Work?

Researchers don’t have enough information to know if acupuncture really works for hearing loss and tinnitus, and the answer is still unclear. The best answer medical professionals have right now is that “it might help”. If you want to try acupuncture for hearing loss or tinnitus, check with your doctor for any recommendations or concerns, and ask for help finding a licensed acupuncturist.

Before you try acupuncture, visit your hearing health specialist for a comprehensive hearing test to learn more about your hearing health, and discover the cause of your hearing loss. Some hearing loss can be temporary, caused by a buildup of earwax or even an ear infection. If you have permanent hearing loss, find the pair of hearing devices that will help you hear clearly, follow conversations, and enjoy all that life has to offer.