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Tinnitus - Worse after Acupuncture



I have just joined this forum as I have been suffering from Tinnitus for about three weeks. It is the form where I can hear the sound of my pulse in my left ear. I have visited an ENT Specialist, who has found nothing visibly wrong and I am currently awaiting an MRI Scan. Meanwhile, the noise is driving me mad and, as I am off on vacation in a couple of days time and was obviously not going to get any results or treatment before then, I decided to visit a TCM Practitioner yesterday (5th June, 2009).

He did an examination and recommended Acupuncture, which he then performed. I must admit I had not done a great deal of research about this and did not realise that it consisted of a series of treatments, rather than a single treatment. Following the session, he then recommended a course of 8/10 treatments. He had no English, so this was all translated by his assistant.

At one point she said that I needed to continue with the sessions, or the condition could get worse. Puzzled, I questioned this, asking whether having only one session could, in fact, make the condition worse. It then seemed that the problem was in the translation as she smiled and said, "No, No, never worse".

However, today I woke with the worst Tinnitus I had ever had. In particular the pitch had moved up and it now seemed to be in the surrounding bone!

Is this just a co-incidence, or could it be related to the treatment? I am most concerned as I am due to travel in two days time, so have no time now to remedy anything!

Any help/guidance would be appreciated.



I hope you are feeling better by now. The reaction to the treatment might just be a coincidence. A change in pitch, however, is not uncommon when treating tinnitus and it's generally a good sign when it happens. It is sometimes annoying to the patient because a new pitch is something that makes it seem "worse" even though it is generally just as bad as when they came in with just a pitch change that you notice more. You should communicate these changes with your practitioner and continue with treatment. Any initial effects are rare and generally do not continue after a couple treatments. In other words, after a few treatments the ringing should start to come and go more often, eventually stopping completely in some cases and being severely diminished in others.


Your question as to whether tinnitus can be made worse by acupuncture is a yes, if tht energy is not properly directed. Normally, this would be a rare occurrance, but it is not uncommon to have the 'pitch' or intensity & or duration of the noises change with acup treatments. Your practitioner should have informed you in advance that several courses of treatments might be needed to resolve your tinnitis. Energetically, there are a number of causes for tinnitus and the points are selected accordingly. Good luck with finding your cure. Ken


I am having tinnitus for more than half a year, and it's getting worst now. it's disturbing my sleep. Tried with ENT doctors but no help at all. About one year ago, I was having depression and have been taking depression medicine for half a year, that is when it start with my tinnitus. Told the doctor but medicine didn't help at all. Thought of going for accupuncture, is there a permanent cure? please advise


Tinnitus is a condition that is regularly treated with acupuncture. Patients may experience a permanent resolution to their issues or a range of improvement depending on the case. From a Chinese perspective there are strong correlations with some types of tinnitus and various mental health issues such as insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Generally your acupuncturist will treat you as a whole system - so the depression and the tinnitus should respond equally.

You should consider acupuncture for treatment if at all possible. While somewhat technical, you may also find our tinnitus treatment section interesting.


Regarding Shabti's communication about the tinnitus getting worse: I feel that you should go to your nearest audiologist/ENT and be evaluated. It is abnormal to have tinnitus in one ear and having it pulse with your heartbeat. You will need an MRI to rule out a acoustic neuroma or be evaluated to rule out carotid artierial tinnitus. Your symptoms are very consistent with these types of issues.

<font color="#1a7b6c">vivt2299</font> : Tinnitus is strongly related to stress, i.e. change in jobs, moving, etc. Many people who suffer from tinnitus will find that they get in a vicious circle when they find that they have tinnitus and stress about that, then realize that the stress is causing the tinnitus and stress more...'vicious circle'. You may want to look up the side effects of your medication; there are many ototoxic meds out there (unbeknownst to your physician) that can exacerbate one's tinnitus.

Tinnitus is annoying because people have a hard time shifting their attention away from the tinnitus. Think of it as a leaky faucet. What you need to do, especially when you find yourself in a quiet room is to 'enhance your situation'. Try playing a little music, or turning on a fan while sleeping. These little distraction are usually enough to keep your mind off of the tinnitus.

In many cases tinnitus is present due to some hearing loss. Visit your local Audiologist, who is your first line of hearing healthcare. The literature shows that acupuncture (auricular therapy) does have some benefits and I would consider it, as well, but not alone.

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