adult man with ringing in ear tinnitusUnlike many conditions, modern medicine has yet to develop a drug treatment that is effective for tinnitus. But that won’t stop some people from telling you that there’s an all-natural tinnitus cure in your multivitamin (or, more properly, the special multivitamin they want to sell you). There is some evidence that zinc levels may play a role in tinnitus, but there are good reasons why it might not work for you.

Zinc’s Role in Tinnitus Is Poorly Understood

The science surrounding the link between zinc and tinnitus is not very clear. Some studies show a correlation between low zinc levels and tinnitus, but that correlation isn’t always clear. In some studies, as few as 2% of tinnitus sufferers have low zinc levels. And although imaging shows that people who have low zinc levels have damage to their hearing system , it’s not clear how this might be related to tinnitus.

Studies Show Zinc Isn’t Always Effective

There haven’t been a lot of studies about the impact of zinc on tinnitus, but those that have been conducted have been mixed. One trial showed a significant effect of zinc on subjective tinnitus levels , but it wasn’t that much more than the placebo effect. Another trial showed some effect, but, again, not much more than placebo.

There Are Multiple Kinds of Tinnitus

One of the things that makes tinnitus hard to treat is that there are many different types and causes of tinnitus. And that’s part of what’s going on with zinc. Low zinc levels seem to be most common in tinnitus that isn’t accompanied by hearing loss and that has increased with age.

Other causes of tinnitus are likely to be unaffected by zinc.

An Effective Tinnitus Treatment

One of the most effective treatments for tinnitus is TMJ treatment, although it’s obviously only effective if TMJ is the cause. First, consider whether you have other TMJ symptoms like jaw pain , tooth damage , and headaches.

If you think TMJ might be to blame for your tinnitus, please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a Columbia, SC TMJ dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.