Do you ever hear “phantom” sounds such as ringing, humming, clicking, buzzing, hissing, or sizzling in your ears? If the answer is yes, you might have tinnitus. The noise doesn’t have to be loud.
It could be soft, and it might only be in one ear. It’s believed that between 10 and 15 percent of the global population have tinnitus.
Most people find it relatively easy to deal with, but some experience discomfort or even pain. It may sound strange, but essential oils can help with tinnitus. We’ll discuss that later in this article.
- 1 What is Tinnitus?
- 2 Blood vessel disorders that can cause tinnitus
- 3 Other Possible Symptoms of Tinnitus
- 4 Using Essential Oils
- 5 Best Essential Oils For Tinnitus
- 5.1 Juniper essential oil
- 5.2 Petitgrain essential oil
- 5.3 Helichrysum (immortelle) essential oil
- 5.4 Green basil (ocimum basilicum) essential oil
- 5.5 Lavender
- 5.6 Patchouli essential oil
- 5.7 Cypress essential oil
- 5.8 Cypress, frankincense, and lavender steam
- 5.9 Essential oil and olive oil
- 5.10 Cypress, juniper berry, lavender, and helichrysum oils
- 6 Other Natural Remedies and Approaches for Dealing With Tinnitus
- 6.1 Saline solution
- 6.2 Garlic
- 6.3 Ginkgo biloba
- 6.4 Onions
- 6.5 Holy basil
- 6.6 Apple cider vinegar
- 6.7 Quit smoking
- 6.8 Exercise more often
- 6.9 Avoid certain foods or drinks
- 6.10 Relax more often
- 6.11 Relaxing background noise
- 6.12 Avoid using Q-tips
- 6.13 Try to reduce inflammation and your stress levels
- 6.14 Counseling and other coping strategies
- 6.15 In Conclusion
What is Tinnitus?
As mentioned in the introduction, people who have tinnitus experience a ringing sound in the ears. Some people hear buzzing, roaring, hissing, or clicking noises instead. But what causes this?
There are several different possible causes of tinnitus. These range widely and include, for example, certain kinds of medication, head injury, hearing loss that has been caused by exposure to extremely loud noise; ear wax buildup; cardiovascular conditions (affecting arteries, blood flow, and the nerves); a history of ear infections or ear disorders; hearing loss related to age; recent upper respiratory infection, such as a cold; nerve damage; depression, insomnia, and/or anxiety; and emotional stress.
Cell damage in the inner ear is a common precursor to tinnitus. The pressure caused by sound waves is what causes the tiny hairs within the inner ear to move.
When this happens, cells in the ear send out an electrical signal by way of a nerve connecting the auditory nerve and brain. These signals are interpreted by the brain as sound.
When there is bending or breaking in the inner ear hairs, electrical impulses can be accidentally leaked and reach the brain. A result of this is tinnitus.
Some other potential causes of tinnitus include acoustic neuroma, neck and head injuries, TMJ disorders, and Meniere’s disease.
An acoustic neuroma is a benign (noncancerous) tumor. It generally develops on the cranial nerve the connects your inner ear to your brain, controlling hearing and balance.
Acoustic neuroma is also referred to as vestibular schwannoma. If your tinnitus is caused by acoustic neuroma, you probably have tinnitus symptoms in just one ear.
Neck and head injuries
Brain function essential to hearing, as well as hearing nerves, can be affected by neck or head trauma. When this is the cause of tinnitus, the tinnitus symptoms are usually in just one ear.
Tinnitus symptoms can be caused by issues with the temporomandibular joint. The temporomandibular joint is located in front of your ears on each side of your head, at the point where your lower jawbone and skull meet.
Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear. It can be caused by abnormal fluid pressure. Tinnitus symptoms can be early signs of this disease.
Blood vessel disorders that can cause tinnitus
Malformation of capillaries
Abnormalities in the connections between veins and arteries (arteriovenous malformation or AVM) can lead to tinnitus. If this is the root of your tinnitus, you’ll probably have symptoms in only one ear.
