When we think of maintaining our health, preserving ear health and function might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But if you are aging and have noticed hearing loss, or are prone to ear infections, then preserving your ear health and hearing through nutritional supplementation might be of great benefit.
Here we take a look at the supplements that can be of help in treating two common hearing issues. The first is hearing loss, which is very common, especially as part of the aging process. The other is tinnitus, which is a condition in which ringing frequently or constantly is heard in the ears.
The First Priority for Ear Health: Lifestyle
When it comes to preventing issues from developing in your ears, especially hearing loss, enacting the right precautions and lifestyle measures should be first priority. Per earq.com, exposure to loud noise is by far the most common cause of hearing loss. Listening to music too loud in headphones, going to loud concerts, and using machinery such as lawnmowers – without hearing protection in all of those cases – all increase the chance of hearing loss. Limiting your exposure to these things, turning the volume down, and using earplugs are excellent countermeasures to the potential damage these can inflict.
Keeping the ears dry is also an important measure. Doing so, including times when you are bathing or swimming, will help prevent ear infections (which can be very uncomfortable) and hearing loss, per earq.com. Managing your stress level can also assist in preventing the development of tinnitus over time.
Supplements for Boosting Overall Ear Health
Vitamin B12 might be useful in preventing tinnitus, as well as lessening its effects, per science mentioned at healthfully.com. One study found that participants with a deficiency of Vitamin B12 had both tinnitus and hearing loss. This crucial vitamin is valuable for many other reasons, so its potential efficacy in keeping the ears healthy is no surprise.
Potassium is an element commonly touted for its health benefits, which may extend to the longevity of good hearing, per Dr. Hilary Steele at miracle-ear.com. Potassium helps to regulate fluids in the body, including inner ear fluid. It helps inner ear fluid do its job of converting soundwaves into neurological impulses that will reach the brain. Keeping up on your potassium as you age might help keep your hearing strong.
Zinc is another nutrient which, when present in sufficient supply, will contribute to good ear health and prevention of tinnitus, per healthfully.com. Scientific evidence suggests that supplementing with zinc can help reduce the symptoms of tinnitus in those who struggle with the disorder as a result of a zinc deficiency. Zinc is effective because of its contribution to immune system functioning, and in facilitating enzyme use in chemical reactions within the body.
Magnesium has been found to be useful in its ability to protect the ears from damage that can occur due to loud noise, per miracle-ear.com. Free radicals, substances released in the body due to stimuli that can have negative effects if they build up, are produced in the ears when loud sound registers in the ears. Free radicals in the ear can cause hearing loss over time due to their effect on the hairs in the inner ear. Magnesium helps prevent the activity of free radicals in the ear, therefore helping to prevent hearing loss over time.
Folate, or folic acid, can contribute to hearing loss when present in levels that are too low, per miracle-ear.com. Regular supplementation of folate can make up for this. Like magnesium, it is helpful in fighting off free radicals that are produced in the ear. However, it has a unique and perhaps more important function of metabolizing homocysteine, a substance that has the potential to damage the inner ear by reducing blood flow.