Issues | Anatomy of the Human Ear | Miracle
[Drugs Which May Affect Hearing | Aging |
Diet | Science]
[Supplements | Exercises
| Yoga | Daily Exercises | Additional
[Dr. Bob Martin | References]
adapted from the
article by Dr. Bob Martin
Most of us
take hearing for granted until we have hearing challenges ourselves.
Hearing is the 2nd most common health concern (behind healthy heart
concerns) for millions of Americans today.1 Projections indicate that the
number of people with hearing concerns will grow as the population ages
and noise pollution continues to increase. Although hearing challenges are
thought of as typically striking seniors, more people are experiencing
hearing issues at an earlier age. A recent study in the Journal of the
American Medical Association reported that nearly 15% of school-aged
children had hearing challenges. 2
Anatomy of the Human Ear
In order to
understand more about hearing and how to support optimal hearing function,
it may be necessary to understand human anatomy and how the body works.
The ear is a complex structure that consists of three sections: the outer,
middle, and inner ears. The outer ear is the part we see. It is the
external canal that picks up the vibrations from sound and transmits them
through the eardrum to the middle ear. The middle ear contains three small
bones that take these vibrations into the inner ear, which contains the
nerve ending that makes hearing possible. The inner ear is also involved
in maintaining balance.
The Miracle of Hearing
is a complex and intricate process that enables sound vibrations to pass
from outside the head to the part of the brain that processes
hearing—all in a microsecond. First, the external ear canal picks up
vibrations from sound and transmits them to the eardrum, causing it and
the three small attached auditory bones (called ossicles) in the middle
ear to vibrate. The smallest of these bones, the stapes, moves like a
plunger that causes the fluids in the cochlea (located in the inner ear)
to move. The vibrations in the fluid stimulate the tiny, critical hair
cells within the cochlea to convert sound waves into nerve impulses for
transmission to the brain. Only when the nerve impulses reach the auditory
area in the brain does the listener become aware of the sound.
Drugs Which May Affect Hearing
are a number of commonly used drugs that are known to be a potential
concern for stress for hearing function and clarity. Included in the list
are: Antibiotics (especially the aminoglycosides), Anesthetics (Lidocaine
(Novocain), Anti-malarials (Quinine), Cardiac (Heart) Medications,
Chemotherapeutic (Cancer) Agents, Diuretics, Glucocorticosteroids
(Cortisone, Steroids), Miscellaneous Substances (Alcohol, Caffeine, Lead,
Marijuana, Nicotine, Mercury), Mucosal Protectant (Stomach Ulcer),
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil,
Nuprin), Methyl Salicylates (Bengay), Anaprox (Aleve), Psychopharmacologic
(Mood Altering) Agents, and Vapors, Solvents (Gasoline). Neomycin is found
in many over-the-counter antibiotic ointments, and is the drug that is
most likely to be a concern for hearing function, so it is recommended
for external use only. But even this topical therapy has resulted in
hearing function concerns when large areas were treated which allowed for
large amounts of the drug to be absorbed into the body. Vancomycin is a
similar to aminoglycosides when used intravenously.
Aging Effects Hearing
tell us that hearing issues increase as we get older. But John A.
McDougall, M.D., presents evidence to the contrary in his book, "The
McDougall Program for a Healthy Heart." He notes that people in
the Third World eating their traditional diets have better hearing at the
age of 70 than the average American has at 20. These people live to a ripe
old age with all of their senses intact, while many of us have more
hearing issues as we get older. When scientists compared the hearing of
the African tribes people called Maabans with the people in Wisconsin,
they couldn't find any of the Africans, at any age, with hearing concerns
like those common in Wisconsin, the dairy capital of the United States.