Turbulent blood flow
irregular and turbulent blood flow can be caused by kinking or narrowing of a neck vein (jugular vein) or carotid artery (neck artery). This can lead to tinnitus symptoms.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) can lead to tinnitus symptoms. Be aware that high blood pressure can be aggravated by a variety of factors, such as sodium, caffeine, alcohol, and stress.
Tumors of the head and neck
If you have a tumor that causes pressure on blood vessels in your neck or head, you might experience tinnitus symptoms. The condition caused by such a tumor is called vascular neoplasm.
Atherosclerosis occurs when buildup of deposits (such as cholesterol) can cause major blood vessels that are located in close proximity to your inner and lose ear to become less flexible. The lack of flexibility can lead to blood flow becoming overly forceful. Tinnitus symptoms can result from this.
If you think that you might have any of the above conditions, go to see your doctor as soon as possible.
It’s important that you are examined by your doctor if you have tinnitus that developed in the wake of an upper respiratory infection (for example, a cold), and the condition fails to resolve within a week. You need to see a doctor soon if you are experiencing dizziness or hearing loss along with the tinnitus, or if your tinnitus arises very suddenly or without a discernible cause.
There are certain medications that can cause occurrence or worsening of tinnitus symptoms as a side effect. These include:
- Specific antidepressants: Some antidepressants may cause a worsening of tinnitus symptoms.
- Certain kinds of cancer medication: Cancer medications vincristine and mechlorethamine can lead to tinnitus symptoms.
- Diuretics (water pills): Water pills (including furosemide, ethacrynic acid, and bumetanide) can cause tinnitus.
- Certain antibiotics: Antibiotics such as neomycin, vancomycin, polymyxin B, and erythromycin can cause symptoms of tinnitus.
- Quinine medications: Quinine medications (such as those used to treat malaria) can lead to tinnitus.
Other Possible Symptoms of Tinnitus
Some people experience symptoms in addition to the usual phantom noises. These can include:
- Problems with concentration, as well as brain fog and confusion
- Sounds change in speed or loudness
- Difficulty with speech (this is especially the case with children who have tinnitus)
- Problems with hearing real sounds over the phantom noises
- Mood-related and psychological issues arising from the usual tinnitus symptoms
Using Essential Oils
Essential oils not only fill your home with delightful scents but can also potentially help with your tinnitus symptoms. Essential oils can be useful for a number of reasons. Examples of benefits may include:
- Relief of discomfort and pain
- Stress reduction
- Improvement of blood circulation in the body.
- Alleviation of inflammation
- Relief of respiratory congestion
- Elimination of toxins in the body
Certain essential oils can also help to boost focus, making them useful for people who find their tinnitus disrupts their ability to concentrate.
You shouldn’t put pure essential oil directly in your ear. Most essential oils can be used by applying and massage it into skin around the ear. When using essential oils, make sure to dilute it first with a carrier oil (such as olive or jojoba oil). This will reduce the risk of irritation when the oil is applied to the skin.
Some of the places where you can massage essential oil to help with reducing the symptoms of tinnitus include on the outer ear canal, behind the ears, on the ear lobes, and all over the neck. You can use the essential oils of your choice two or three times dai
Best Essential Oils For Tinnitus
Juniper essential oil
Juniper has excellent detoxifying properties. It encourages the elimination of uric acid crystals, as well. This is the reason that juniper essential oil is believed to be helpful in treating tinnitus.
Petitgrain essential oil
Petitgrain essential oil is taken from bitter orange tree leaves. It is believed to be helpful in dealing with stress, and it also has antispasmodic properties. This means that it could assist in dealing with tinnitus caused by muscle contractions. Many people find petitgrain essential oil to be very soothing and calming.
Helichrysum (immortelle) essential oil
Helichrysum (immortelle) essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties, and it is generally soothing to the nerves. This essential oil is thought to be helpful in dealing with stress. As inflammation and stress can play a part in tinnitus, this essential oil could be useful.
Green basil (ocimum basilicum) essential oil
Green basil (ocimum basilicum) is an essential oil with antispasmodic properties. As such, it could be useful in calming the pulsating and throbbing that can sometimes be associated with tinnitus.
