Can Magnesium Aid in Hearing Loss Recovery?
Magnesium therapy has been demonstrated in several studies to be effective in either preventing or treating hearing damage, particularly noise-induced hearing loss, but also in improving hearing loss associated with drug ototoxicity and sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Magnesium therapy has few side effects or contraindications and it is cheap. Magnesium, which easily crosses the hematocochlear barrier, presents neuro- protective and vasodilatory effects, and is able to limit cochlear damage. These observations have led to many investigations, the aim of them being to evaluate the effectiveness of magnesium administration in prevention or treatment in such causes of hearing impairment. Some adults may lack sufficient magnesium in their bodies making them more susceptible to hearing loss. It can be taken alone or given in conjunction with other prescription medications. The majority of studies have shown that magnesium is partly effective in hearing loss recovery. Using magnesium in combination with other agents could improve recovery after hearing loss.
Magnesium supplementation in the treatment of sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
One study compared outcomes between those who received steroid treatment alone and those who received steroid treatment and magnesium supplementation. Post audiometric testing found that the group taking magnesium supplementation along with steroid treatment had a greater proportion of people with hearing improvement at all test frequencies and a greater mean improvement. Studies have shown the greatest benefit of magnesium supplementation on those with sudden sensorineural hearing loss when the magnesium was taken within 48 hours of the sudden hearing loss and taken in conjunction with steroid treatment.
Souce: Nageris, B.I., Ulanovski, D. & Attias, J. (2004). Magnesium treatment for sudden hearing loss. The Annuls of Otology, Rhinology &
Laryngology, 113, 672-675.
Magnesium supplementation may reduce noise-induced permanent hearing damage.
Another study looked at the effects of magnesium supplementation on the effects of noise-induced hearing loss. This study looked at two groups who attended a military training camp and were regularly exposed to loud noise. One group received a placebo drink and the other group received a daily magnesium supplement drink. At the end of the training, the group who received the placebo drink had more frequency and severe permanent hearing threshold shifts (reduced hearing). This suggests that magnesium could offer some sort of protection against noise-induced hearing loss.
Source: Attias, J., Sapir, S., Bresloff, I., Reshef-Haran I. & Ising, H. (2004). Reduction in noise-induced
temporary threshold shift in humans following oral magnesium intake. Clinical Otolaryngology & Allied Sciences, 29(6), 635 – 641.
In all of these studies more evidence, greater sample size and more controls are needed to draw substantial conclusions but it does offer promise and more health benefits related to magnesium. Please check with your physician before starting Magnesium supplementation. Sudden sensorineural hearing loss should be treated immediately by a physician, preferably within 48-72 hours of occurring. If you think you may have a sudden sensorineural hearing loss see your physician right away. If you cannot get an appointment, go to the nearest hospital emergency center.