How to Prevent Hearing Loss -- Top
10 Natural Remedies
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Last updated December 7, 2016 (originally published July 10, 2010)


By  Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist



It’s easy to take your hearing for granted. That song you
hear on the radio, the voices of your children, birds in the
trees, your favorite TV program -- we’re surrounded by
sound. It’s only when you experience a loss of hearing that
you recognize how important this sense is to your wellbeing
and happiness.


Hearing loss as we age is common. According to the National
Institutes of Health around one-third of Americans between
the ages of 65 and 75, and nearly half of those older than
75, have some degree of hearing loss. What causes hearing
loss? What are the signs of hearing loss? Are there any
natural remedies for hearing loss? In other words, are there
any foods, vitamins or minerals that help to improve your
ability to hear?


What Are the Signs That You Are Losing Your Hearing?

Hearing loss can sneak up on you.  But there are signs you
should watch out for.  You may be losing your hearing if you
find that you have to ask people to repeat things.  Especially
people you see often. Another sign of hearing loss is needing
to turn up the volume of the TV or stereo or earphones on
your MP3 player or walkman.   Another sign may be that
your lower back hurts because you are leaning forward
more often to hear people better.  Finally, some conditions
such as
Meniere's disease can cause hearing loss as a
secondary symptom.

Top 10 Natural Remedies for Hearing Loss

Hearing loss may be common but there are still steps you can
take to prevent it. Here are the Top 10 natural remedies for
hearing loss, based on medical research:






























1.
Increase Your Folate Intake to Prevent Hearing Loss

The B vitamin folate is an important nutrient found in green
leafy vegetables, chick peas and lentils and also in
supplement form. As well as being linked to a decreased risk
of birth defects, folate could be an important nutrient for
protecting hearing. A 2010 University of Sydney, Australia,
study published in the Journal of Nutrition found low levels
of folate were associated with a 35 percent increased risk of
hearing loss. The study looked at 2,956 people aged 50 and
over. Additionally, scientists from Wageningen University in
2007 reported that folic acid supplements delayed age-
related hearing loss in a study of 728 men and women
between the ages of 50 and 70. A 2009 study from Boston
found men over the age of 60 who had a high intake of
folate-rich foods had a 20 percent lower risk of developing
hearing loss.

Update:

You Need Both Folate and Vitamin B-12 for Normal Hearing

Scientists have found that, to maintain normal hearing as
you age, you need both folate and Vitamin B-12.

Folate is sometimes confused with Vitamin B12. What is the
difference between folate and Vitamn B-12? Folate is a
naturally occurring vitamin, which as we've noted, occurs in
dark, leafy green vegetables. The synthesized, manufactured
form of folate is called "folic acid" and is found as a
supplemnt and is often added to various food products such
as cereal. Folate is sometimes labelled as Vitamin 9.

Vitamin B-12 is a totally different vitamin. In their biological
function, both folate and Vitamin B-12 sometimes have
similar effects. For example, studies have found that people
who are deficient in Vitamin B-12 or folate have higher rates
of hearing loss as they age. One 1999 study entitled " Age-
related hearing loss, vitamin B-12, and folate in elderly
women" found that women over the age of 65 who had
hearing problems had 48% less Vitamin B-12 in their blood
than women with normal hearing.

(Read more about
Vitamin B-12 deficiency, called "pernicious
anemia" and foods that help.)

2.
Take Omega-3 Fatty Acids To Help Preserve Hearing

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in the skin of fish such as
salmon, could help you hold onto your hearing for longer.
Research from the University of Sydney (2010) found at
least two servings of fish a week caused a 42% reduction in
the risk of hearing loss in people over 50 years old.  Repeat,
that's a
42% improvement.

As the study noted: “Dietary intervention with omega-3
polyunsaturated fatty acids could prevent or delay the
development of age-related hearing loss,” wrote the
researches, led by Paul Mitchell. The study looked at 2,956
participants and the findings were published in the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

3.
Magnesium Prevents Hearing Loss

It’s not clear how magnesium helps protect hearing but a
1994 study of military recruits found 167mg of magnesium
daily helped protect the ear from noise-induced damage such
as gunfire or loud music.

The two-month, double-blind, placebo controlled study
tested 300 men and found soldiers who took magnesium
were less likely to experience permanent hearing damage
compared to those in the placebo group (Attias J, Weisz G,
Almog S, et al. ‘Oral magnesium intake reduces permanent
hearing loss induced by noise exposure’, 1994).

Animal studies suggest that magnesium deficiency could
increase the stress on the cells involved with hearing, making
them more likely to be damaged by loud noise. But because
magnesium deficiency is rare in humans, it could be that the
nutrient acts in some other way as a protective device.


[Update:

Magnesium supplementation helps relieve tinnitus, ringing in
the ear, according to a 2011 study from Department of
Otolaryngology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona.  A daily
dose of 532 mg of magnesium "signicantly" reduced tinnitus
in the 26 patients who participated in the study.]


To get more magnesium, try adding these
magnesium-rich
foods to your diet.

