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Losing your hearing doesn’t just make you feel old before your time, it can take away your independence and risk your safety.
If you’re starting to notice your hearing diminishing and you’re saying, “What?” more often, making your friends and family repeat themselves, it’s not too late to do something about it.
While excessive noise exposure is the most common cause of hearing loss in adults, aging is a close second…
That’s because as you get older, changes occur in the inner ear that may trigger a slow and steady loss of hearing.
Tiny hair cells inside your inner ear help you hear. They pick up sound waves and change them into the nerve signals that your brain interprets as sound. Hearing loss occurs when these tiny hair cells are damaged or die. The hair cells don’t regrow, so most hearing loss caused by hair cell damage is permanent.
You’re at greater risk for hearing loss if you:
- Have a family history (age-related hearing loss tends to run in families)
- Experience repeated exposure to loud noises
- Smoke (smokers are more likely to have such hearing loss than nonsmokers)
- Have certain medical conditions, like diabetes
- Take certain medicines, like chemotherapy drugs for cancer
Since age-related hearing loss is considered permanent, it’s vital that you do all you can to preserve your hearing now, before it gets worse.
Your go-to supplements
Vitamins and nutrients that are the most beneficial to protecting and preserving your hearing are:
Zinc – With zinc supplementation in patients who are marginally zinc deficient, there has been improvement in tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss in about one-third of elderly adults. And, according to the researchers, “We believe zinc deficiency is one causation of presbycusis; by recognizing and correcting it, a progressive hearing loss can be arrested.”
Fifteen mg of zinc daily is the recommended dose.
Vitamin A – A 1984 European study reported a 5-15 decibel improvement in patients with age-related hearing loss when given vitamins A and E.
Another study, reported in Science, found that vitamin A can stimulate the regeneration of mammalian auditory hair cells. And in 2009, Japanese researchers found that adults with the highest blood serum levels of vitamin A and carotenoids have the lowest risk for hearing loss.
There’s no good data on the optimal human dose of vitamin A, it’s best to get this vitamin from dairy, fish, and meat. All of these foods contain essential fats, which is key because vitamin A is fat-soluble.
Magnesium – Studies have shown that taking magnesium can reduce the hearing loss caused by noise exposure. It’s thought that this versatile mineral helps restore blood flow to the hearing apparatus of the ear following damage by excessive noise.
Take 100 – 400 mg of magnesium daily to support your hearing.
Folate – A study conducted in the Netherlands, showed that folic acid supplementation slows age-related hearing loss. Older men and women were given 800 mcg folic acid per day or a placebo. Those taking folate showed less decline in hearing of the speech frequencies.
Don’t wait for hearing loss to leave you isolated and dependent. Use the 4 supplements above to preserve and protect your hearing for a lifetime.
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- Basic Facts About Hearing Loss — The Hearing Loss Association of America
- Hearing Loss — The American Hearing Research Foundation
- Zinc: the neglected nutrient — American Journal of Otolaryngology
- Vitamin A and Hearing Loss — Weston A. Price Foundation
- Oral magnesium intake reduces permanent hearing loss induced by noise exposure —
American Journal of Otolaryngology