Is Magnesium Good for Tinnitus?
“Is Magnesium Good for Tinnitus?” The one-word answer to this question is: YES.
This article will give you all the necessary and relevant information about magnesium and Tinnitus, including:
- What is Tinnitus?
- How does a person get Tinnitus?
- How can magnesium be used to relieve the symptoms of Tinnitus?
- Tinnitus and stress: How magnesium is beneficial for both.
- Conditions other than Tinnitus that result from magnesium deficiency.
- How to keep your auditory system protected?
What is Tinnitus?
Have you ever experienced a sudden buzzing, ringing, or hissing type of a sound, when there's no sound present in your environment at all?
You keep getting distracted from this constant buzzing and ringing, and you just can't seem to figure out where it is coming from. Confused and irritated, you ask people around you if they too can hear such sounds, or is there something wrong only with your ears? Soon you realize that nobody can hear what you're hearing! That you're perceiving this sound from a non-existent source!
The above-mentioned condition is often referred to, in common words, as "Ringing in the ears."
But, there's a particular name for it: Tinnitus!
Tinnitus may be transient (lasting for a few days) or chronic, depending on its cause and severity of the symptoms. Some people who suffer from Tinnitus have a debilitating form of it, which keeps getting worse with time.
You may be thinking, "What causes tinnitus and what are the treatment options available?" If you want to find out the answers to these questions, keep reading!
How Does a Person Get Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is not just a ringing sound that you hear; It's a medical condition, and therefore needs to be taken seriously. And as with every medical condition, there are reasons behind the development of Tinnitus.
Historical records show that people above the age of 50 usually get Tinnitus, but the trend is changing now. According to research, Tinnitus is now getting common in younger people, even in children, which is alarming.
The reason behind this change has a lot to do with lifestyle choices, along with other causes. The growing incidence of Tinnitus in the world is setting a stage for other ear-related issues. Therefore, it's important to trace the possible causes of Tinnitus and treat them accordingly to get this condition in control before it proceeds to damage the ear.
One of the reasons for growing cases of Tinnitus is the increased exposure of people to loud sounds. Be it listening to songs in a concert or on your phone in a high volume with earbuds on, continuous exposure to loud sounds is extremely dangerous for the ear.
Repeatedly exposing yourself to loud music can damage the tiny hair-like structures in your inner ear. These small structures vibrate when the soundwaves strike them. Thus, listening to loud music repeatedly will cause these hair to vibrate vigorously, thereby damaging them and the tissues in the inner ear.
These hair send sound signals to the cochlea, which in turn transmit them to a part of the brain called the "dorsal cochlear nucleus." The function of the dorsal cochlear nucleus is to regulate the intensity of the sound, and this ability is disturbed due to the continuous load put on the ears by listening to loud sounds. This creates a ringing effect in the ear, which may eventually develop into Tinnitus.
Other Causes of Tinnitus:
Tinnitus also have other causes besides lifestyle choices, such as:
- Some infections have also been known to cause Tinnitus.
- Some medicines develop the symptoms of Tinnitus as a side effect.
- There are certain conditions in which the inner ear’s functionality gets affected, which results in Tinnitus. One of these conditions is a disease called Meniere's disease.
- High blood pressure, anxiety and stress are also related to Tinnitus.
- Excessive ear wax in the outer ear may also result in Tinnitus.
- Age is a contributing factor in Tinnitus, as mentioned above.
How Can Magnesium Be Used To Relieve The Symptoms Of Tinnitus?
Magnesium is a very important nutrient for the body. There are many crucial functions that it performs in the body, and its deficiency is a cause behind several medical conditions.
As more and more health functions of magnesium are unveiling with the advancement of scientific research, scientists are pushed to carry out studies on the potential of magnesium for treating various conditions. One of such conditions is Tinnitus.
While there is no cure for Tinnitus, magnesium may help relieve its symptoms. Magnesium does it in the following ways:
- Magnesium helps reduce Tinnitus by restoring the normal functioning of the dorsal cochlear nucleus, which is compromised due to the repeated exposure to loud sounds.
