Ear sensations that cause a feeling of vibration or clicking noises are related to muscle spasms similar to twitching, occurring inside the ear itself. The clicking noises are related to tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing, buzzing, roaring, humming and other irritating noises in the ear; however, it should not be confused with tinnitus. Sometimes the clicking noises of vibrating ear spasms are intermittent and last for a few minutes, and at other times they can last for weeks at a time. Magnesium supplementation may offer relief from these spasms causing the noises.
No one knows what causes the clicking noises or the spasms of the muscles in and around the ears. They begin and end mysteriously in many cases. It is rare that these noises start and continue indefinitely. The noises occur during times when you are not in the act of chewing. If you experience clicking in your ears while you are chewing, it may indicate TMJ, a different condition that happens when the jaws are out of alignment. There is no known trigger for vibrating ear spasms causing clicking noises, and any number of circumstances can set it off. It causes no pain and is mostly just annoying.
Palatal myoclonus is a spasm of the soft palate at the back of the throat. The spasms occur rhythmically, in time with the clicking noises, and are thought to be a possible cause. You may be able to hear the rhythmic spasms and feel twitching in the back of your throat because the muscles involved extend into the ear. Conventional treatment to stop the spasms of the soft palate are with botox injections to the throat, which temporarily paralyze the soft palate, preventing the twitching. This is controversial and only temporary and must be repeated every three to six months.
Muscles Spasms of the Tensor Tympani or Stapedius
The muscles located in the middle ear may periodically twitch, creating the clicking noises. No diagnostic tests exist, and a diagnosis is made through a process of elimination based on the experience of the patient. Conventional treatment for this condition is surgical and involves permanently cutting the muscles to prevent the spasms.
A magnesium deficiency can cause muscle spasms, twitching and cramping throughout the body, including in the muscles of the stapedius and the throat. Just like in leg cramps, magnesium deficiency, can cause any muscle in the body to go into spasm. Director of the Schacter Center for Complementary Medicine, Michael B. Schacter, M.D. recommends taking elemental magnesium to help relieve the various symptoms of magnesium deficiency. The RDA for magnesium is 350 milligrams of elemental magnesium. This dose may not be satisfactory for each individual, and you should consult with a naturopath or other natural health practitioner for individual dosing. Schacter discusses on his website how magnesium supplementation can relieve numerous symptoms related to dysfunctional muscles.
Noise-Induced Ear Damage
Some people suffering from ear spasms and ear clicking may also have tinnitus. Living in cities where there is a great deal of loud noise, going to loud music concerts, or working with noisy construction tools can cause irreparable damage to the ears from noise pollution. According to a study performed in 2001 and reported in the Oxford Journals of Occupational Medicine, repeated exposure to loud noise can cause magnesium to be excreted from your body. Taking supplemental magnesium can reduce some of this damage associated with ear clicking and tinnitus.
Oxford Journals of Occupational Medicine; The Effect of Noise on Serum and Urinary Magnesium and Catecholamines in Humans; F. Mocci, et.al; 2001
Farquier Ear Nose and Throat Consultants of Virginia: Irregular Ear Clicking or Vibration Noise
Life Extension: Tinnitus
Healthy.net: The Importance Of Magnesium To Human Nutrition
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