Could a Change of Diet Improve Your Hearing Loss?
It is estimated that, worldwide, 360 million people have moderate to severe hearing loss.
Apart from aging, causes can include noise, infections or the use of certain pharmaceutical and other drugs.
There is no escaping the fact that, as we grow older, our hearing can be affected to a greater or lesser degree. It is understood that it is your brain’s ability to provide proper feedback to your ear, by filtering out unwanted information, that actually declines when you reach your 40s and 50s. Unfortunately, many of us will end up requiring artificial help with our hearing.
My husband and my brother are just two examples of close family who have very recently required this artificial help and have taken advantage of the very latest technology. My brother has been at risk for many years being a lead singer with a rock band.
But along with that artificial aid, there are other ways we can help to improve our situation.
Changes to our diet could help with hearing loss
- Supplements have been found to be beneficial for the protection and improvement of hearing. These include astaxanthin, vitamin A, folate, zinc and magnesium. We know that astaxanthin has been shown to have definite benefits for brain and eye health but now it is being promoted as being beneficial for your hearing as well.
- Tinnitus, where the symptoms are a persistent ringing in the ears, may be improved by folate (vitamin B9). Ideally, you can raise your folate levels by including plenty of fresh, raw and organic leafy green vegetables in your diet. Asparagus, spinach, turnip greens, broccoli and lentils are all good sources of folate. Meanwhile, you need to be aware that the less effective folic acid is the synthetic form usually found in supplements. Again the previously mentioned astaxanthin may also be helpful for tinnitus.
- Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss or SSNHL is a condition where the cause is still not known but the good news is that it can be improved or even reversed by zinc or intravenous magnesium.
Even the food you eat can make a difference
Zinc is found in these foods: grass-fed beef, seafood, pumpkin seeds, ground sesame seeds, cashews, almonds, crimini mushrooms, spinach, sea vegetables and cheddar cheese. Top of the list though are oysters and liver.
Natural astaxanthin is found in the food eaten by salmon, shellfish and krill – microalgae. So of course those fish products are rich in it too.
These ways can help protect your hearing
And prevent loss in the first place…
- Turn down the volume on your own audio devices so that you can hear them but not too loudly. And take regular listening breaks when using them. Try to restrict their use to less than an hour a day.
- Wear earplugs or ear protection in noisy venues or if you work or play in a noisy environment.
- Something else to consider is downloading a decibel meter app for your smartphone. This will flash a warning if the volume is set at too high a level to be safe.
- Try to limit the amount of time you spend doing noisy activities.
- If you live in a very noisy area, consider finding ways to soundproof your home. Sound blocking headphones can be useful for certain times of the day.
It is easy to forget about having our hearing tested regularly
This is in spite of having regular check ups for our eyes and our teeth. And of course the sooner a hearing loss is detected, the better. So don’t forget to have your hearing tested too.
Interestingly, the smallest bones of the human body are found inside the ear – the hammer, the anvil and stirrup.