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Every year on the last Sunday of September, the World Deaf Day is observed. This year (2020), the day falls on 27 September. The day is meant to spread awareness of the achievements of the deaf people and discuss challenges faced by them. The day also highlights providing them with equal rights and respect irrespective of their disability, caste, creed, religion, sex and age.
Hearing loss is a chronic disability neglected by many people across the world due to its delayed visibility in one's life. Around 360 million people worldwide suffer from this disability which equals 5.3% of the world's population.
The treatment for hearing loss includes surgery depending on its types, cochlear implants and wearing hearing aids. All these methods of treatment are effective in their ways but the best among them is a natural route of curing the hearing loss problem. According to a report, 4 out of 5 people opt for natural remedies to get rid of the hearing problems. Before moving to the natural remedies, let's understand what is hearing loss and its causes.
What Is Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss refers to the complete or partial inability of a person to hear sounds. The symptoms range from mild to moderate to severe conditions. The deterioration of hearing is due to many factors like psychological, social and physical problems. Also, the problem can occur in either of the two ears or both. Other terms for hearing loss are deafness, conductive hearing loss, decreased hearing and loss of hearing.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) says that out of the total deaf or partially deaf people, 25% are old-aged between age 65-74.
Natural Remedies For Hearing Loss
Natural remedies for hearing loss include the use of essential oils and herbs for the treatment. It is to be noted that these remedies are effective only for temporary hearing loss which are caused due to infection, allergies, inflammation, congestion, excessive earwax and loud noise.
The essential oils are proven to be effective for hearing loss. However, they are not applied directly into the ears but mixed with some carrier oils like coconut, almond, jojoba and extra virgin olive oil. When they are vaporized and inhaled, it relieves the congestion of the ears and treats ear problems. Add one tablespoon of carrier oil with every 1 drop of essential oil.
Talking about herbs, they are either mixed with a certain food or added to tea. The natural remedies for hearing loss are as follows:
1. Eucalyptus oil
Eucalyptus oil possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties  which may help ease congestion in the ears and prevent inflammation caused due to seasonal allergies.
How to use: Add 3-5 drops of eucalyptus oil in boiling water and inhale the fumes coming out from it. Cover the head with a towel for better results.
2. Tea tree oil
The anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil may help in treating all kinds of hearing loss problems. In a study, the oil has shown amazing results within a few days of its usage .
How to use: Mix 3 drops of tea tree oil with olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Drop the mixture into your ear gently and let it sit for 4-5 minutes before draining. Repeat it 4 times in a day.
3. Lavender oil
The oil is known for soothing the allergic symptoms and reducing inflammation. If a person suffers from hearing loss due to seasonal allergies and inflammation, lavender oil can be the best natural remedy to prevent it .
How to use: Mix 2-3 drops of lavender oil with 2 drops of carrier oil. Soak a cotton ball and place it lightly in the ears.
4. Helichrysum oil
According to research, Helichrysum oil contains several flavonoids which help in curing tinnitus and ear wax problems. The oil may also help repair the damaged nerves and blood vessels of the ears .
How to use: Add 4-5 drops of Helichrysum oil to boiling water and breathe in. Also, don't forget to add a carrier oil to it.
5. Geranium oil
Geranium oil has healing and therapeutic properties. It can be very useful in restoring hearing loss. Also, the high percentage of tannins in the oil may help in preventing other ear-related problems .
How to use: Add 3-5 drops of geranium oil in boiling water and inhale the fumes coming out of it. Cover the head with a towel for best results.
6. Cajeput oil
Monoterpenes like alpha-terpineol and cineole present in cajeput oil act as an anti-inflammatory agent and may help improve and reverse hearing loss naturally. The oil can help improve the hearing ability within a few days of its usage .
How to use: Take a few drops of cajeput essential oil in your finger and gently massage in front and behind your ears.
