Age-related hearing loss is a seemingly universal problem among the elderly. Few of the aged escape it. However, natural and preventative remedies for age-related hearing do exist!
It is usually just assumed and expected that we lose our hearing gradually over time. Some natural changes occur in the inner and middle ear as we age, which cannot be helped. Physical deterioration is also inevitable to some degree in all parts of the body.
However, there are many contributing factors to hearing loss that can be avoided. Certain medical conditions and medications are linked to hearing loss. Long term exposure to loud noises and chronic ear infections also contribute to hearing loss.
Natural Remedies for Hearing Loss
Prevention is definitely the best medicine to protect your hearing. But what if you already have hearing loss? After considering and correcting any of the above risks to your ears, you can also find some herbs, dietary changes, and exercise as you are able.
Your hearing depends on the bones in your ears, the nerves that go to your ears, and the blood vessels that go to your ears. Nourishing your body will have a positive effect on your bones, nerves, and blood. Take care of yourself. Eat a variety of whole foods. Eat less processed foods and fast foods.
Aerobic exercise gets your blood flowing. This includes blood flow to your ears. Make an effort to keep active even as you age. Walking, swimming, cycling, or an exercise class at the gym will help you maintain your body’s health, including your ears.
Gingko Biloba increases blood circulation and has been used to treat several disorders common among the elderly, including hearing loss and dementia.
Cayenne pepper is an excellent herb for circulation. Improved circulation will bring more blood to your ears to help with function and repair.
Burdock root is a nerve healer and blood purifier.
Medical Conditions and Hearing Loss
Autopsies of individuals with diabetes have revealed damage to nerves and blood vessels of the ears. This is consistent with nerve and blood vessel damage in general for diabetics.(1)
It is essential to keep diabetes under control for your hearing as well as your overall health.
High Blood Pressure
Pubmed reports a study that connects hearing loss to high blood pressure. (2)
High blood pressure does cause stress and damage to blood vessels. It certainly makes sense that it would harm the delicate vessels that supply the ears with blood.
To reduce your risk of age-related hearing loss, keep your medical conditions under control. You will feel better, and you will hear better! There are many natural remedies for preventing high blood pressure and diabetes under control.
Medications and Hearing Loss
Allopathic cancer treatments, including chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy, have been implicated in the damaging hearing. (3)
If you have cancer, do your research and understand the side effects of any action you take to treat your disease.
Pain Medications and Hearing Loss
One Pubmed study reveals a link between the use of pain medication and hearing loss. Pain medications implicated include NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, and Paracetomol. (4).
Studies show high doses of aspirin are also connected to hearing loss. (5) Even small and infrequent aspirin doses can cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears) in sensitive people.
People take pain medication for many different reasons. Arthritis is a common reason for older individuals to take pain medication. Consider natural remedies to treat and even reverse your arthritis and avoid the risk of pain medications.
There are many natural remedies for pain as well that do not carry the risk of hearing loss.
Treat Ear Infections Promptly to Protect Hearing
Chronic ear infections can cause long term damage to your ears and your hearing. Ear infections often clear up without the use of antibiotics. (6) And, of course, there are plenty of effective natural remedies for ear infections.
Smoking and Hearing Loss
While studies do not come to the same conclusions, some studies indicate a link between hearing loss and smoking. (7) Due to overwhelming evidence for smoking’s health risks, it would be most prudent to reduce or eliminate cigarette smoke from your life.
Noise Pollution and Hearing Loss
One of the most commonly known causes of hearing loss is that of noise pollution. It is not unusual for teens to have hearing loss from attending loud concerts, being in a band themselves, and using earbuds with the volume too loud. Many occupations carry a risk of noise pollution. Those who work in airports, on construction sites, or in factories may need to use ear protection. Lawnmowers, vacuum cleaners, and chain saws also can generate a damaging amount of noise. Again, ear protection is wise. It is also recommended to use ear protection during some sports, including shooting and snowmobiling.
Ear Wax and Hearing Loss
Sometimes hearing loss is caused by a build-up of wax in the ears. The ear’s wax is generated to protect it, but too much wax in the ears can cause blockages and hearing loss. Hydrogen peroxide is often used to remove excess wax and restore hearing. If your ear wax is especially hard or impacted, you may need to remove it by an ear nose and throat doctor.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
While you may think of hearing loss as something that only elderly people deal with, an alarming number of teens and young adults have hearing loss. The middle-aged and elderly population tend to suffer from age-related hearing loss, whereas teens and young adults suffer from Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL.)
Noise-induced hearing loss is a severe and irreversible condition. To protect your hearing, you should know the causes of NIHL and implement steps to protect your hearing.
About 40 million US adults aged 40-69 have noise-induced hearing loss.
Unfortunately, even when made aware of the risks of loud noises, most people do not take precautions to protect their hearing.
How Can I Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
Know Your Risks
The biggest threat to the hearing of teens and young adults today is the use of earbuds and headphones to listen to music on devices.
The higher the volume and the longer the amount of time you spend listening to music with earbuds or headphones, the more likely you will experience permanent hearing loss.
Other activities that put your hearing at risk include loud concerts, driving in heavy traffic, listening to the TV at high volume, power tools, heavy equipment, power tools, and recreational vehicles.
Protect Your Ears
When you know you will be exposed to loud noises, wear ear protection. This may not be the most elegant addition to your wardrobe, but consider that the alternative addition to your wardrobe may be hearing aids at a young age if you do not take good care of your hearing.
1. Listen to music responsibly.
2. Limit the amount of time that you listen to music with headphones or earbuds.
3. Do not listen to your music at more than 60% of the maximum volume using headphones or earbuds.
4. After an hour of listening with headphones or earbuds, give your ears a break.
5. Invest in high-quality earbuds or headphones. Earbuds or headphones that block outside noise better will reduce your temptation to turn up the volume to better hear what you are listening to.
6. Protect your ears from loud noise during recreational activities, like the following:
- Target Shooting
- Dance Clubs
Obviously, wearing earplugs during recreational activities may seem like it would hinder your fun. However, you can buy excellent noise-reducing earplugs that will allow you to hear conversation or music at loud events and reduce the amount of noise your ears are exposed to.
It would wise to get a medical evaluation before you begin any natural treatment for hearing loss. If you are on any medications, they may not be compatible with some natural remedies. If you are dealing with a low grade and chronic infection or ear wax, your hearing loss may have a quick solution.
Continue reading below for suggestions from Earth Clinic readers who have improved their hearing with natural remedies.
Have you tried a natural remedy for hearing loss? We would love to hear from you!