As we age, our hearing capacity tends to decline. Given that the majority of people go through life thinking very little about their hearing – it works as it should, and requires no further thought – the prospect of natural decline and potential hearing loss is undoubtedly a concerning one.
For the most part, preservation of hearing is predominantly achieved through good behavior – avoiding excessively loud noise, using earplugs when attending concerts, using headphones instead of ear buds, and so on. However, you may have wondered if there is anything else you can do to help prevent against age-related hearing deterioration.
The good news is that, yes, there are a number of natural therapies that may be useful. Before we dig into the details though, it is important to note that hearing loss cannot ever be entirely prevented. Even with the natural therapies listed below, it’s important to learn more about the detrimental secondary impacts of hearing loss, and always get annual screenings to watch out for any change. However, you can slightly increase the chances of a clean bill of hearing health by including the following in your overall health regimen:
Studies have shown that Acetyl-L-Carnitine – an amino acid – helps to prevent damage to the hair cells (silica) in the cochlea (middle ear), which can help to reduce the likelihood of experiencing hearing loss. Hearing loss generally occurs when those silica/hair cells get damaged or die. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is found predominantly in meat and dairy products, though supplements are available if you prefer – just check with a pharmacist that the supplement is suitable for you, especially if you are currently taking other prescribed medications.
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that has a vital role to play in maintaining optimal nerve health, which is a particularly important consideration if you are looking to preserve your hearing for the future. If you have any of the symptoms of B12 deficiency, it’s well worth undergoing a blood test to check your levels. If a deficiency is found, supplements are available over the counter, or injectables may be prescribed.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Most of us know the importance of Omega-3 fatty acids in relation to heart health, but your hearing can also benefit if you ensure a good intake of these essential nutrients. You can take Omega-3 supplements if you wish, but a diet rich in oily fish such as salmon, nuts, and vegetables (like Brussels sprouts) should be more than sufficient for most.
Melatonin is a hormone, and its primary role is related to the regulation of a healthy sleeping pattern – but studies have shown it may have a role to play in protecting against age-related hearing loss. If you want to take advantages of these benefits, supplementing melatonin could be the right choice for you, and there are plenty of over-the-counter options that should allow you to do so. Though, of course, you should always check for interactions if taking prescribed medication or other supplements.
Age-related hearing loss cannot be entirely prevented, but by considering the options above, you have a better chance of being able to preserve good hearing health for as long as possible.
Disclosure: This post was a collaboration. I am not a doctor (though a BA in Audiology!) and am only sharing personal opinions. Always speak to a doctor before adding anything to your supplement regimen.
•Do you take measures to protect your hearing? Comment below!
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