Hearing loss can be a major problem as you get older. In fact, one out of three older Americans experience it.
But, it’s not just an “older person’s” problem anymore, due to the pervasive use of cell phones, music players, headphones, ear buds, and other devices. And it seems the user base of these devices continues to grow younger as modern technology advances.
In fact, according to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, up to 50 percent of people are at risk of developing hearing impairment by age 35. And 20 percent of American children 12 to 19 years old have already developed some degree of hearing impairment.
Fortunately, you can take natural steps to preserve your hearing (and vision) well into your 70s, 80s, 90s, and beyond, as I’ll explain in a moment. But first let’s back up and consider the root of the problem…
New dangers for hearing
In the “old days,” listening to loud music at live concerts or blaring it from car radios, “boom boxes,” or CD players was bad enough to cause hearing loss.
Today, most people listen to music through their cell phones, iPods, or other personal devices. And these devices, which you typically carry in your pocket, allow for nearly non-stop listening — with constant overstimulation and damage to your hearing.
Plus, hearing experts say listening to music with “ear buds” channels loud noise directly into the ear canal. (Of course, just walking around or driving with these ear buds in puts you in a dangerous enough bubble — as people often become unaware of their surroundings.)
This constant barrage of sound associated with modern technology can lead to high-frequency hearing loss — the type of damage that gun shots, power tools, motorcycles, and similar loud noises can cause.
However, hearing tests given to children in school don’t typically detect this type of high-frequency hearing loss. (These outdated, mass-administered tests ask children to raise their hands when they hear sounds of various tones or frequencies.)
Instead, the tests only identify low-frequency hearing loss, which younger children typically experience as a result of serious ear infections — a problem that was much more common about a century ago.
So, the testing in the schools hasn’t caught up with the modern era. (Ironically, the cell phones and devices these children are listening to seem to be reinvented or updated about once a year!)
Parents or grandparents concerned about hearing loss in children (or themselves) shouldn’t rely on these school tests to diagnose major hearing problems. Instead, I recommend asking your doctor about seeing a hearing specialist, also known as an audiologist.
More reasons to avoid cell phones
Personally, I continue to resist my family’s and friends’ constant demands to “upgrade” to a so-called “smart phone.” I use an older model — a simple “flip-phone.” And purchase $50 of “talk time” every six months or so.
It’s rather humorous when I walk into the phone store to purchase more time. Young clerks often express disbelief, or disinterest, in my preference for flip phones. I usually ask them if they’ve seen Star Trek. Funny enough, a lot of what they used back on the show in the 1960s looks eerily similar to some of the devices we use today. I’d say the Enterprise’s technology was a pioneer of sorts.
But my old flip phone gets the job done, without the fancy bells and whistles. I use it only in emergencies when I am out and away from home or the office.
All in all, I find email communication is just as effective, or more so, than cell phone communication. And far more efficient. Not to mention safer.
As I explained last year, new research links cell phone use to cancer. And now, we have the added risk of hearing loss.
So, one of the best things you can do to protect your hearing is to take out those ear buds and put down your phone
But there are also a few other natural ways to support your hearing.
Natural ways to protect hearing
In fact, the right nutrition and dietary supplementation will not only support your hearing, it can also help prevent and even reverse age-related hearing loss. And as an added bonus — many of the same natural approaches that preserve your hearing also work to preserve your vision.
Of course, your eyes and ears derive from the same neural-type tissue during embryological development. So, if you take care of your brain and nervous system through natural approaches, you’ll also protect your hearing and vision as well.
Mainstream medicine ignores natural approaches to protecting these critical sensory organs. And they only look to technology as the end-all, be-all solution to hearing and vision. But it turns out…modern technology IS the problem (or at least a big part of it).
You can learn more about the natural approaches to preserve your hearing in the current April 2018 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter (“The surprising connection between hearing and longevity”). And for good measure, I’ll cover vision in the upcoming May 2018 issue. Simply log-in to the Subscribers Sign-In at www.DrMicozzi.com to revisit all of my archives. And if you’re not yet a subscriber, now’s the perfect time to get started.
“Hearing loss reported in 1 in 3 people over 35,” Newsmax Health (newsmax.com) 3/30/2018