The 5-Steps to Relieve Tinnitus

My patient T.K. was a wreck. He looked like he hadn’t slept in a week. I asked him what was going on.

“It’s nothing you can fix, doc,” he said. “I’ve been to three specialists, and they all told me the same thing…

“I’ve got tinnitus, and I just have to live with it.”

Luckily, I was able to help him.

Tinnitus is an aggravating, nerve-racking, and unseen condition.

The constant ringing in your ears robs you of sleep, makes you miserable as it drowns out your hearing, and, over time, makes you more prone to illness. Tinnitus also shatters your focus and concentration.

Sadly, up to 25% of the U.S. population suffers from the condition.1 And that number skyrockets to up to 90% of people who are hearing-impaired.

And standard medicine can’t do a darn thing to fix it. There’s no drug that cures tinnitus.

But there are plenty of Big Pharma pills that can CAUSE it…

The most common are analgesic drugs. These pain relievers are available by prescription and over the counter. Examples of analgesic painkillers include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories like Advil, Aleve, and Motrin; the acetaminophen in Tylenol, Excedrin, and NyQuil; and old-fashioned aspirin.

But it’s not just painkillers that damage your ears. Blood pressure medications like ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, cancer drugs, and certain antibiotics can cause or worsen tinnitus.

Anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants – Big Medicine’s “solution” to treat the symptoms – are known to actually increase the ringing in the ears.2

Another preventable cause of tinnitus is aspartame, the most common artificial sweetener on the market.

Aspartame, which has been deemed safe by the FDA, is known as an “excitatory neurotransmitter.” It increases electrical activity in the brain, specifically in the auditory cortex.

Use my 5-step protocol to relieve tinnitus

For years, I’ve treated patients with a simple five-step protocol.

    1. Ditch your ear-damaging pain relievers. Taking an NSAID for the occasional aches and pain typically isn’t a problem. But if you find yourself reaching for one of these pills regularly, consider replacing it with a natural alternative…
      Tulsi (holy basil): This powerful adaptogen reduces inflammation. It also contains ursolic acid, which inhibits the production of the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme. I recommend taking 150 mg three times a day.
      Indian Frankincense — Indian Frankincense, also known as Boswellia, “significantly increases” both pain threshold and pain tolerance. Researchers even recommend it as a treatment for osteoarthritis.3 I suggest 400 mg three times a day.
      White Willow Bark. This plant contains salicin, the same compound found in aspirin. Studies show it relieves arthritis pain as well as lower back pain.4 I recommend 240 mg per day.
    2. Lower blood pressure with my favorite supplement. Studies show boosting CoQ10 can drop blood pressure an amazing 11 to 17 mmHg in systolic pressure and 8 to 10 mmHg in diastolic pressure.5 I recommend taking 100 mg daily until your blood pressure is controlled. At that point, you can drop to 60 mg. And make sure you take the ubiquinol form of CoQ10 – it’s the most potent.
    3. Protect your ears with omega-3. The Blue Mountain Hearing Study followed almost 3,000 people for eight years. The researchers found those with the highest intake of omega-3 had a 42% lower risk of hearing loss.6 I recommend taking 1,000 mg of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA each day. Look for a formula made from calamari oil. It has one of the highest concentrations of DHA available.
    4. Turn down the noise with ginkgo biloba. Over 40 clinical studies show ginkgo eases tinnitus. For example, one study had tinnitus patients take ginkgo or a placebo. After 12 weeks, the ginkgo group had reduced ringing.7 Take 80 mg three times a day. But make sure your ginkgo contains at least 24% “flavone glycosides” and 6% “terpene lactones.”
    5. Try this for trauma-related tinnitus. If your tinnitus was caused by exposure to loud noises, I recommend you use the brain-booster vinpocetine for relief. It’s widely used in Europe and Japan, but doctors in the Americas don’t know much about it. In one study, tinnitus disappeared in half of those who took it within one week of trauma. But even if you don’t take it right away, it can lessen the severity. Despite the time lapse since the trauma, 66% saw a significant decrease. I recommend 20 mg a day.8

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD, CNS


1. Bhatt J, et al. “Tinnitus epidemiology: prevalence, severity, exposures and treatment patterns in the United States.” JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016 Oct 1; 142(10): 959–965.
2. Tang Z and Trussell L. “Serotonergic modulation of sensory representation in a central multisensory circuit is pathway specific.” Cell Rep. 2017;20(8):1844-1854.
3. Yu G, et al. “Effectiveness of Boswellia and Boswellia extract for osteoarthritis patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” BMC Complement Ther Med. 2020:20(1).
4. Chrubasik S., et al. “Treatment of low back pain exacerbations with willow bark extract: A randomized double-blind study.” Am J Med. 2000.
5. Rosenfeldt FL, et al. “Coenzyme Q10 in the treatment of hypertension: a meta-analysis of the clinical trials.” J Hum Hypertens. 2007;21(4):297-306.
6. Gopinath B, et al. “Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and fish and risk of age-related hearing loss.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2010; 92( 2): 416-421
7. Morgenstern C. et al., “The efficacy of Ginkgo special extract EGb 761 in patients with tinnitus.” Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2002; 40(5): 188-97.
8. Konopka W, et al. “Treatment results of acoustic trauma.” Otolaryngol Pol. 1997;51 Suppl 25:281-4.