- According to Brazilian researchers, people who suffer from tinnitus may find relief from the hormone oxytocin.
- Oxytocin is a powerful hormone often known as the “cuddle” or “love” hormone because it encourages social interactions and bonding.
- In this blog, the physicians at AOC explain results from the study that claim oxytocin decreases the effects of tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing in the ears.
Tinnitus is a common health issue that affects approximately one in every five people, according to Mayo Clinic. Many people often wonder why this ailment affects so many people. First and foremost, it’s not an actual condition, it’s a symptom of a condition.
This means that anyone who suffers from age-related hearing loss or has an ear injury or disorder may be affected by tinnitus. Treating the underlying condition may help relieve or completely diminish tinnitus. However, there are instances where ringing in the ears occurs naturally from age-related hearing loss.
In these cases, alternative therapies may need to be considered to lessen the effects of tinnitus. According to researchers in Brazil, spraying oxytocin in the nose may help minimize the effects of tinnitus. This would be an incredible breakthrough considering the noise from tinnitus can be bothersome and interferes with thinking, emotions, hearing, sleep, and concentration.
During the study, researchers had some of the participants’ spray puffs of oxytocin into their nostrils while the others sprayed a placebo (distilled water) into their nostrils. Thirty minutes after the treatment, the study’s participants were asked to report their symptoms. They were told to repeat this process 24 hours later.
After compiling the data, the results from the study determined the patients who received oxytocin had a significant reduction in their tinnitus symptoms compared to those who received the placebo. While the author of the study couldn’t fully explain why the tinnitus patients experienced such positive results, she did state the following:
"Oxytocin has actions in the brain and the ear that may help provide immediate relief from tinnitus," said lead researcher Dr. Andreia Azevedo. "For some patients, tinnitus disappeared or reached a non-distress level. In some patients the tinnitus kept low, and for others, it raised after drug therapy ended."
The doctor speculates that oxytocin may have an effect on fluid regulation in the inner ear and the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Regardless, additional studies and clinical trials will need to be performed before physicians can conclusively consider oxytocin a treatment option for patients with tinnitus. This is due, in large part, to the fact that oxytocin can lead to serious complications, such as an abnormal heartbeat, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, allergic reactions, breathing difficulty, nausea, and vomiting.
If you suffer from tinnitus, call AOC to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians today! Our physicians will work diligently to determine a treatment plan that is right for you.
Arizona Otolaryngology Consultants (AOC) is a comprehensive ENT clinic that provides care for all diseases of the ears, nose, throat, and sinuses. The physicians at AOC have the highest level of training and expertise in ENT care and ENT subspecialty care, which includes the management of pediatric airway, cancer, skull base surgery, advanced head and neck surgical and reconstructive procedures, craniofacial surgery and more. Call 602-264-4834 to request an appointment today!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.