Can melatonin help with tinnitus?
A question that certainly sits on the minds of a lot of tinnitus sufferers.
The answer though, may not be as simple as a yes or no.
Allow me to explain to you more about Melatonin. What its uses, benefits and associated side effects are.Then I will talk to you about some studies that took place, to show whether or not Melatonin actually helps with tinnitus.
What exactly is Melatonin?
It is a hormone that is naturally produced by the pineal gland. This gland is located in the middle of the brain.
The major purpose of this hormone is to regulate our natural sleep-wake cycle.
It is synthesized in supplements which can be derived from animals or can be artificially produced.
How does Melatonin work?
The activity of melatonin is to act on specific receptors within the brain, namely the melatonin 1(MT1), Melatonin 2(MT2) and melatonin 3(MT3).
By working on these receptors, it is believed that it contributes to the sleep promoting properties.
So in essence it regulates our circadian rhythms.
What are the common uses of Melatonin?
Medically the major uses of melatonin are the following
- Jet Lag
- Enhance the Immune system
- Used to prevent Pregnancy
- Used to prevent Cancer
Please note, no studies have as yet been undertaken to substantiate the last two claims I’ve mentioned above.
It has been known that the Melatonin metabolism declines as one ages. Therefore, it shows promise in the elderly to treat insomnia.
Sleep disturbances such as Jet Lag, is common with people who travel by air, across more than three time zones. It does not occur with sea, rail or car travellers because they have the time to adjust to the time zone changes.
People who suffer from Jet Lag, often complain of fatigue, irritability and difficulty in falling off to sleep.
Melatonin is said to have helped to minimize these effects.
What are the common side effects of taking Melatonin supplements?
Directions on how to take Melatonin
Melatonin should be taken 1hour before bedtime.Though it induces sleep, it does not produce a “hangover” the next day.There are however other side effects associated with it.
- Drowsiness– Usually about 30minutes after having taking the supplement, and may last for about 1hour.
- Dry Mouth
NOTE: These are generalized side effects. This means that you may not even experience any of them. Or you may experience other side effects that are not part of this list.
This is just to give you an idea of what can be experienced after or during the course of taking Melatonin.
Can Melatonin help with Tinnitus?
According to WebMD, a study was conducted to show the relationship between the tinnitus symptoms as after having to take melatonin supplementation.
The study centered around 18adults averaging 60 years of age who suffered from tinnitus for over 10years.
Before starting with the supplementation, the particpants had to rate their tinnitus symptoms as well as the quality of their sleep.
Thereafter therapy was initialized with melatonin. They each started taking a dosage of 3mg Daily for a month.It was after these 4weeks, that the results were then noted, after the supplements were stopped.
The patients ratings were recorded again. The results showed an improvement in the ratings of the tinnitus symptoms. The poor sleep ratings before the trial had also improved after the subjects took the melatonin.
The researchers noted that these improvements were noted well after the medication was stopped.Perhaps, it was due to the lasting effects of the drug.
Their conclusion was that taking the melatonin showed a curbing in the tinnitus symptoms by improving the sleep.This study is not conclusive though, as there were various drawbacks or limitations. Amongst them were the following,
- The study took place over a relatively short period of time,
- Small number of participants,
- Patients were aware of the medication that they were taking, psychologically it could boost their beliefs that it is working,
- No placebo group in the study.By having this comparison, the results would have proven to be more credible.
Study Nr 2
Another study showed a little bit of a more convincing case.
This study had a placebo group added to it. Though it was also conducted over a month, the group was much larger, in the region of 61 adults. Furthermore, after the group took the 3mg of Melatonin for a month, they were each subjected to a 1-month washout period.
The group were then treated to another month of crossover treatment with swopping with either the placebo or the Melatonin, (unknowingly of course).
Various tests were conducted at the outset, and during every 30-day interval, the tinnitus was assessed, during the different stages of the study.
The TM(Audiometric Tinnitus Matching) and SRT(Self Related Tinnitus)scores were noted after the study was conducted.
The results showed a greater decrease in these levels after treatment with melatonin, as opposed to the placebo.
These scores showed to be even better in the following:
- In male subjects,
- Those with tinnitus in both ears,
- People without a history of depression,
- Those with tinnitus as a result of exposure to loud noise,
- and for those who have not received any prior tinnitus treatment.
The researchers concluded that Melatonin supplementation decreased tinnitus severity and improved the quality of sleep in patients that were suffering from long term tinnitus.
So what do you think ? Would you try the melatonin or not ?
I personally think that no one but yourself knows how intense the ringing in your ears can really be ?
It is bothersome, frustrating and annoying to say the least.
As before, I reviewed a product called Ginkgo Biloba, as aid to help tinnitus sufferers.
As I have mentioned before, and I will mention now, that it certainly does not hurt to give it a go. Of course, with this one, it is a little different. I would strongly recommend that one take it under the close supervision of a doctor.
This goes without saying that you should take into account that you are not allergic to this compound. For the ladies, do not take it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Taking it with alcohol, will reduce the effectiveness of Melatonin.
So, now you have the lowdown on the Melatonin.
I hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful.
The quest for searching for something to relieve the ringing in our ears goes on.
Should any of you try the melatonin or have already given it a go, kindly share with us your experience.
Let’s get this chat going and see where it takes us.
Thanks once again for stopping by.
All the best and take care