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. There are some natural changes that take place in 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 expose to loud noises and chronic ear infections also contribute to hearing loss.
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 important 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 have a negative effect on 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 keeping high blood pressure and diabetes under control.
Medications and Hearing Loss
Allopathic cancer treatments, including some 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 course of action you take to treat your cancer. If you find the risks and side effects of the cancer treatments to be too great, you may wish to research alternative cancer treatments like Essiac Tea or the Budwig Diet.
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
High doses of aspirin are also connected to hearing loss.5 Even small and infrequent doses of aspirin 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 the 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 the health risks of smoking, 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 at work. 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 wax is generated by the ear 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 have it removed by an ear nose and throat doctor.
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, as you are able, you can also consider some herbs, dietary changes and exercise.
Diet and Your Hearing
Your hearing is dependent upon 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.
Exercise and Your Hearing
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 to maintain the health of your body, including your ears.
Herbs for 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 a great herb for circulation. Improved circulation will bring more blood to your ears to help with function and repair.
It would wise to get a medical evaluation before you begin any natural treatment for hearing loss. If you on 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.
Your hearing is important to you. Hearing loss is discouraging. Reduced communication is frustrating and even socially isolating. Taking steps to protect and heal your hearing is worth it!
Have you tried a natural remedy for hearing loss? We would love to hear from you!