Lavender essential oil is soothing and relaxing, and its aroma has long been used as a natural sedative. If your tinnitus is caused by anxiety or tension, you may find lavender essential oil to be useful.
Patchouli essential oil
Patchouli oil can be useful because of its draining properties, as well as its ability to boost circulation. These qualities make it a good choice for addressing certain tinnitus symptoms.
Cypress essential oil
Cypress essential oil is thought to be able to encourage better circulation. It can also exert a calming effect on the nervous system. If you have pulsing tinnitus, you’re especially likely to find cypress oil useful.
Here are some essential oil mixture recipes that you can use to help alleviate your tinnitus symptoms:
Cypress, frankincense, and lavender steam
You’ll need one drop of lavender oil, one drop of frankincense oil, one drop of cypress oil, and two cups of water in a pot. You should also have a towel at hand.
Add the oils to the water and then boil it. Take the pot from the heat, and put it on a place mat on a table. Do this very carefully, to avoid burning yourself.
Sit down before the pot, and cover your head with the towel to make a tent. This is to help trap the steam. Stay in this position for as long as possible, letting the steam get into your ears.
Essential oil and olive oil
Mix one drop of the essential oil of your choice (from the ones we’ve discussed) with a quarter teaspoon of olive oil. Immerse a cotton ball in this solution, allowing it to soak up the liquid.
Leave the cotton ball in there for a while. When you take it out, it should not drip any oil. This is important, as you want to make sure that the oil will not be able to get into your ear.
It could be dangerous for the oil to get inside. Gently place the cotton ball at the entrance of the affected ear, and leave it there overnight.
Cypress, juniper berry, lavender, and helichrysum oils
You’ll need 15 drops each of cypress oil, juniper berry oil, and lavender oil, five drops of helichrysum oil, and a quarter cup of almond oil.
You should also have a cotton ball and two-ounce amber glass dropper bottle at hand. Mix the oils in the bottle and shake it.
Once the mixture has been fully blended, put between one and three drops on a clean cotton ball. Rub the cotton ball on the sides of ear lobes, behind the ears, on the rims of your ears, and on the sides of the temples and neck.
You should leave this on for at least about 15 minutes. You can use a paper towel to remove it. If you prefer, you can leave it on for a longer period of time.
Other Natural Remedies and Approaches for Dealing With Tinnitus
If your tinnitus is caused by nasal congestion or blocked sinuses, you might find a saline solution useful. To make saline solution, mix one teaspoon of glycerin and an equal amount of salt into warm water (two cups).
You can use a nasal spray bottle to spray the liquid into your nose (both nostrils). You might also find it helpful to apply a bit to your throat, as well. You can do this three times daily.
Do you think that your tinnitus could be caused by cold weather or high altitude? If so, garlic could be helpful as it is believed able to boost blood circulation and alleviate inflammation.
Its antibacterial properties will also be beneficial if any infection is a factor. You’ll need two garlic cloves (crushed). Mix them with a single tablespoon of sesame oil and fry on the stove.
Strain and allow the mixture to fully cool down. Put a very small amount (two or three drops) in your ear canal. You can do this each night for a walk.
Ginkgo biloba boosts blood circulation. In doing so, it can improve the functioning of the ears and alleviate tinnitus symptoms. If there is any infection contributing to the tinnitus, the antibacterial properties in gingko biloba can be useful.
Onions have antibacterial properties that could be useful in some cases. You’ll need one small onion. First, chop it into tiny pieces, and then microwave for up to two minutes. Once cooled, strain.
Put up to three drops of this juice in the ear, and allow it to stay in for about five minutes. To remove the juice, simply let it drain out by turning your head. You can do this about three times a week to help alleviate your tinnitus symptoms.
Many people find holy basil can help with ear pain. It has antibacterial properties, meaning that it could eliminate bacteria that might be somehow connected to the issues that you’re experiencing.
Create a paste by putting one handful of basil leaves in the blender. Move the paste to a strainer. Use a spoon to press the paste and retrieve the juice.
Very slightly warm the basil juice. Put two (or perhaps three) drops in your ear. Use a dropper to do this. You can do this two times a day, for up to four days.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is both anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal. It could help to address infection that might be a factor in your tinnitus.