When scientists studied the Finnish people, who eat a high-fat diet, with
Yugoslavs, who had a much lower cholesterol level, they found Finnish
children with hearing challenges at the age of 10. By the age of 19, those
young Finns had a marked inability to hear high frequency sounds. Yugoslav
children had no such hearing concerns. Dr. McDougall points out that, just
as the arteries nourishing the heart and brain become clogged with fat,
the vessels supplying the inner ear also become clogged, causing hearing
function concerns. Dr. Martin’s HearAll promotes circulation to the
auditory system, sharpens auditory sensitivity, and supports optimal
Diet for Good Hearing
nutrition is essential. Eat a diet that is low in saturated animal fat and
refined carbohydrates and include plenty of cold-water fish (i.e. salmon,
trout, albacore tuna, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, etc.), whole
grains, seeds, nuts, and fresh vegetables and fruits. Eat foods rich in
omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, canola oil, soybeans, flaxseed,
walnuts, and wheat germ. Omega-3's are essential fatty acids that our
bodies cannot create without first obtaining them from food. The benefits
of omega-3 fatty acids have been touted for years - with documented
research. What has brought omega-3 into the spotlight in recent years,
however, is the possible protective role in cardiovascular health. And
better cardiovascular health means a healthy hearing function.
Vitamins A and E
also support optimal hearing function. 3 Foods that contain vitamin A and
E include: Liver, fish liver oils, eggs, carrots, nuts, wheat germ and
dark-green leafy vegetables. Make sure that your diet contains plenty of
fiber to prevent occasional constipation and keep the bowels clean. Drink
8 glasses of purified water per day. Ears are nourished by the body's
blood supply. Fatty foods can change the blood supply to the ears. In some
countries where people eat a vegetarian diet, the people were found to
have better hearing even when they were quite old. This is not true in our
country. Researchers believe this may be due to our "junk food"
eating habits and noisy surroundings. In some cases, hearing may be
improved by reducing salt, which can cause fluids to be retained in the
ear. And take HearAll nutritional supplement daily to support
optimal hearing function and acuity.*
Science for Hearing Support
For many years,
hearing aids have been the primary means of gathering sound and enriching
the lives of people experiencing hearing concerns. But recently scientists
have discovered nutritional ingredients and formulas that help support
optimal auditory function and maintain hearing acuity. The latest research
studies illustrate how to:
optimal hearing and hearing cell function 4,
specific nutrients for the auditory system
circulation to the auditory system 6
auditory sensitivity and promote cochlear ear function 7
hearing cells from free-radical damage and maintain longevity 8,
9, 10, 11
that may Support Hearing
(Thiamine) enhances circulation, helps optimize hearing and brain
function, and offers antioxidant protection* 12
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) facilitates the use of oxygen by hearing
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) helps promote circulation to the ears*
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxamine) may help regulate fluid levels in the
Folic Acid supports energy production in hearing cells, and
promotes circulation to ears* 13
Folic Acid Prevents Age-Related Hearing Loss
Vitamin B-12 (Methyl cobalamin) aids in cell formation and cellular
health, and helps support nerve function* 14,
Magnesium supports healthy nerve function in the auditory system and
protects the arterial linings from physical stress* 17,
Zinc is an essential mineral that supports immune system function
and protect hair cells in the ear* 20
Acetyl L-carnitine may help generate mitochondria in the inner ear*
N-acetylcysteine may help protect hair cells in the inner ear* 22,
Butchers Broom may help support circulation to the ears and control
Ginkgo biloba may help promote blood flow into the ears, and
maintain balance* 24, 25,
Vinpocetine (Periwinkle Herb Extract) supports increased auditory
and cerebral blood flow, promotes use of oxygen, and protects against
free-radical damage* 28, 29,
Coenzyme Q10 a powerful antioxidant that may help maintain
circulation to the ears, support energy production in hearing cells, and
CoQ10 protects against free-radical damage* 31, 32,
Alpha Lipoic Acid is a powerful fat/water soluble antioxidant that
protects against free-radical damage, supports nerve system function, and
plays an essential role in generating mitochondria in the hair cells of
the inner ear* 34, 35,
Betaine helps make nutrients more absorbable by the body*
Exercises for Optimal Hearing
The following simple daily exercises help tremendously to support
optimal hearing function. Change your daily routine to allow time to do
these and other exercises consistently for a total of 20 minutes each day.
