Hearing loss

Can Hearing loss be reversed?

Your ears weren’t designed to deal with the extreme noises and nutrition deficiencies of our modern world. Before long, it takes a toll on the delicate inner workings of your ears.

Your doctor may tell you it’s time for an expensive hearing aid. But, here’s the truth.

Most people don’t need hearing aids. What no one in the hearing aid industry will admit is that hearing loss can be prevented and, in some cases, even reversed.

I’ve been recommending certain nutrients and supplements to my patients for years to help them improve their hearing. And the research keeps piling up.

A PubMed search of this subject found almost 400 studies to date.

One of these breakthrough studies was recently published in the Journal of Nutrition. Researchers examined the diets of 81,818 people over 26 years. Scientists found “healthful dietary patterns” lower the risk of developing hearing loss by 47%.1

A second study, this time conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, found that adults who were undernourished were about two times as likely to suffer from hearing loss as their better nourished peers.2

These are important studies. But they miss two big factors:

  • Big Agra and the food industry have compromised our food supply. It’s almost impossible to follow a “healthful dietary pattern” recommended by the researchers. Today, we’re faced with nutrient depleted and toxin-laced foods from our neighborhood supermarket.
  • Our modern world is loud. Even a healthy diet isn’t able to provide targeted nutrition for people who were exposed to noise from blasts, explosions, and gunfire. Which mostly boils down to one occupational group: soldiers.

    Naval Medical Center researchers looked at 1,000 marines going through rifle training. All were given a standard hearing test.

    Then researchers gave 566 marines a powerful amino acid three times a day for a month. The other marines took a placebo. A second hearing test at the end of the study found that 70% of soldiers who took the amino acid had dramatically less hearing loss.3

    The potent super-nutrient the soldiers were given was the amino acid N-acetyl-cysteine, or NAC.

    The scientists found that NAC protected the tiny ear hairs in the soldiers’ ears. They had less damage and also less ringing in their ears. But supplementing with NAC not only prevents hearing loss– it can reverse it.

    In another study, Yale researchers found that NAC boosts production of a powerful antioxidant called glutathione. And that helps repair the inner ear damage done by loud noises.4

    Other scientists have backed this up. In Sweden, doctors found other ways NAC protects the ear from even subclinical hearing loss caused by shooting training. It does it by resetting the noise level limits that our ears can handle; it’s called the psychoacoustical modulation transfer function (PMTF).5

    NAC plus other nutrients help protect our soldiers’ hearing, too. Scientists from the Department of Defense Spatial Orientation Center in San Diego found that combining NAC with acetyl-L-carnitine helped military members deal with “acoustic trauma.”6

Protect Against Alzheimer’s And Boost Brain Function

  1. First, protect your hearing every day. I recommend supplementing with at least 250 mg of NAC per day. Take NAC on an empty stomach to increase absorption of this amino acid.
    I also suggest supplementing with CoQ10. A Korean study revealed that CoQ10 can be highly therapeutic for patients with sudden hearing loss, thanks to its potent antioxidant impact.7 CoQ10 also helps maintain circulation to the ears and supports energy production in the critical sensory hair cells.
  2. Then, add in extra protection when you need it. If you know you’re going to a loud concert or sporting event, take 1,200 mg of NAC 12 hours before you attend. If you were unexpectedly exposed to extreme noise, take 1,200 mg of NAC as soon as possible afterward. Then take 900 mg to 1,200 mg three times a day, with meals, for the next 14 days.

    To help relieve trauma, take 1,000 mg of acetyl-L-carnitine two times a day for seven to 10 days after exposure. After that, reduce to 1,000 mg daily.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD, CNS


1. Curhan SG, et al. “Adherence to healthful dietary patterns is associated with lower risk of hearing loss in women.” J Nutr. 2018;148(6):944-951.
2. Emmett S, et al. “Early childhood undernutrition increases risk of hearing loss in young adulthood in rural Nepal.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2018; 107(2):268-277
3. Shafer DN. “A magic pill? Compound could mediate noise-induced hearing loss.” The ASHA Leader. 2005;10:5-30.
4. Tan W, et al. “Novel role of the mitochondrial protein Fus1 in protection from premature hearing loss via regulation of oxidative stress and nutrient and energy sensing pathways in the inner ear.” Antiox Redox Signal. 2017;27(8):489-509.
5. Kopke R, et al. Efficacy and safety of N-acetylcysteine in prevention of noise induced hearing loss: A randomized clinical trial.” Hear Res. 2015;323:40-50.
6. Coleman JK, et al. “Pharmacological rescue of noise-induced hearing loss using N-acetylcysteine and acetyl-L-carnitine.” Hear Res. 2007;226(1-2):104-113.
7. Ahn J, et al. “Coenzyme Q10 in combination with steroid therapy for treatment of sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a controlled prospective study.” Clin Otolaryngol. 2010 Dec;35(6):486-9.