Self experimentation and I have non-measured but noticeable hearing improvement

OK I often try things on myself without the consent of a doctor. I monitor myself and so far I don’t think I’ve done any damage to myself.

NOTE: I’m not giving medical advice here, just letting you know what I’m experiencing. (I’m not even qualified to give medical advice.)

This is not a double-blind or any kind of scientific experiment.

I’m doing two new things at once and my hearing is improving. I’ve been doing them for a few months now.

At first I thought it was my imagination, buttons on devices and computer mice that usually go more like a pop are doing a definite click sound. The ‘silent’ light switch in the bathroom is making a slight click, I can’t remember ever hearing it click (I’ve lived here 30 years). Silverware and vitamins in the bottle are loud. We watched a rental movie, there was an interview extra and I realized I was understanding almost every word he said without captions. My wife reads to me every day, and today I heard the difference between the consonants D and B in Audrey and Aubrey. She says she notices me saying “what” less often when we talk. I could go on with a few more.

#1

A few months ago I read an article on CNN about using a 670nm near infra-read light to improve aging vision here by stimulating the mitochondria in the receptor cells.

I figured it wouldn’t hurt to put the device on each ear so after 3 minutes on the eyes, I put it on each ear 3 minutes apiece. Maybe it would stimulate the hearing cells??? Probably not but why not give it a try.

For about two months I thought it wasn’t doing any good, then when I was about to quit as a waste of time I pressed one of those round dome buttons on a device that usually goes thunk and it said tick.

#2

I read that in traditional Chinese medicine peanut skins are supposed to improve damaged hearing so I eat two teaspoons a day of Spanish Peanuts (Planters roasted in peanut oil and salted). Not the measuring teaspoon, but the flatware teaspoon I stir my coffee with.

OK, now I know my hearing is getting better, I don’t know if either or both of these things is making it better but I’m not going to stop either.

I really didn’t expect much when I started, I’ve tried a lot of other things that didn’t make a noticeable difference. But I had the red light (it’s helping the eyes) and I like peanuts.

Of course it could be something else entirely, but I can’t think of anything else I’m doing differently.

That’s it. I just wanted to share.

Bob

You forgot the third ingredient - starting paying attention. Brain training is largely forgotten and we mostly expect that aids will help us just by being there, like with glasses.

But, with focused training, we definitely can teach our brain how to work even better with that mess that comes through it. Brain is great and it will get a lot just from getting the aid, but if we want to get more - we have to push it and train it.

So, your wife reading to you is definitely big ingredient that shouldn’t be forgotten. And I dare to say it’s the main ingredient for your improvement.

In my case, focused listening pushed me even in measurable WRS, and definitely in my perception and comprehension. It also took several months. And I’m really happy with the results, just like you.

Never stop training! :slight_smile:

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Excellent observations Blacky.

My wife has been reading to me for decades now, so I don’t think that isn’t the current improvement factor.

Years ago we would read many of the same books then trade books but it was tough to discuss the books because we each were on another book by then.

So we decided to try her reading to me since she reads aloud extremely well and I got trough school with great grades by listening and taking notes (listening is my primary way of learning). This was years before my sudden ear damage caused by a misdiagnosis to dust mites 3 times. (The inflammatory response cut off the blood supply to my cochlea.)

The 4th diagnosis identified the problem so I can avoid further problems, but it won’t bring my hearing back.

Some days we may get only a bit read because it spurs conversation about the subject which can drift to a tangent and another and another. Other days we get some pages done.

It’s all non-fiction because our day to day jobs involve fantasy, and reality is our escape.

We live in Florida and we don’t use the AC by choice (we grew up without AC and never developed a fondness for it). For 10 minutes a day each morning I sit and ‘meditate’ by listening to the sounds around me. Since the window is open, that means birds, an occasional car, sometimes the train to the west of us, sometimes rain, sometimes wind or whatever. I set a timer on the computer and sit still and be aware.

I’m also a musician by trade, and thankfully my hearing damage hasn’t affected my ability to recognize musical pitches or to sing/play in tune. The damage is mostly high frequency.

