Our sense of hearing is incredibly important – it helps us communicate with others, it keeps us safe, and it makes us entertained. Close your eyes for a moment right now and just listen to the sounds around you. If you don’t take care of your health, those sounds could begin to fade away into a devastating silence.
Causes and Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is closely associated with old age, but you’re never too young to start protecting your hearing and preventing hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss is most often due to the way that your brain processes information as you get older.
But hearing loss can also be caused by a single close-range gunshot or explosion, repetitive loud noises at work, or listening to headphones way too loud for prolonged periods of time. Certain prescription drugs are known to cause hearing loss as well. The early warning signs of hearing loss include a ringing sensation in your ears, a feeling of fullness in your ears, or difficulty hearing people at normal audible levels.
Here are a few natural strategies and tips to keep you on a long and happy path of hearing all of the sounds that surround you.
How to Prevent Hearing Loss
Many types of jobs, including ones on construction sites and in factories, put employees at risk of hearing loss. There are federal and state laws that protect employees from hearing-related hazards, so check with your employer about the remedies and solutions available to you. Earplugs, earmuffs, and headphones can make a world of difference in preserving your hearing on the job. They’re also ideal for live music concerts too.
While at home, limit your exposure to prolonged noise, especially with personal audio devices with earbuds or headphones. Ask your doctor to conduct a hearing screening at your next annual checkup to see if hearing loss is something you need to be especially concerned about.
How to Reverse Hearing Loss
If the damage has already been done, there are still steps you can take to reverse some of the damage and to prevent further damage. Antioxidants are important for many bodily functions, but they also help slow the aging process, which is a major cause of hearing loss. Researchers in numerous clinical trials have suggested that a healthy intake of antioxidants can help prevent and even reverse the effects of hearing loss over time.
Also, keep in mind that what you perceive as hearing loss might not be that at all. For example, your inability to hear well could be due to clogged ears, an undiagnosed allergy, or taking high doses of aspirin on a regular basis.
Foods, Vitamins, and Herbs for Better Hearing
Although you may not be able to eat your way to a better set of eardrums, there are some foods and herbs that have shown to be useful in promoting good hearing health. Some studies have shown that vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E play a key role in maintaining your sense hearing. Other nutrients, like acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid, may help prevent age-related hearing loss too.
These are some herbs that have shown promise in keeping your sense of hearing sharp, no matter how old you are:
- Ginkgo biloba (to protect against damage and improve neurological function)
- Butcher’s broom (for circulation and blood flow in the ears)
- Periwinkle (for antibiotic-related hearing loss)
And these are some foods that promote healthy hearing that you should try to eat more of on a regular basis or take supplements as necessary:
- Omega-3-rich fish like salmon and tuna
- Antioxidant-rich foods like broccoli and spinach
- Magnesium-rich foods like bananas and artichoke
- Vitamin C-rich foods like oranges and bell peppers
- Zinc-rich foods like oysters and dark chocolate