In addition to the described exercises, maintain a healthy weight and get
regular moderate exercise. Walking, swimming, and bicycling all promote
Yoga Half Shoulder Stand
This position can optimize blood circulation to the ears. Lie on
your back and bring your knees toward your forehead, supporting your hips
with your hands. Inhale and extend your legs, keeping them at a right
angle to your back (see photo). Take a few deep breaths, then exhale and
lower your legs. If you have a history of spine problems (including back
or neck issues), check with your Doctor of Chiropractor before performing
Simple Daily Exercises
1. Turn your head to the right as far as is comfortable. Nod
up and down as far as you can without pain. Repeat 8-10 times on both
right and left side.
2. Looking straight ahead, bend your head straight sideways
attempting to touch your ear to your shoulder without raising your
shoulder. Repeat both sides 8-10 times.
3. Looking straight ahead, shrug your shoulders as far up as you
can to the count of three. Relax and repeat 10 times.
4. Put your hands on your shoulders. Raise your elbows up as far as
you can. Move down and back around in a circle. Repeat 5-10 times.
5. Sit in a firm chair and take a full deep breath; exhale slowly
and bring elbows to shoulder height at your sides. Beginning with your
chin, slowly rotate your torso completely to one side.
6. Draw your neck back while tucking your chin.
7. Bring your head forward touching your chin on your chest.
8. Stand about 3 feet away from the corner of a room. Put one hand
on each wall. Do a push up leaning your entire body toward the corner.
Gradually spread your hands father apart for more stretch.
9. Go to a door and grasp the top of the door. Now relax your body,
handing down from the door to stretch the upper back. If you are not tall
enough to reach the door, stand 2 feet from the wall. Reach your hands as
far up as you can and lean against the wall.
10. Standing, hold your hands out to your side. Cross them in front
of you in a scissor motion, first crossing the right hand over the left,
then the left over the right. Repeat moving your arms up and down.
11. Stretch your neck forward, touching your chin almost to your
chest. Then stretch your neck backward in a pain free range of motion. Do
this slowly. Do not jerk.
12. With your fingers clasped behind your head (not your neck),
gently curl your head down toward your chest. Try to raise your head up as
your arms pull down. Do not bounce. Omit this exercise in acute neck
injuries or if it causes pain.
for Hearing Health
How can we
promote our hearing so that we will always enjoy our favorite sounds? If
we have healthy ears now, we can do things to keep it that way.
very loud and dangerous noise. Even loud music is a concern. Do not listen
to loud music with earphones. Wear earplugs if you are exposed to noise
levels that may be harmful to your ears. Place pads under noisy countertop
household appliances such as blenders.
hearing protectors, special ear inserts, or ear muffs around noisy
in your community to keep it quiet. Let elected officials know that you
are concerned about protecting ears and hearing.
on the alert for possible hearing problems with your children. Does your
3-month-old daughter smile when you speak to her? More and more hospitals
are testing newborns for hearing loss. The sooner their disability is
discovered and treated, the less likely they are to fall behind in the
development of important language and social skills. Educate your children
about the danger of loud recreational noise.
your ears frequently tend to get severely blocked with wax, clean them
periodically with hydrogen peroxide.
sure to report any sudden hearing loss to your doctor immediately.
There are so many things you can do today to help you live a fuller, more
active life. Support your hearing function with a nutritional supplement
program. Learn all you can about hearing. You don’t have to miss out
Dr. Bob Martin
Dr. Martin is an
internationally recognized authority on human health. He is a diplomat of
the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and a board certified Clinical
Nutritionist. Dr. Martin is also a board certified Chiropractic Physician
and Physiotherapist. His popular national radio talk show Health Talk is
heard by millions each week.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug
Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or
prevent any disease.
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This article is
adapted from Hearing Guide for Consumers by Dr. Bob Martin and
reprinted with exclusive permission from Select
Nutrition / NaturalCare.