By Chris Evans
Hearing loss is a growing issue and not just for the elderly. It is said that 50% of the population develop some form of hearing loss in their life. Although a proportion of these are due to ageing, there is a growing number developing noise induced hearing loss. This is mainly due to working environments or listening to loud music.
In the past hearing loss treatment has been limited and people relied on hearing aids but new research into common vitamins and minerals has been encouraging to helping treat and even prevent deafness. Different hearing loss requires different treatment with different remedies proving to have their own qualities for these.
Industrial hearing loss caused by noise at work is a growing issue and is often mistaken for natural loss due to age as it can take a number of year for the symptoms to significantly show. The worrying factor is that employers are exposing their workers to dangerous sound and getting away with it. By law your management has to protect your hearing from noise of 85dB or over and if they don't you would be eligible to make a hearing loss claim against them.
Noise induced hearing loss can be differentiated from natural loss as it only affects the high frequency levels of your hearing. From a hearing test, the resulting audio-gram would show a significant dip just in these levels. You would struggle to just hear sound such as children's voice and the TV if suffering from this.
Vitamin A & C
Noise produces substances known as free-radicals in the inner ear which blocks sound and damages the small hairs. Vitamins prevent these from being produced which can assist in guarding against hearing loss. This applies both before and after exposure to noise. Taking these vitamins should be a given for anyone regularly exposed to noise but can't replace protection. Employers have to provide protection still and these vitamins can only help in the fight against noise induced hearing loss. There has been research that has shown positive results by hearing loss sufferers and people currently being exposed to noise.
Vitamin A can naturally be found in liver, paprika and sweet potato.
Vitamin C can be found in oranges, peppers and broccoli.
There are studies that show that Vitamin E can help restore sudden hearing loss (idiopathic). Unfortunately many people abruptly suffer from deafness, 2/3 of these naturally recover within a couple of weeks but the rest need treatment. Vitamin E has successfully worked in a number of these cases.
Vitamin E is naturally found in sunflower seeds, nuts and dried apricots.
This vitamin is known for strengthening bones due to assisting in the absorption of calcium. It also helps modulate the amount of phosphate. Both combined help keep teeth and bones strong and healthy. Unfortunately there is a growing number of cases of rickets in children due to softening in the bones. Another condition vitamin D deficiency can cause is osteopenia. The same bones in the ear can develop this which can lead to hearing loss. Making sure you have enough Vitamin D will significantly decrease the chance of this happening, even if taken after it can correct the hearing loss caused.
Vitamin D can be found in Cod Liver Oil, fish and fortified cereals. Fish helps as it contains Omega 3 and Vitamin D. The Omega 3 adds strength to the blood vessels within the ears sensory system.
Hearing loss is commonly caused by bad circulation and poor blood flow to the inner ear. Magnesium can assists in conserving blood flow and thus reducing the risk of this leading to deafness. It has also been used with patients already suffering and shown signs of treating the present loss.
Magnesium is found naturally in bran, cocoa powder and nuts.
Due to the benefits of these vitamins and minerals there are specific medication being made to combine these qualities to aid in hearing loss prevention and treatment. A healthy diet though should contain a healthy portion of all these helping prevent some of the causes of hearing loss. To add to the prevention you should avoid at all costs exposure to loud noise. This will limit the opportunities of developing forms of hearing loss.
Chris writes for Atrium who run a workers health blog, giving advice and information to help keep workers free from harm and illness. One of their specialist areas is hearing loss. They also give legal advice to make hearing loss claims if a worker does suffer from deafness due to their working environment.