I’ve always worn custom fit musician’s ear plugs. I bring a SPL meter on stage, and use the value of attenuating plugs so that nothing over 85dba reaches my eardrum. Stage volumes are usually about 90-95dba so a 15db ear filter works. I have a 25db filter just in case. We don’t like to play too loud because we don’t want to damage the hearing of our audience. We are the pros and feel responsible, at 90-95 it’s about 85 at the first table. But if they want it louder, it’s their choice.

But that’s drifting off topic.

I really think it’s either (a.) the red light (b.) the peanuts (c.) both or (d.) something else I either haven’t considered or don’t know about.

I make changes and ‘listen’ to my body. I try things and see what affect they have on me. I all but cured my arthritis and bursitis this way going from almost needing a hip replacement to now being able to walk 4 miles for exercise with zero pain. I did it with diet. If interested in the diet, let me know.

Now I think I’m on the road to better hearing. How much better will it get? I have no idea, but I’ll keep monitoring. Will it quit working and go back to the way it was? I hope not, but if it does, I’ll try to analyze what other changes happened that might have caused that.

Right now I’m really excited about being able to hear the click of the silent light switch, the click of the mouse, even a little click of my laptop keyboard, and the difference between a D and a B sound.

Bob

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Two words: placebo effect

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DarthV: If someone else posted this, I’d think exactly the same thought.

I would also agree with you if this was my first try at something. I’ve been trying things for decades and so far the only thing that has worked is 3 grams of the amino acid Taurine reduced the severity of my tinnitus and gives me more occasional quiet days – but not better hearing.

The Taurine acted gradually, and I didn’t notice it was working until I quit taking it and the tinnitus immediately escalated. I took it again for a few months and tried that a second time with the same results.

I’ve tried those waste your money eardrops (that was the first thing), Alpha Linoleic Acid (recommended by my old ear doctor for general ear health), massaging Aloe Vera gel to stimulate blood flow, gingko, vinpocetine, working to train my ears using specific frequencies at low volumes, Pulsed Electro Magnetic Therapy (used my mother-in-law’s device after she died, it helped her Parkinson’s), and a host of others. I figure as long as it doesn’t hurt me, it’s worth a try. The placebo effect did not work for any of these (and the PEMFT is recommended by some for hearing loss - I had hoped that would work).

Not a loss, I use the PEMFT on my hip and it eases arthritis pain.

I’ve tried so many things I have little expectations.

So I really didn’t expect this to work.

Although I had very low expectations I figured I have the near infra-red light, it helped my eyes, and it won’t hurt to hold it against my ears for 3 minutes a day. The warmth feels good.

I also eat a small amount of nuts almost daily, my wife doesn’t care for peanuts so I share mixed nuts without peanuts with her. I also like peanuts so I figured this is a reason to add some peanuts to my diet, and Spanish Peanuts have a lot of skins, which are high in antioxidants.

I was just about to discontinue the red lights, figuring it was a waste of time when I noticed the dome buttons on an electronics piece of gear and the mouse button clicking. A week later I understood the narration of the extras on a rented DVD movie without captions! The speaker had good diction, but I caught every word, which hasn’t happened with anybody for years. Yesterday I watched a TED talk on the computer and purposely ignored the captions. I got everything but a few words I’m not familiar with and a couple of phases that went by way too quickly.

To tell the truth, I don’t know if it’s the 670nm light, the peanuts, something else, or just natural changes in my body, but I do know that I’m hearing things I haven’t heard in decades and just in case it’s the light or the nuts, I’m not quitting either.

And the difference isn’t slight, I’m hearing more and more subtle sounds that are new to me.

I am of course not recommending anything to anyone, I just wanted to share some good news.

Bob

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I’m wondering.

On top of the damage to my ears during the inflammation response decades ago, I’ve added some normal, age related hearing loss to the high frequencies.

I wonder if this is reversing the age loss. That seems more logical than repairing hair cells that got damaged when the blood supply got cut off.

Or is it someway helping both.

In any case, I’m happy for whatever I get, and I’ve gotten enough to notice.

The other day I was working in the yard and I kept hearing what sounded like a small bell tinkling. It persisted and got me more and more curious as to what was making that noise.

