General Information on Meniere's Disease / Syndrome Meniere's Disease Triggers & Causes

Dealing with Tinnitus

By Mike Spencer

Founder of Meniere’s Help. Researcher and author of Managing Meniere’s and The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s

How to deal with tinnitus

According to the CDC, around 50 million people suffer with tinnitus in the US. That is 15% of the population. According to Science daily, one in seven worldwide suffer from tinnitus.

There are many causes of tinnitus, ranging from noise induced, infections, trauma (physical and psychological), drug side effects, diseases, age, TMJ, blood conditions and stress.

How tinnitus sounds and feels is unique to the individual but it varies between ringing, buzzing, clicking, humming, roaring, hissing and indescribable sounds. It can range from slightly annoying to absolutely tortuous.

In Meniere’s disease an increase in tinnitus can precede increases in ear pressure, dizziness and a full blown vertigo attack. Tinnitus can fluctuate greatly and increases can last minutes to days and weeks.


What causes this increase and what can you do about it? The same triggers that result in pressure build up inside the ear, dizziness and eventually vertigo are the same for tinnitus; increased inflammation and blood pressure.

What causes increased inflammation, blood pressure and tinnitus

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Too much sodium
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Chemicals in processed food
  • Excess sugar consumption
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of sleep
  • Dehydration
  • Extreme anger
  • Hunger
  • MSG
  • Aspartame
  • Lack of essential nutrients
  • Loud noise
  • Excess consumption of caffeine
  • Nicotine
  • Stimulant drugs

Medications known to cause or worsen tinnitus include:

  • Antibiotics, including polymyxin B, erythromycin, vancomycin (Vancocin HCL, Firvanq) and neomycin
  • Cancer medications, including methotrexate (Trexall) and cisplatin
  • Water pills (diuretics), such as bumetanide (Bumex), ethacrynic acid (Edecrin) or furosemide (Lasix)
  • Quinine medications used for malaria or other health conditions
  • Certain antidepressants, which may worsen tinnitus
  • Aspirin taken in uncommonly high doses (usually 12 or more a day)

* Source: Mayo Clinic

Electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure

A very modern cause of tinnitus and indeed Meniere’s disease, may be over exposure to electromagnetic fields. With the rapid saturation of EMFs all around us from wifi, cell phones and cell phone towers has also come an increase in prevalence of tinnitus in young people.

In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Neurology, ‘Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry’, it stated that 29 % of students between the ages of 11 and 17 had already developed chronic tinnitus!

Tinnitus shares pathophysiology with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. All things that use electricity generate EMFs, so that includes your computers, televisions, cell phones and household appliances etc.

Your body also uses electrical signals to transmit information. In your brain, neurons communicate with each other via minute electrical charges, and external EMFs can interfere with these signals.

According to the Environmental Health Center -Dallas, “The extent to which EMF affects human health varies depending on the physiological history and genetic predisposition of the person. But exposure to changes in the larger fields of the sun, moon and our planet can affect almost every part of our being from head to heart and from head to toe.

Man made electrical fields likewise affect our body. Their effect depends on the strength of the fields, the distance from the source, and the length of the exposure time. Electrical current passing through the body can injure tissue and damage nerve transmission.

Cell phones produce Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) in the ultra high frequency range or Radio Frequency (RF) range. The radiation emanating from these RF fields can be linked with increased risk of glioma and acoustic neuroma.”

Acoustic neuroma is something that is usually checked for with MRI when diagnosing Meniere’s disease.

As far back as 1994, the American Bar Association Journal reported that EMF cases were being filed at the rate of about one per month.

In 2009 study published on pubmed (Association of Tinnitus and Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Hints for a Shared Pathophysiology?), it stated that, “Our data indicate that tinnitus is associated with subjective electromagnetic hypersensitivity. An individual vulnerability probably due to an overactivated cortical distress network seems to be responsible for both electromagnetic hypersensitivity and tinnitus.

A 2018 study published in Science direct (Tinnitus and cell phones: the role of electromagnetic radiofrequency radiation) concluded with, “There are already reasonable evidences to suggest caution for using mobile phones to prevent auditory damage and the onset or worsening of tinnitus.”

The first way to avoid Tinnitus from EMF is obviously to reduce your time in close proximity to cell phones and do an environmental check for your house and surrounding area.

There are various suggested treatments for “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity”, including detoxing heavy metals from your body.

How to avoid increases in tinnitus

All of the above can result in poor blood flow, inflammation or lowering of the immune system.

In many cases blood flow may be a major issue with Meniere’s. There is already constant inflammation so anything that adds to that or decreases the ability of your immune system to deal with inflammation will result in increased symptoms, including tinnitus.

So it stands to reason that you should avoid anything that lowers your immune system, affects blood flow or increases the possibility of inflammation.

  • Reduce stress and anxiety through stress management
  • Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and stimulant drugs
  • Get regular exercise
  • Get enough sleep, with regular sleep patterns
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Avoid too much sugar
  • Avoid too much sodium
  • Eat regular healthy meals
  • Strongly consider dietary supplements to strengthen immune system
  • Drink water regularly

Reducing tinnitus

Vitamin B12

Studies have shown that vitamin B12 deficiency can cause hearing loss and tinnitus.

A 1993 study, ‘Vitamin B12 deficiency in patients with chronic-tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss’ concluded that, “These observations suggest a relationship between vitamin B12 deficiency and dysfunction of the auditory pathway. Some improvement in tinnitus and associated complaints were observed in 12 patients following vitamin B12 replacement therapy. The authors recommend that routine vitamin B12 serum levels be determined when evaluating patients for chronic tinnitus.”

A 2016 study, Therapeutic role of Vitamin B12 in patients of chronic tinnitus stated,  “This pilot study sheds light on the relationship of deficient B12 levels and tinnitus and its supplementation playing a therapeutic role in tinnitus.” 

Vitamin B12 is an ingredient of Lipoflavonoid Plus.

For a decade and a half we have seen success in reducing Meniere’s symptoms using a specific dietary supplementation regimen. One of the most stubborn symptoms has always been tinnitus. Often, when Lipoflavonoid Plus has been added to this regimen, where tinnitus was still an issue, it seems to be successful.

Click here to read more about Lipoflavonoid Plus

Glutamate and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)

Glutamate is a powerful excitatory neurotransmitter that is released by nerve cells in the brain. It is responsible for sending signals between nerve cells. It is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the vertebrate nervous system.

When there is too much glutamate it can become an excitotoxin and leads to seizures and the death of brain cells. This can lead to anxiety, stress, depression, and many neurodegenerative conditions, one of which is tinnitus.

Hypoglycemia can cause excessive glutamate concentrations around neurons, as blood sugars are the primary glutamate removal method. Hypoglycemia has also been linked to Meniere’s disease.

Read more about the links between hypoglycemia and Meniere’s disease here: Hypoglycemia and Meniere’s disease

Studies show that stress can activate glutamate and alter the balance of glutamate and GABA. Stress is a known trigger for Meniere’s disease and most sufferers know that stress will increase tinnitus, ear pressure and the likelihood of a vertigo attack.

Nutrients that can help balance glutamate include the amino acids taurine, GABA, and l-theanine; the anti-oxidants NAC and green tea; vitamins B6 and D; the minerals magnesium and zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.

GABA deficiency can cause increased glutamate.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) acts as the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS). Glutamate and GABA work in a cycle. Increasing GABA may help inhibit too much glutamate production and has been shown in studies to reduce tinnitus.

Importantly, GABA plays a role in mediating sound receptors in your brain.


Magnesium has been shown to be a very integral part of successful supplement regimens for Meniere’s and has been used in Mayo clinic studies for tinnitus.

According to, “Recent studies of both noise-induced hearing loss and idiopathic sensorineural hearing loss have suggested that Mg supplementation may lessen the severity of tinnitus in patients. Mg improved hearing recovery and lessened tinnitus in patients with idiopathic sudden hearing loss.”

In 2011 The International Tinnitus Journal published a study stating that, “patients with moderate to severe tinnitus achieved significant improvement when taking a daily dose of 532 milligrams of magnesium for three months.”

You can a read a more in depth article on Magnesium and Meniere’s disease by clicking the link below.

Magnesium links to Meniere’s disease


Studies have shown that supplementing with pycnogenol has helped reduce tinnitus in Meniere’s disease. A 2014 Japanese study conclude that, “Symptoms of Meniere’s disease, flow at cochlear level and tinnitus improved in Pycnogenol subjects in comparison with best management.”

Read more on pycnogenol here: PYCNOGENOL for Meniere’s Disease

Gingko Biloba

The therapeutic values of gingko have been known for thousands of years. It is particularly well known for helping blood flow to the peripheral blood vessels of the body. Researchers believe that ginkgo improves cognitive function because it promotes good blood circulation in the brain and protects the brain from neuronal damage.

Supplementing with ginkgo has long been part of successful supplement regimens for Meniere’s disease.

Studies suggest it is useful for tinnitus. One such study in 2011, ‘Ginkgo biloba extract in the treatment of tinnitus a systematic review’ stated, “Of note, all trials using this extract consistently demonstrate its superiority over placebo.”

Masking Tinnitus

Resting and trying to sleep can be difficult with constant tinnitus. Masking the sound with background music, the sound of nature or other specific frequency sound therapy can help you relax and block out the noise in your ear.

The tinnitus masking music therapy below, at the time of writing, has the best reviews on youtube.

Massage to ease tinnitus and other Meniere’s symptoms

I personally found that often the correct massage helped ease pressure, dizziness and tinnitus. In my case, a Thai massage therapist in Japan would use a green balm. She would massage up from the neck, behind the affected ear over the top of the ear and down to the jaw, in long slow deep strokes.

It was an easy massage to replicate and I could do this myself and often ease pressure, and therefore the tinnitus quite quickly.**

Medical massage for tinnitus is available. Medical massage, targeting specific muscles of the neck, head, upper back, and jaw can release tension and reduce the intensity of tinnitus symptoms.

In the video below, this man uses a slightly different technique, but judging from the comments on youtube it may help a great deal.

**Note: I no longer suffer from the symptoms of Meniere’s disease or tinnitus. You can read my story below:

Acupuncture for tinnitus

Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for both Meniere’s in general and in reducing tinnitus. Studies have shown this to be the case and I can personally vouch for this. It is not a cure and will mean regular visits, but I found it to be very beneficial in temporarily easing pressure, reducing tinnitus and stopping dizziness.

One 2018 study cited in the Caspian Journal of Internal Medicine concluded that, “acupuncture was more effective in reducing the loudness and severity of tinnitus based on VAS and TSI and can be used as a good treatment option for chronic non-pulsatile tinnitus.”

It should be noted that with both massage and acupuncture, it can very much depend on the skill and understanding of the individual therapist. As in all professions, some are great at what they do while others, not so good.

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Help other sufferers.

What are your experiences with Meniere’s and relief from tinnitus? Let us know in the comments box below or email Mike at

Further reading: Improvement in symptoms and cochlear flow with pycnogenol in patients with Meniere’s disease and tinnitus

Meniere's Disease and Nutrition

Can Lipo-Flavonoid Help Meniere’s Symptoms?

Can Lipo-Flavonoid Help reduce the Symptoms of dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss?

The Lipo-Flavonoid nutritional supplement was developed by a well know Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor) at a leading clinic in the US mid-west more than forty years ago.

The supplement was specifically developed to relieve the symptoms of ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dizziness and loss of hearing in Meniere’s disease. Lipo-Flavonoid provides nutritional support to improve circulation in the inner ear.

Lipo-Flavonoid Plus is an Extra Strength formula containing twice the normal amount of Lemon Bioflavonoids compared to the regular Lipo-Flavonoid, and is claimed to be even more beneficial in reducing the symptoms of Meniere’s disease.

Lipo-Flavonoid contains eriodictyol glycoside, bioflavonoids, vitamin B6 and B12 (B complex), vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, choline, inositol, and pantothenic acid.

These are all natural nutrients; not synthetic drugs. Eriodicytol glycoside is an extract from citrus bioflavonoid and has been shown to aid in maintaining inner ear health and improving microcirculation in the ear.

In a study of patients with Meniere’s syndrome, they were given Lipo-Flavonoid for several months. Most of the people noticed improvements and no adverse side affects. “They were so pleased with the improvements in their ear health that they voluntarily remained on Lipo-Flavonoid after the study was over.” (Goffin, 1970).

Hearing also improved when 160 people with Meniere’s Disease were given citrus bioflavonoid, ascorbic acid, and vitamin B in another study. Vitamin B complex may produce an occasional hearing improvement in a few isolated instances. However, supplementation with citrus bioflavonoid (600 mg, three times a day) can make the improvements more regular, and to a greater extent (Williams, 1962).

One scientific study looked at eriodictyol glycosidase in people with Meniere’s Disease. An overwhelming majority of the 122 people said it relieved their dizziness and the ringing in the ears. (Williams, 1964).

In another study, 1,220 people with hearing loss were given bioflavonoid complex along with a multiple vitamin. Forty percent of the people studied claimed that their hearing improved significantly. (Shaia, 1976).

In a fourth study, doctors found a relationship between vitamin B12 deficiency and tinnitus. Tinnitus patients improved when given vitamin B12 (Shemesh, 1993).

Another study looked at a combination of therapies including beta-histine mesilate, vitamin B complex and diazepam in patients with tinnitus. This study discovered this multi-ingredient treatment may provide relief. (Ohsaki, 1998).

Eriodictyol glycoside (lemon bioflavonoid extract) may act on histidine decarboxylase and play a major part in control of the microcirculation in the ear. Schayer had stated “All the observations seem to be unified by the hypothesis that inducible histidine decarboxylase is located in or close to, vascular endothelial cells and synthesizes histamine at a rate determined by the requirements of the issues for blood.” Williams et al wrote, “Histamine suddenly induced by a local stimulus in quantities far beyond homeostatic necessity would reproduce the symptoms, signs and pathologic [condition] of Meniere’s Syndrome. Eriodictyol glycoside may act as a blocking agent for histidine decarboxylase (histamine).” (Slattery, 1997)

According Herschberg (1974), these studies prove that supplements with a bioflavonoid complex  can “really help to maintain inner ear health.

What Lipo-Flavonoid users say 

From 1134 customer reviews on Amazon at the time of writing, Lipo-Flavonoid Plus averages 4 out of 5 stars.

There are many very positive reviews, some with mixed results and there are some negative reviews.

From the positive reviews:

“I took 6 pills/day for the recommended time and noticed toward the end of my first bottle I had NO ringing on several, consecutive days! Convinced me to buy my second bottle FOR SURE. I’m now at 3/day and have none to minimal ringing each day, before taking had daily severe ringing for years-I’M A BELIEVER.”

“All the ingredients are specifically aimed at helping increase circulation to the ear. You have to follow the recommended dosages and do the exercises. Be patient and do not give up, this product will help!!!!”

“Only thing that has stopped the ringing!”

“I went to 3 ENT’s (Ears, Nose, Throat specialist) for persistent ringing in my left ear. I had 2 MRI’s done. They were not able to determine what the problem was other than a slight hearing loss at the very high end of the range, which I was assured was normal for a person of my age (45). The third ENT I consulted told me about this product. I tried it and the ringing stopped in only 3 days! It was so bad it was keeping me up at night. For me, this product has been a true miracle. I have not had any problems since. I began by taking the full dose. Now I only have to take 1 a day.”

“I’ve been using this product for 3 months now. I followed the recommendation of taking double the recommended amount to achieve faster results. After about 3 weeks the buzzing in my ear was cut in half. That by itself was a huge improvement. By the end of 2 months it reduced it a bit more. I’m now taking the recommend 3 pills a day and so far haven’t noticed any increase in the buzz volume. Actually there are times it seems to be totally gone. My ENT is the one that recommended it to me. He did advice however that it doesn’t work for everyone but is one of the few products out there that does work well for those it helps. I do know that I had my doubts that a vitamin supplement would help my ears but am so glad now that I gave it a try. If you are thinking of trying it, I do recommend you follow the suggestion of taking double the recommended dose for 2 months to get it working faster and hopefully you will be one of the ones that it really helps just like it has me. Best of luck to you and hope you find this review helpful.”

“If you have meniere’s disease, you must try this product”

“I have had classical meniere’s disease for many years, and have suffered dizziness, ear pressure, hearing loss, tinnitus and vomiting. Soon after taking my first dosage of Lipofavanoid, I started to notice a reduction in ear pressure. That was in August 2008. It is now August 2009 and I have been taking around 800mg a day, everyday since my first dosage. This product has been a big help, and has provided a way for me to make meniere’s manageable day to day.
If you have classical meniere’s disease, you must at least try this product. It has been a big help to me and my family.
Lipoflavanoid PLUS actually acts like an antihistamine in the inner ear, and reduces fluid production (swelling) and makes the membranes of the inner ear more porous so fluids flow easier and pressure is reduced. Lipoflavanoid also improves blood circulation by dilating the tiny capillaries of the inner ear, improving overall inner ear health and function. Improved circulation of the inner ear can also reduce tinnitus by allowing the hair cells of the cochlea to send higher quality signals to the brain.
NOTE; make sure you get Lipoflavanoid “PLUS“. This version of the product includes a higher level of lemon bioflavanoids which is the key ingredient that can potentially improve the meniere’s ear.

Good luck!”

“My ear doctor recommended this for ringing in the ear. My doctor said to just take one a day and I have been using Lipo-Flavonoid for over two years now and have had a reduction in the ringing that makes if tolerable now. I would recommend this to anyone who has tinnitus.”

From negative reviews:

“Didn’t help the ringing in my ears”

“Hubby took it for 60 days. No improvement noted. Wishing there was something that works for him.”

“Gave absolutely no help”

What are Flavonoids?

Flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites thought to provide health benefits through cell signaling pathways and antioxidant effects. These molecules are found in a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Flavonoids can be powerful antioxidants, in addition to having anti-viral/bacterial, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties.

Green tea, citrus fruit, and berries are great sources of flavonoids. Lemon bioflavonoid and grape seed may be among the most beneficial sources for Meniere’s sufferers, improving microcirculation of blood in and around the ear.

Dr Strand’s supplement recommendations for Meniere’s includes both Lipo-Flavonoid and a powerful grape seed extract containing flavonoids.

The University of Maryland reports: Certain flavonoids, known as hydroxyethylrutosides (HR), have been reported to improve symptoms of MD in one double-blind study. In this study, 2 grams per day of HR for three months resulted in either stabilization of or improvement in hearing.

Meniere’s Help readers experiences with Lipo-flavonoid

Extracts from emails to Meniere’s Help (used with permission):

“I’ve been on the low salt diet, diuretic and taking the vitamins. I recently started taking Lipo Flavonoid Plus and it has done wonders.  I haven’t had an attack in 8 weeks, the fullness is gone.


“I have been taking the expensive “pure” supplements, I also have been taking that LipoFlavanoid Plus.  The good news is that I haven’t had a really horrific episode like I did back in September and I am most often able to function pretty normally and work full-time.”



It would appear that Lipoflavonoid does help at least some people with Meniere’s symptoms. From the information above it would seem over 50%. The vast majority of sufferers who have experience with the supplement regimen spoken of on Meniere’s Help have been able to reduce or eliminate their symptoms.

Dr Strand later added three recommendations to the original regimen. One of these was Lipo-Flavonoid. The two most common symptoms that are reported to be hardest to eliminate is tinnitus and hearing loss. Vertigo and dizziness and the other associated symptoms are nearly always the first things to reduce or disappear.

Adding LipoFlavonoid Plus may be the final piece in the puzzle to help with hearing loss and tinnitus.

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What are your experiences with Lipo-Flavonoid Plus. Tell us all about it in the comments box below or email Mike at

References/Further reading:

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