4.
Gingko Bolba Protects Against Hearing Loss

Some forms of hearing loss --called unilateral idiopathic
hearing loss--is believed to be caused in part by
poor
circulation. The herb gingko biloba is thought to increase
circulation so it was tested against a placebo as a treatment
for unilateral idiopathic sudden hearing loss.

In the study,106 participants were given either a full dose of
ginkgo (120 mg twice daily) or a low dose (12 mg twice
daily).

Researchers found that most participants recovered their
hearing by the end of the eight-week trial (Burschka MA,
Hassan HA, Reineke T, et al, 2001). However, this could just
mean that people with sudden hearing loss recover on their
own and is not conclusive proof of gingko’s efficiency.

A 2001 double-blind study compared ginkgo to
pentoxifylline, a circulation drug used to treat sudden
hearing loss (Reisser CH, Weidauer H. ‘Ginkgo biloba extract
EGb 761W or pentoxifylline for the treatment of sudden
deafness: a randomized, reference-controlled, double-blind
study’) and found ginkgo was at least as effective as the
medication. Additional research is needed on this herb
before we can say conclusively that ginkgo protects your
hearing but the partial evidence so far is good. (Read more
about
natural remedies for bad circulation.)

5.
Turn Down Your MP3 To Prevent Hearing Loss

As well as age-related hearing loss (called "presbycusis"),
your hearing can be damaged by noise.

Exposure to loud noise causes damage to the hairs or nerve
cells in the cochlea that send sound signals to the brain and
when they’re damaged, you’ll find it harder to hear certain
tones. You may also develop
a ringing in your ears called
tinnitus.

Professor Peter Rabinowitz from Yale University School of
Medicine explained in a 2010 bmj.com editorial that personal
MP3 players can generate sound in excess of 120 decibels,
similar in intensity to a siren or jet engine. If you’re turning
up your music to mask the sounds around you, it could be
damaging.

Other fun activities that can be potentially harmful include
snowmobiling, riding a motorcycle or attending a rock
concert. According to the National Institute on Deafness and
Other Communication Disorders, the sound generated by a
rock concert hits 110 decibels, high in the ‘risk’ range.

6.
Lowering Your Consumption of Aspirin Could Help Prevent
Hearing Loss

According to the Mayo Clinic, very high doses of aspirin or
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), some
antimalarial drugs or loop diuretics can cause ringing in the
ear or hearing loss.


A 2010 study from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston,
Massachusetts, published in the American Journal of
Medicine found that regular use of aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-
inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or acetaminophen could
increase the risk of hearing loss in men.


Men who took aspirin regularly for one to four years were
28 percent more likely to develop hearing loss than those
who did not and men who used NSAIDs for four or more
years were 33% more likely to develop hearing loss, the
study said.

However, the study was one of observation and association
and therefore does not conclusively prove that it was these
medicines that caused the hearing loss.

7.
Cleaning Your Ears Can Prevent Hearing Loss

It’s just like your mother used to say --- washing your ears
out can help you hear better. Many people find that the
cause of their hearing loss is a build-up of wax in the ear,
which blocks the ear canal and prevents the sound waves
from doing their job. Keep your ears free from blockages
with cleaning products available from your pharmacy.

Ear infection can also cause hearing loss. Read more about
remedies for ear infection.

8.  
Try Antioxidants to Prevent Hearing Loss

Free radicals, naturally occurring substances that damage
many parts of the body, can also cause damage to the ear.
Antioxidants fight free radicals and may be effective in
preventing hearing loss.

Common antioxidants include Vitamin C and Vitamin E. One
study, presented at the Association for Research in
Otolaryngology's annual conference in Baltimore in February
2009, suggested that beta carotene and vitamins C and E
had a role in preventing prevent both temporary and
permanent hearing loss in guinea pigs and mice.

9.
Clear Your Sinuses To Clear Your Ears

Blocked sinuses can be caused by colds and infections but
also by allergies. Blocked sinuses contribute to hearing loss
as they cause channels in the ear responsible for regulating
pressure to swell shut. This pulls fluid into the ear space and
muffles hearing. Take an allergy test if you are experiencing
what seem to be many long-lasting colds. An allergy may be
responsible for preventing your ears from clearing.  

10.
Herbal Remedies Can Aid Clear Hearing

While they have not been conclusively tested, many herbal
remedies have been promoted as aiding hearing and
preventing hearing loss.

Echinacea may protect against hearing loss. Echinacea fights
infection and helps reduce congestion, and therefore may
prevent build-up of fluid in the ear. Garlic as a herbal
supplement is said to soothe inflammation and fight
infection, including in the ear. Pineapple also helps reduce
inflammation.















































Related:

Tinnitus -Symptoms and Remedies /Meniere's Disease-Ideal
Diet
/Foods That Reduce Blood Pressure /Sugar-the Disease
Connection /Foods That Shrink Your Waist / Ideal Weight
for Women / Swollen Ankles -Causes and Cures /Tight Bras
and Briefs-Health Dangers /Are Diet Sodas Bad for Your
Health?
Bowel Color-What It Means/ Urine Color-What It Means


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