It turned out to be some rigging on my next door neighbor’s flag pole. My neighbor has flown that flag for years and this is the first time I heard that. It wasn’t loud, but it was loud enough for me to hear while doing something else.

OK so I started googling.

I read that some doctors have experimented with near infra-red lasers to stimulate the ear. At 670nm my red light is near infra-red. I’m sure it won’t penetrate at much as a laser, but it might be working in the same way. The stimulation was mostly to reduce tinnitus but a few people reported better hearing as a side effect.

My tinnitus is pretty much under control with 3 grams of Taurine per day. I haven’t noticed a difference since I started using the light, but then I’m not sure I would have.

I do know that with my HA’s in, I’m hearing new high pitched sounds I’ve never heard before in my normal environment, and whether it’s the red light, the peanuts, or something totally unrelated, it’s certainly welcome and I’m excited about it.

I’m hoping the improvements continue, but even this much is great. With a good speaker I can hear the difference between F and S much of the time.

Like I said earlier, I’m not recommending the light and the peanuts to anyone else. I experiment on myself and monitor my body without consulting doctors. I guess that could be dangerous, but at 74 years old and on zero prescription drugs little things like this seem safe enough for me.

Most of the things I’ve tried haven’t helped, but they haven’t hurt either. That makes finding something that seems to be working unexpectedly even more exciting.

If anyone else tries this, it’d be interesting to see if you notice a change after a month or so.

Bob

What light have you used specifically?

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Clearly placebo effect. Or maybe not. Go get a hearing test and prove me wrong. If you`ve actually discovered a cure for sensorineural hearing loss, you can pick up your Nobel Prize on the way out.

No disrespect, but dont give people false hope with undocumented nonsense.

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I’ll answer both a.kowal.pr and DonaldNiko’s posts here:

DonaldNiko:

  1. If I thought this would work and if COVID wasn’t raging I would have gotten a hearing test first and again. Frankly, I was surprised this was working. I bought the light for my eyes and figured, “It wouldn’t hurt.”

  2. I’ve clearly stated I don’t know if its (a.) the light (b.) the peanuts (c.) both or (d.) something completely unrelated that I’m not aware of

  3. I don’t know if this is specific to me or if it will help anyone else.

  4. As always, it’s suggested that you check with your doc before doing anything

  5. I don’t know if I have a cure going. My guess is that it’s similar to the documented effect on human eyes, which is stimulating the mitochondria to making the aging hearing cells I have left work better. I intend to keep doing it, and next year when I get my scheduled annual test, I’ll compare.

  6. I’m not promoting this to others, simply reporting my personal experience.

I do know I’m hearing high frequency sounds I haven’t heard in decades. In those decades I’ve tried other things with hope that they would work and none of them produced the placebo effect. I’m past wishful thinking. So why should something I didn’t really expect to work but figured ‘there is no harm in trying’ produce it?

I’m not cured, I still need my hearing aids. With my aids I’m asking my wife “what?” much less frequently. She noticed that. I’m understanding speakers on the radio too and getting about 90% of what they are saying instead of just giving up and ignoring them.

a.kowal.pr

When I bought the lamp, it was right after the CNN and other news articles published the finding of the 670nm light’s effect on older person’s eyes, so almost everybody was out of stock.

I saw plenty of 660nm and 680nm lights, but since the article specifically 670nm I bought the first one I found that was in stock.

I don’t know if it’s the best, cheapest, most expensive or anything else, it was the only one I found. www.lifegivingstore.com model LGS7. I have no affiliation with this store except I bought a light there.

I don’t know if this will work for you or not. If you do it daily for a month or more and notice a difference let us know. If you don’t notice a difference let us know that too.

This is not a scientific cure or therapy. It’s not a double-blind controlled scientific experiment. It’s purely self-experimentation and nothing more.

Bob

Curious. Since you purchased the light to help improve your vision, has it had any effect on your vision. I know this is off topic for ears & hearing.

Yes it did.

The first thing I noticed is my neighbor’s porch and flood lights.She burns them all the time. My wife and I call it a Folsom Prison yard. The yellow has changed color to be brighter and whiter. That’s less irritating to me, but I still wish she wasn’t afraid of the dark.

