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
Once again this made great reading and was very interesting. One question I did have though was in your list of major medical uses – you have obviously come across some information regards Melatonin in prevention of both pregnancy and cancer. Although you quality this by saying these claims have not been substantiated, they are still in your list of major medical uses. Is there another resource you could direct people to for further information on these two points? I’m familiar with the use of Melatonin for jet lag, although I think it is more effective on some then others. I’ve used it a couple of times after long haul flights and found it had little effect on me personally – that’s not saying it might not be good for other people though, because we are all different. I hope to see some comments from tinnitus sufferers inthis thread to hear what they think.
Thank you so much for your comment. Glad that you enjoyed the read.
Thanks for the question.Yes, the resource that one can be directed to is the Merck Index.
Hoping to hear the same from one fellow tinnitus sufferers as well.
Thanks for stopping by.
Could you please through some light on Cochlear implants and other hearing aids for those with profound hearing loss.
Sincere apologies for the late reply.
Yes I would certainly love to offer you information regarding your two queries.
In my country, I seriously considered the prospect of having a Cochlear implant. I thought I would be a liable candidate taking into account, the fact that I am deaf in my right ear and the two bouts of vertigo that have caused me to experience a loss in hearing in my left ear, including the tinnitus.
Unfortunately, according to the board, the hearing loss is not significant enough for me to be selected for a cochlea implant. Furthermore, the process is not a simple one. Not only is it an expensive procedure, but there is counselling both pre and post of the procedure. Then family needs to be briefed on the process. The success rate is high, but there are instances where it is proven to be not so effective.
One of the other reasons that I was rejected, was due to the hearing aid that I was fitted with, that helped in my hearing. I was able to(with struggles here and there) to perform my duty as a pharmacist.
This brings me to the second part of your question. Yes, hearing aids are helpful and depending on the type of hearing loss, the settings are adjusted by the audiologist.
As you mentioned for someone with profound hearing loss, there are various aids that can help. Is it both ears or just the one? In my case I went for the CROSS system by Phonak. Its picks up sounds emitted via the right ear, and transmits it over into the left ear’s hearing aid.
I find that, with it on, I do not need to turn my head in the opposite direction. I can also just use the left aid on its own, this amplifies all incoming sounds. Most importantly, it masks my tinnitus which makes the hearing much better.
I recommend that you speak to an audiologist. They are more knowledgeable in this field, as I have experienced, and will be able to advise you professionally on both the implant and the hearing aid, and find what is best suitable for your personal needs.
Hope this helps