If you have trouble hearing, or notice that your hearing is not as good as it used to be, listen up.
Age-related hearing loss may be retrievable, according to Dr. Jonathan Wright, MD, medical director of the Tahoma Clinic in Washington.
By supplementing three patients with the bioidentical hormone aldosterone, all of the men -- who were either losing their hearing or who had lost a lot of their hearing -- were able to regain much of what had been lost.
In one case, an 87-year-old man who was diagnosed with hearing loss in 1994 was found to have low aldosterone levels. After six weeks of taking aldosterone, the man visited his audiologist and found that his hearing had increased 30-50 decibels in one ear, and 20-30 in the other. His ability to discriminate words from a noisy background also increased significantly.
An animal study has also suggested that the hormone aldosterone was able to restore hearing.
This process of using bioidentical hormones to restore hearing is actively going on at the Tahoma Clinic, which is presently the first and only place in the United States that is using aldosterone to restore hearing.
In the mid 70’s, Dr. Wright was the editor of one of the best alternative medical periodicals of that time, called Prevention Magazine. It was so influential, in fact, that as a result of one of the articles in there, I became inspired to actually pursue osteopathic medical training as an alternative to traditional medicine.
I view Dr. Wright as one of the major pioneers in helping to educate physicians about the natural medicine paradigm. It’s interesting to notice just how ingrained the conventional view on medicine and medical science really is; conventional medicine is said to be backed, and proven by science.
But the reality is that only 15 percent of all things done in current medicine have ever been proven by a controlled clinical trial. 15 percent…
This shocking fact has been repeatedly confirmed and published by such entities as the Office of Technology Assessment (a branch under a different name of the U.S. Congress), and by Duke University Research Sciences, just to name a couple of the sources.
In truth, there’s just as much scientific proof on natural medicine as there is in conventional medicine, but this fact is simply ignored and under reported because techniques such as those of Dr. Wright will not create billions of dollars for the pharmaceutical industry.
What Causes Age-Related Hearing Loss?
Interestingly enough, age-related hearing loss is not due to “mechanical dysfunction” in your ear, but rather it’s how your brain processes information that results in reduced hearing.
From colors and shapes seen, to textures and objects felt, to the range of sounds you hear on the street, your brain does an amazing job of sorting, filtering and making sense of the information that flows through your senses. Your brain stem sorts out the mass of information in ways that make it easy for you to carry on with life. Yet it's this ability of your brain--not hearing itself--that is diminished as you age and can no longer hear as well.
Furthermore, it's your brain's ability to provide proper feedback to your ear, by filtering out unwanted information that declines when you reach your 40s and 50s. Without this "filtering system," you’re more likely to be overcome by a mass of information that is difficult to sort out.
What is Aldosterone?
Aldosterone is a type of hormone that is essential to life because it regulates the amounts of electrolytes in your body. It is secreted naturally by your adrenal cortex and simultaneously regulates sodium and potassium levels, helping to maintain both your blood pressure and bodily fluids.
If aldosterone levels in your body are out of sync, a variety of symptoms can result. Low levels of aldosterone have been indicated in diseases such as diabetes, for example.
As usual, we find that your body is amazingly interconnected and being deficient in any nutrient, anti-oxidant, vitamin, mineral or hormone can lead to a whole host of physical dysfunctions. Which is why I consistently try to impart the importance of whole nutrition and whole health; eating a diet based on your individual nutritional type, getting proper sleep (since your body performs a wide variety of restorative functions during that time), and getting sufficient exercise.
By the way, while we’re on the subject of hormones, I’d like to remind you that women who take the most common form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have been found to experience a hearing loss of 10 to 30 percent more than those who do not.
Women whose HRT included progestin (a synthetic form of progesterone) had the hearing loss usual for women up to a decade older, and showed problems both in the inner ear, and in the portions of the brain used for hearing.
How You Can Protect Yourself Against Hearing Loss
While aging is a natural part of life, it's important to realize there are many things you can do to keep your body young and healthy. It's not a quick fix and there is some effort involved, but the rewards are well worth the effort.
I find Dr. Wright’s experience to be an amazing testimony to the power of your body and brain to overcome what is traditionally believed to be irreversible processes, and it reinforces other scientific findings that hearing loss may be either prevented, or greatly restored, through all natural means.
Using energy psychology tools like EFT, for example, can also be useful if you are struggling with hearing loss.
In one animal study, a high-dose mixture of these vitamins were given to the animals an hour before exposure to a loud noise, and then taken once a day for five days thereafter. Amazingly, the animals were protected from permanent noise-induced hearing loss even after prolonged exposure to sounds as loud as a jet engine taking off at close range!
Of course, protecting yourself from loud noises in the first place is prevention 101.
Sound is created when noise beats against the eardrum and the vibrations stimulate nerves deep inside your ear. There, fine hair cells called cilia convert the vibrations into nerve impulses, which are transmitted to your brain.
Continued exposure to noise of 85 decibels or more will eventually destroy these fragile hair cells in your inner ear that convert sound vibrations into nerve impulses -- the basis of hearing. The volume of portable compact disc players ranges between 91 and 121 decibels, and earphones increase the volume. The louder the noise, the quicker the hearing loss.
For instance, 100-decibel stereo headphones can cause harm in two hours, and a 120-decibel rock concert damages the ears in only 7.5 minutes. So, using an inexpensive set of ear plugs during loud noise activities is your first step to prevent damage that is not related to the physical process of aging.