Tinnitus is a common hearing problem that affects approximately 50 million people, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. If you are suffering from tinnitus, you may hear noise or ringing in your ears. Tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying condition. This could be from an ear injury, circulatory system disorder or hearing loss from age. Magnesium supplements may improve tinnitus.
Being around loud noises may cause your body to lose magnesium. Living in cities exposes you to loud noises every day. A study published in the "Occupational Medicine" journal in February 2001 showed that exposing people to damaging loud noises daily caused their bodies to excrete magnesium. Taking magnesium supplements may decrease noise-induced ear damage, which is a cause of tinnitus.
Magnesium may give you relief from existing tinnitus. A study published in the "American Journal of Otolaryngology" in January-February 1994 showed positive effects of magnesium on participants exposed to loud noises. The group that took magnesium had fewer noise-induced permanent hearing threshold shifts compared to the placebo group. Noise-induced permanent hearing threshold shifts are auditory effects, like tinnitus, that result in hearing loss. Participants drank 167 milligrams of a magnesium aspartate supplement. They experienced no long-term side effects.
Magnesium Side Effects
Take magnesium supplements only as directed by a doctor. There are potential side effects even though magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral. You may have an allergic reaction, producing symptoms like swelling of the face, tongue or lips, hives, trouble breathing and/or a closing of your throat. Besides allergic reactions, you may experience mild to moderate effects. Common examples include nausea, abdominal pain and abdominal cramping. Other potential side effects include dizziness, diarrhea, dehydration or sweating. Stop taking supplements and seek medical attention as soon as you notice side effects. It is possible, although rare, that high magnesium levels in your body could cause kidney problems.
More Tinnitus Treatments
Doctors can improve tinnitus through diagnosing and treating the underlying condition. Medication, noise suppression devices and earwax removal might reduce tinnitus. Sometimes simply changing your medication can help. If the problem is a blood vessel condition, medication or surgery may help. Also, noise suppression methods that create white noise may help suppress tinnitus sounds. Noise suppression devices include white noise machines and items worn on the ears, such as masking devices and hearing aids.
- Life Extension: Tinnitus
- "Occupational Medicine"; The Effect of Noise on Serum and Urinary Magnesium and Catecholamines in Humans; F. Mocci, et al.; February 2001
- Life Extension: Tinnitus: Abstracts
- MedlinePlus: Tinnitus
- Drugs.com: Magnesium Citrate
- University of Rochester Medical Center: Tinnitus: Stopping the Sound in Your Head