Mix a tiny bit of honey and two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water. You should drink this two or three times per day until your symptoms disappear.
Are you a smoker? If yes, you need to quit. One of the habit’s many negative health effects is its ability to worsen tinnitus. It negatively impacts blood circulation to nerve cells necessary for hearing. Additionally, it is a stimulant, and as such, it can make ringing in the ears louder.
Exercise more often
You need to exercise a minimum of between three and five hours per week. This will help to boost your mood, make it easier for you to sleep, lower your stress levels, and possibly help with your tinnitus.
Avoid certain foods or drinks
Try to determine if there are any foods or drinks that aggravate your tinnitus. To do this, you could try keeping a written log and keeping an eye out for what you’ve ingested before the occurrence of symptoms.
Some of the most common food and drink triggers include: salt, alcohol, and drinks that contain caffeine (such as energy drinks, coffee, and cola).
Relax more often
This is important, as stress and anxiety can make tinnitus symptoms more severe. Some activities that could help you include: self-hypnosis; yoga, guided imagery; tai-chi; progressive muscle relaxation; and meditation.
Relaxing background noise
Try adding some relaxing background noise to your environment. It could distract you enough from your tinnitus to make it a bit easier to deal with. You could turn on a fan for the white noise it creates, put on the radio, or play soft music.
Sleep: Make sure that you are getting enough sleep each night. Feeling tired can worsen tinnitus symptoms. There are several things that you can do to make sleep easier:
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Many people find a warm bath to be helpful.
- Maintain a regular routine for bed and waking up times each night and day.
- Make sure that you allow yourself at least seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
- Ensure that your bedroom is cool and dark.
- Avoid eating or drinking alcohol for two or three hours before bedtime.
- Consider using a white noise machine or putting on a fan at night, if you find your bedroom a bit too quiet.
Better protect your hearing: If you have a noisy workplace, use ear protection. Use earmuffs or ear plugs when you use leaf or snow blowers, power tools, and cut the grass.
If you go to loud events (such as concerts), wear ear plugs. And if you use earbuds, only put the volume to a maximum of 60 percent. Restrict your listening time to one hour at the most at a time.
Avoid using Q-tips
Using Q-tips in the ears can lead to ear infections and earwax blockages, as well as ear damage. Remember that earwax is there for a reason – it provides protection for your ear canal, trapping bacteria and dirt.
If you feel that you might have an excessive amount of earwax, however, consult with a doctor to be examined and ask about the possibility of having it safely removed.
Try to reduce inflammation and your stress levels
This is important because inflammation and stress both appear to create a greater risk of developing problems involving the ear, such as hearing loss, ear infections, and vertigo.
Counseling and other coping strategies
Some people with tinnitus find it helpful to join a support group or speak with a counselor. This helps them learn about coping strategies that can be used to deal more effectively with tinnitus, making it seem less stressful.
It can lessen the depression, problems with concentration, and sleeping problems that tinnitus can cause. You might want to look into something called “tinnitus retraining”.
This is done under the supervision of a health professional. It involves using a device in the ears that emits relaxing noise or music, in tandem with counseling.
The purpose is to assist the brain and body in becoming better accustomed to the noise of tinnitus, alleviating existing negative reactions.
Tinnitus is an annoying and distressing condition that affects a sizeable segment of the population. While there isn’t a remedy or cure that works for absolutely everyone, the essential oil and other natural approaches set out above are likely to help you alleviate the symptoms and improve your quality of life. Remember to consult with your doctor as soon as possible to rule out any other more serious condition that could underlie or cause your tinnitus. Medical treatment may be required.
 “7 essential oils for tinnitus: Benefits and how they can treat ringing ears”, https://www.belmarrahealth.com/essential-oils-tinnitus-benefits-can-treat-ringing-ears
 “5 Essential Oils for Tinnitus”, https://www.themiracleofessentialoils.com/essential-oils-for-tinnitus
 “Home Remedies for Tinnitus”, https://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-tinnitus.html
 “Living With Tinnitus”, https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/living-with-tinnitus#1
 “Tinnitus: Treatment the Natural Way”, https://draxe.com/tinnitus-treatment