Working mechanism: When you listen to really loud noise, you experience a deep quietness for a short period. As a compensatory response, your dorsal cochlear nuclear boosts the auditory signals, which causes the ringing (Tinnitus) to occur in your ears. If it continues to do so, you may eventually develop chronic Tinnitus. Magnesium helps prevent the dorsal cochlear nucleus from continuously boosting the auditory signals, thereby relieving the symptoms of Tinnitus and also preventing you from developing chronic Tinnitus.
Another way how magnesium helps relieve the symptoms of Tinnitus is by regulating the concentration of Glutamate. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that hair cells present in the inner ear produce when they're hit with sound waves. The normal production of glutamate is affected due to Tinnitus. Magnesium, being a glutamate inhibitor, helps bring the glutamate concentration to its normal limits.
- One of Tinnitus's harmful effects is that it decreases the blood supply to the nerve tissues of the inner ear. Due to this, there's an accumulation of harmful free radicals inside the ear, which causes significant damage to the inner ear. Magnesium relaxes the blood vessels, thereby allowing the blood to flow properly in the ears and protecting the body from being harmed by the damaging effects of free radicals.
Tinnitus and Stress: How Magnesium Is Beneficial For Both
Imagine having no external sound source in your surroundings and hearing a constant buzzing/ringing/whooshing sound. It might not sound like a big deal to you, but it's really irritating and stressful. Some people are generally more sensitive than others, and they're easily distracted by little things. When such people become sufferers of Tinnitus, they have a hard time concentrating on their routine tasks and get so distracted by the sounds that they become depressed and anxious.
This is one of the reasons why sufferers of Tinnitus suffer from stress. Stress does not only coexist in prior with Tinnitus, but it's also often a predictor of the condition. Stressful situations work like a trigger for people with Tinnitus, and they often tend to experience the symptoms of Tinnitus when they're stressed out. This explains why many researchers regard Tinnitus as a neuropsychiatric condition, rather than an auditory one.
Magnesium is a great treatment option considering the psychological effects of Tinnitus, since it helps relieve stress and anxiety. Research shows that magnesium has the potential to treat the symptoms of anxiety, as well as help improve the quality of sleep. Therefore, magnesium would reduce the severity of Tinnitus and ease the anxiety/stress that comes with it.
Conditions Other Than Tinnitus That Result From Magnesium Deficiency
While magnesium is present in sufficient amounts in many foods, a lot of people are still deficient in the mineral mainly because their diet isn't healthy, and they don't consume the recommended daily dosage of magnesium.
The functions of magnesium in the body are diverse, ranging from the creation of the genetic material to the metabolism of carbohydrates and several crucial functions in between. It's an extremely significant nutrient, yet people aren't conscious of their magnesium intake, which results in many diseases.
Some medical conditions that result from magnesium deficiency are:
- Loss of hearing (noise-induced)
- Migraine and headaches
- Metabolic syndrome
How To Keep Your Auditory System Protected
“Prevention is better than cure” is what wise people say. And it's true. If you've never suffered from Tinnitus, consider yourself lucky because the ones who suffer from Tinnitus have a very hard time getting used to it. It takes away their peace of mind and interferes with their focus, affecting the quality of life.
The best way to not prevent yourself from getting Tinnitus is to take measures to protect your hearing. According to an estimation, about half of the hearing loss cases are avoidable, and similar is the case with Tinnitus. You can avoid it from happening by taking the following measures:
- Keep the volume of your headphones low, or use a noise-canceling headphone that will automatically keep the volume within the safe limits.
- If your workplace is noisy, protect your hearing by using earplugs.
- Restrict the time you spend using personal audio devices
Magnesium works effectively for reducing the symptoms of Tinnitus. It is also beneficial for alleviating the anxiety that coexists with Tinnitus, as well as for other conditions.