7. Peppermint oil
The oil best suits in treating the ear infection. Peppermint oil may help soothe the inflammation of the ear caused due to allergic reactions . One can also combine lavender and lemon oil with peppermint oil for best results. Together, they can make for the best treatment method for hearing loss.
How to use: Add 4-5 drops of peppermint oil with coconut or jojoba oil and gently massage in front and behind your ears.
8. Lemongrass oil
Lemongrass oil may help reduce ear congestion due to seasonal allergies. It can also cure the pain caused due to several ear disorders and help reduce the allergic symptoms that cause hearing loss .
How to use: Mix 3 drops of lemongrass oil with olive oil. Drop the mixture into your ear gently and let it sit for 4-5 minutes before draining. Repeat it 4 times in a day.
A highly used ingredient in Indian recipes, ginger can help prevent infections of the ear due to its antiviral and antibiotic components. It is also known to activate the nerves that facilitate the transmission of sound waves to the brain .
How to use: Include ginger every day in your meals. You can also consume ginger tea 2-3 times a day.
The herb possesses antibiotic properties which can help fight against harmful microorganisms entering the ears and prevent the spread of infections. Echinacea can also help reduce inflammation of the ear tissues and promotes good hearing .
How to use: Prepare echinacea tea by boiling the leaves in water. You can also go for Echinacea supplements after consulting a medical expert.
11. Ginkgo biloba
This powerful herb may treat the hearing problem in one shot. Ginkgo biloba may help facilitate blood circulation, especially in the ears, which in turn, may improve its function. It is best suited for tinnitus . Ginkgo biloba can be an effective natural cure for hearing loss.
How to use: Ginkgo biloba is mainly available as supplements. Go for it after consulting a doctor.
Curcumin in turmeric may help prevent hearing loss caused due to repeated noise exposure. It may help maintain the functionality of the ears and keeps them healthy and infection-free .
How to use: Add turmeric to most of your meals such as curries or soups. You can go for curcumin supplements after consulting a doctor.
Garlic is regarded as a supreme herb in curing an ear infection. Its antibacterial properties may help fight bacteria that cause infections in the ear and leads to hearing loss .
How to use: Add ginger to your meals. Putting a clove of garlic (after removing the skin) near the ear opening also helps soak the pain and liquid discharge caused due to infection.
A widely used herb in Europe and Asia, Dill helps promote the growth of healthy cells in the ears due to the mineral zinc present in it. This important nutrient may help restore the health of the ears and protects them from infection .
How to use: Add them to soups, curries, pickles and salads. Consume dill leaves fresh.
Hearing loss is common in old-age people due to the low levels of folic acid. According to a study, spearmint may improve the level of folic acid in the body, which can further prevent the onset of hearing loss in older people.
How to use: Consult a medical expert before starting on spearmint essential oil. Also, avoid mixing two or more essential oils.
Tips To Prevent Hearing Loss
- Foods like fish, sesame, soybeans, eggs, lotus seeds, cinnamon and walnuts are good in preventing hearing loss.
- Avoid cold beverages or foods, especially during the nighttime.
- Restrict the number of dairy products and processed meat.
- Cut down on fried and oily foods.
- Volume down the sound of the music player.
- Don't put earphones or headphones in your ears for a long time .
- Wear earplugs while visiting a pop concert.
- Don't use cotton swabs to clean ears.
- If you work in a noisy environment, wear earmuffs most of the time.
1. How can I improve my hearing naturally?
Hearing can be improved naturally with the use of some potent herbs like echinacea, ginkgo biloba and essential oils such as lavender oil, peppermint oil and tea tree oil. It can also be prevented by protecting ears from loud noises and avoiding the use of earbuds.
2. Can hearing loss heal itself?
Conductive hearing loss caused due to allergies, infections and build-up of earwax can be reversed by home remedies or surgical processes. However, Sensorineural hearing loss (damage to inner ears) due to trauma ageing or loud noises cannot be healed.
3. What foods help improve hearing?
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods such as ginger, garlic, turmeric and dill can help in improving the mild hearing loss symptoms.
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