In the US, there are an estimated 35 million people who are affected by hearing deficiencies, and on average it can begin around age 50. There are three types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, or mixed. Conductive hearing loss occurs from wax build-up, arthritis in the inner ear bones, or a broken eardrum. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by nerve damage. Mixed hearing loss simply means there’s a little bit of both causing problems. Thankfully, we can take preventive measures in both cases and we can do it naturally!
The first step we can take is to recognize what causes or affects hearing challenges. A big cause is prolonged exposure to loud noises. This is especially prominent with individuals working in carpentry, factories, or construction, or mechanic shops. Our hobbies can play a big part too. Exposing yourself to loud music concerts, hunting or shooting on a gun range, or riding motorcycles and snowmobiles without proper ear protection is bound to take its toll. There are even certain drugs that have been identified as causing complications with your hearing, mainly those used for diabetes, high blood pressure, and blood thinners. And in this day and age, is it surprising that technology is affecting our hearing as well? It’s been found that those who use their phones for an hour or more a day have a higher risk of hearing impairment than those with less use.
So what can we do naturally to prevent our hearing from deteriorating? Once it becomes the problem, the only option is to obtain hearing devices, so many of us will want to do everything we can to prolong this. The answer is super simple: maintain your health! Good nutrition results not only in heart health, but also in brain and blood health which is what will affect your hearing. Not smoking is another factor of your health. Smokers are actually twice as likely to experience hearing difficulties than non-smokers, and that risk increases depending on how many cigarettes you smoke per day! There are some supplements that have been found to support good hearing, including vitamins A and E which are naturally found in liver, eggs, carrots, nuts, and green leafy vegetables.
Some little-known causes of hearing damage are things like spinal issues, car accidents, damage to the neck, or head trauma. Many audiologists will recommend seeing a chiropractor who can balance the crystals in your ears and maintain spinal alignment. Many systems are affected by nerves in the back and spine, so it makes sense that spinal manipulation can provide some relief to hearing complications. Studies have been done that indicate spinal adjustments can improve and even completely restore hearing loss, as well as provide relief for vertigo and tinnitus. Keep in mind, this is only found to be effective in those whose root cause of hearing difficulty is due to a spinal issue.
It is highly recommended to establish your baseline hearing as early as possible, even as early as your twenties. This has been found to be helpful for those whose hearing is affected by car accidents or their military careers because they can then indicate it has been caused by those situations rather than a natural deterioration. Once you hit 50, audiologists recommend a hearing evaluation every 1-2 years to effectively track your hearing impairment. Schedule an appointment with your local audiologist to establish that baseline hearing test or if you feel you are exhibiting other symptoms of hearing trouble!