As many as one in ten people suffer from tinnitus, a condition that entails hearing ringing in your ears when there is none…
If you suffer from this bothersome condition and are looking for effective relief, you've come to the right place! A small preliminary study conducted by Brazilian researchers has just found that people who suffer from tinnitus may find relief by spray the oxytocin hormone in their nose.
Dubbed as the “love hormone” because it enhances social connections, oxytocin may also help ease the annoying and sometimes even disturbing noises of tinnitus.
Lead researcher Dr Andreia Azevedo, part of the department of otolaryngology at the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, reported: “Oxytocin has actions in the brain and the ear that may help in tinnitus treatment and provide immediate relief.”
New Brazilian study finds that oxytocin may be the solution to tinnitus relief
For the study, researchers randomly assigned 17 tinnitus sufferers with an average age of 63 to puffs of oxytocin or a placebo (distilled water) in each nostril. After half an hour, the researchers asked the subjects to assess their symptoms. They then asked them to do this again after a further 24 hours.
What the researchers found was that subjects who received oxytocin reported a drastic reduction in tinnitus compared to those who received the placebo.
Darius Kohan is chief of otology at Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in New York City commented on the findings: “It’s good people are doing research on this because there isn’t one treatment that works very well.” He added that the results of this small trial are insufficient to draw any conclusions about oxytocin as an effective tinnitus treatment.
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Researchers admit that they aren’t sure how oxytocin might work to ease tinnitus
Dr Azevedo speculated that oxytocin may have an effect in your ear, probably related to fluid regulation in your inner ear, and a brain effect that may be related to the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine AKA your happy hormone. “For some patients, tinnitus disappeared or reached a non-distress level," Azevedo reported. "As usual in tinnitus treatment, in some patients the tinnitus kept low, and for some it raised after drug therapy ended.”
Dr Azevedo added that while oxytocin appears to be safe, she’s unsure of its long-term effects. “We didn’t have any side effects, but further larger studies are necessary to establish the role of oxytocin in tinnitus treatment,” she cleared up.
At present, Dr Azevedo and her team are conducting additional studies to determine whether or not increasing doses of oxytocin can lengthen and improve the response. She say that she expects that these trials will raise the interest in the drug and hopefully result in larger randomised trials.