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Over-the-Counter Vitamins for Better Hearing

Over-the-Counter Vitamins for Better Hearing Over-the-Counter Vitamins for Better Hearing

Overview

Hearing loss affects 17 percent of people in the U.S., resulting from noise, age and sometimes vitamin deficiency. It takes an average of seven years from the time the affected suspect hearing loss to the time they seek treatment, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. Although most hearing loss is irreversible, you can take steps to slow the rate of hearing loss or in the case of vitamin deficiency, correct the cause.

Age-Related Hearing Loss

As you age, you will experience hearing decline. The biological basis for age-related hearing loss is unknown. One study examined if age-related hearing loss is perhaps associated with poor vitamin B-12 and folate status. The findings, published in the March 1999 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" were that older women with less B-12 and folate serum levels were more likely to be hearing-impaired. Vitamin B-12 and folate supplements may help protect against age-related hearing loss.

Sudden Hearing Loss

Free radicals --- highly reactive molecules that cause damage on a cellular level --- may play a role in damage to the inner ear. However, the cause of sudden hearing loss can only be determined in 10 to 15 percent of cases. A study published in the July 2003 issue of "Otology & Neurotology" examined the effect of vitamin E on sudden hearing loss because Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against free radicals. The findings suggest that taking vitamin E will promote better recovery from sudden hearing loss.

Vitamin B-12

Supplementing with vitamin B-12 can possibly bring improvement if you suffer from tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, according to a study published in the March 1993 issue of the "American Journal of Otolaryngology." This study explored the relationship between B-12, normal hearing loss and hearing loss with tinnitus. Findings suggested a relationship between B-12 deficiency and hearing loss with tinnitus and that B-12 supplementation could bring improvement.

Diet

Eating a well-balanced diet with nutrient-dense foods will help you get the daily requirement of vitamins and minerals essential to your overall health. In addition to a well-balanced diet, research suggests that supplementing your diet with B-12, vitamin E and folate may help protect against hearing loss. However, if you think you are experiencing changes in your hearing --- such as tinnitus --- or hearing loss, you should see your doctor for an auditory examination.

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