Per an article by Steven Reinberg (WebMD), researchers from Brazil have discovered a new way to help those suffering from ringing in their ears, known as Tinnitus. Tinnitus is characterized by ringing, chirping, or buzzing in a person’s ears without any actual noise occurring. In some cases, it is attributed to over exposure to loud noises over the course of time. While for some people it is an intermittent condition and simply inconvenient, for others it is a life altering condition effecting nearly everything they do.
Researchers say they have discovered that the hormone known as Oxytocin has properties that could help to alleviate or reduce symptoms of tinnitus. Oxytocin, also referred to as the “love hormone” is more widely known for its promotion of human connection and intimacy. According to lead researcher Dr. Andreia Azevedo, “Oxytocin has actions in the brain and the ear that may help in tinnitus treatment and provide immediate relief.” Although researchers are not exactly sure how and why this hormone is effective in treating tinnitus, the results from their opening study are promising.
The researchers observed 17 volunteers with tinnitus, the average age being 63 years old. Some were given the Oxytocin; some were simply given a placebo (distilled water). The hormone and placebo were ingested through the nose in each nostril. The volunteers were then asked to assess their symptoms after 30 minutes, and again after 24 hours. Researchers found that those who were given the oxytocin had a drastic reduction in their symptoms compared to those who were given the placebo.
Although these results are promising, there are still many issues to be worked out and tested. Without knowing the long term effects this may have, as well as the potential side effects associated with oxytocin, the risk is still high and the study is far from over. However, it is encouraging to see research being done in this field, as 15% of Americans (50 million people) suffer from tinnitus. Trials are expected to continue in larger volume. For more information, follow the link: