Tinnitus / Deafness

WESTERN MEDICINE: A wide variety of so-called "ear noises" are grouped under the general term "tinnitus". Usually they are described as hissing, ringing, buzzing, thumping, whistling, or roaring. Whatever their nature, they are annoying. Tinnitus may be constant or intermittent and is often accompanied by hearing loss. Causes include infectious processes, such as myringitis; toxic disturbances due to large doses of quinine, streptomycin, or salicylates, orto excessive smoking or alcohol; cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, aortic regurgitation, arteriosclerosis; Meniere's disease; obstruction of the external auditory canal or the eustachian tube, endocrine disturbances; allergy, and hysteria. 

Deafness means a total or partial impairment of hearing which may result from a great variety of causes, the onset being either insidious or acute.

ETIOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY: General speaking, the causative etiology and pathology of tinnitus or deafness are due to the following five factors: deficiency, wind, fire, phlegm and blood stasis. 

  1. Kidney deficiency: kidney is supposed to store the essence, and later can be transformed into marrow to nourish the brain and ears since the ears are the orifice of the kidney. Kidney deficiency may be due to the body type, or chronic diseases, or excessive sexual activities. 
  2. Exogenous factors attack from outside: the exogenous factors attack from outside and obstruct the ears so as to cause tinnitus and deafness. 
  3. Liver fire flaming up to disturb the ears: liver fire due to prolonged unhealthy emotion will cause tinnitus and deafness since the liver and gallbladder channels go around the ears. 
  4. Turbid phlegm due to excessive fatty food intake, or phlegm-heat body type, obstructs ears causing tinnitus or deafness. 
  5. Blood stasis obstructs channels around ears, so that ears lose their nourishment and cause tinnitus or deafness. 


1. Tinnitus/ Deafness due to the Wind Attacking:

Indications: Sudden ear noises, or partial impairment of hearing, accompanied with headache, aversion to cold and wind, or fever, sore or painful joints, or itching feeling of inside of ears. Floating and rapid pulse, white thin tongue body. Or complete impairment of hearing, auricle and gum swollen and painful, or with aversion to cold, cough, dry mouth, earache, bleeding, or otopyorrhea, and etc. 

Treatment & Formulas: Dispel wind and heat, open the lung. 


    • Fang Feng Tong Sheng San (Siler and Platycodon Formula, Item No. 2103): This is a strong formula for wind heat symptoms with interior lung heat. It is also applied for weight loss. 
    • Jing Jie Lian Qiao Tang (Schizonepeta and Forsythia Combination, Item No. 2167): It is a very good formula to clear the wind and heat at upper burner. So it is often applied for various ear and nose problems, such as otitis media, or rhinitis. 
    • Jing Fang Bai Du San (Schizonepeta and Siler Formula, Item No. 2166): This is also a very good formula for wind attacking lung's symptoms. 

2. Tinnitus / Deafness due to Liver Fire: 

Indications: Sudden arising of loud "ear noises", or sudden loss of hearing ability, headache, flushed face, bitter mouth, dry throat, restlessness, easily angered, insomnia, constipation. Red tongue, yellow tongue coating, wiry and rapid pulse. 

Treatment & Formulas: Clear the liver fire. 


    • Long Dan Xie Gan Tang (Gentiana Combination, Item No. 2267): This is a strong formula to clear the liver fire.
    • Go Teng San (Gambir Formula, Item No. 2238): It clears the liver fire and resolves the phlegm. So it is suitable for the liver stagnated fire with interior phlegm. 

3. Tinnitus/ Deafness due to Fire Combined with Phlegm: 

Indications: Ear noises, sometime feeling of hearing loss, fullness of chest, profuse sputum, thin, yellow and greasy tongue coating, slippery and rapid pulse.

Treatment & Formulas: Clear fire and eliminate phlegm, harmonize stomach so as to descend the turbid phlegm. 


    • Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Tang (Pinellia and Gastrodia Combination, Item No. 2066): This is a very good formula for liver stagnated phlegm with interior fire. Those turbid factors ascend to obstruct the ears or head so as to cause the tinnitus or deafness. 
    • Wen Dan Tang (Bamboo and Hoelen Combination, Item No. 2228): This is also a popular formula used to clear liver fire and resolve the stagnated phlegm. 
    • Er Chen Tang (Citrus & Pinellia Combination, Item No. 2003): This formula eliminates the damp-phlegm by dry and fragrant herbs. Other herbs or formulas can be added to clear the liver fire. 

4. Tinnitus/ Deafness due to the Qi Deficiency of Spleen:

Indications: Ear noises heard for a long time, sometimes strong and sometimes weak noises, gradually developed into deafness, pale complexion, fatigue, poor appetite, loose stool, thready and weak pulse, or big but weak pulse, pale tongue, or with teeth marks along the side of tongue. 

Treatment & Formulas: Tonifies the Qi by promoting the functions of spleen and stomach. 


    • Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang (Ginseng and Astragalus Combination, Item No. 2225): It is a typical Qi tonic formula by promoting the functions of spleen and stomach. 
    • Shen Ling Bai Zhu San (Ginseng and Atractylodes Formula, Item No. 2173): This treats spleen Qi deficiency with interior dampness.
    • Li Zhong Tang (Ginseng and Ginger Combination, Item No. 2191 ): It tonifies the spleen Qi and Yang. 

5. Tinnitus / Deafness due to Yin and Blood Deficiency:

Indications: Lower and continuous ear noises, or deafness, pale and dull complexion, pale fingernails and lips, thready and weak pulse, pale tongue. 

Treatment & Formulas: Tonifies the Yin and blood.


    • Ba Zhen Tang (Tang - Kuei and Ginseng Eight Combination, Item No. 2010): This is a typical tonic formula for Qi and blood deficiency.
    • Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang (Ginseng Nutritive Combination, Item no. 2007): This tonifies the Qi and blood of spleen and heart. 

6. Tinnitus / Deafness due to Liver and Kidney Deficiency:

Indications: Tinnitus, or deafness, accompanied with dizziness, blurry vision, soreness at lumbar region, or emission, wiry and thready pulse, or thready and weak pulse; or accompanied with cold and sore feeling at lumbar regions, impotence or emissions, or prospermia, thready and deep pulse, pale tongue with thin coating. 

Treatment & Formulas: Tonifies the liver and kidney. 


    • Jia Wei Chang Chung (Ginseng & Codonopsis Combination, Item No. D3041): It is a tonic formula for liver, spleen and kidney by its promotion of both Yin and Yang, it is especially good for kidney deficiency. 
    • Ba Wei Di Huang Wan (Rehmannia Eight Formula, Item No. 2011 ): This is a very good formula for kidney Yin and Yang deficiency symptoms
    • Zi Shen Tong Er Wan (Scute Formula, Item No. 2207): This is specifically used for tinnitus, or hearing loss due to kidney weakness.