Kitchen appliances seem whiter and brighter. The blues on my computer screen seem bluer and the greens of the citronella grass I have planted near my doors seems greener.

My peripheral vision seems to have improved. I notice moving things at right angles to my head more than I did before. Example: When running water in the bathroom I notice the reflection of the light shining on the water in the plastic shower curtain. After living here since 1990 I never noticed that before, now I notice it often.

What it did not do is get rid of the few, minor floaters I have or the halos around bright lights due to my cataracts. I had hoped it would. But I’m happy with the improvement.

One article I read did controlled experiments with various age groups and the light had little effect on the younger folks, but restored color recognition of the older folks.

The first article I read was Declining eyesight can be improved by looking at red light, pilot study says - CNN and then I googled some more research on the subject.

If I understand the theory correctly, the red light revitalized the aging mitochondria in the sensory cells.

That may be all it’s doing in my ears, but I’ll take it.

I have decades of aging ears that are added to my original SSHL and if all it does is reverse some or all of this, I’m happy.

I’m not one of those anti-establishment medicine people, but one who supplements regular medicine. This probably stems from our family doctor when I was growing up who thought things we can do ourselves can help the doctor take care of us, and some of those things were ‘alternate medical’ actions the strict establishment frowns on. He also tried to change our habits before dishing out medicine when appropriate, and the arthritis/bursitis diet he gave me took me from needing an eventual hip replacement to no problem - 99% better.

So I see the doctor, but strive to help myself. I’m 74, on zero medications, the last time I caught the flu was in the 1980s and I work with senior citizens, I caught a cold this year, the first time in 15 years and it lasted 2 days. I take care of myself and ‘listen’ to my body and observe changes. My old family doctor’s attitude still resonate with me. If I can avoid getting sick, it’s much better than getting cured.

Bob

So, you think maybe the light is shining through your skull into your inner ear?

OK, I’m passing on buying new hearing aid and instead asking Santa to get me HG300 Red Light Therapy. Won’t do a damn thing but at $169 its far cheaper than $2400 for a new aid.

(just kidding)

Mazda4me I know you are kidding - but please, nobody try this!!!

My hearing is better but I still need my hearing aids. I can just hear things with them in that I haven’t heard in a long time.

The click of the dome buttons, the sharp beep of my laser printer and crinkling of newspapers are obviously better with my hearing aids in, but they aren’t there without my aids. I don’t know how much better it will get or if this is it. Either way, I’m happy.

Neville, I have no idea if the light is shining through my eardrum and getting to the inner ear, I seriously doubt it is shining through my skull.

I have no idea why my hearing is improving, if it’s the light? or if it’s the peanut skins? or both? or just a coincidence?

I’m not stating anything, just reporting what I am experiencing and making uneducated guesses. Everybody - please don’t read anything more into this thread.

I have no idea if anyone else can benefit from this and I am not advising anyone else to try it. I am not qualified to give medical advice.

Last night while ‘couch surfing’ with my tablet, I did some searching in the very difficult for me to search National Institute of Health’s PubMed site using various combination of search terms like “Red Light Therapy”, “Near Infra Red Light”, and “Hearing”, “Ears”, and a half dozen other related terms. PubMed reprints papers by scientists in Peer Reviewed respected scientific journals.

I did find that there has been success using Low Level Near Infra Red Laser Lights for the reduction of tinnitus, hyperacusis, and in some studies they noted an improvement in hearing.

Important notes: I don’t fully understand many of these posts, because I don’t have a medical degree, so I can be misunderstanding. … The Red Light I bought uses LEDs not laser and the wavelength is 670nm, the papers used near infra red but not that exact frequency.

I bought the LED array for my eyes, not my ears. I tried it on my ears because it wouldn’t hurt, and there was the slightest chance it might do something. I really didn’t expect this and was about to give up when I heard the dome buttons click for the first time. I was surprised.

I started eating the Spanish Peanuts because I read on-line that in traditional Chinese medicine, peanut skins are supposed to improve your hearing. I take that with a grain of salt and an excuse to buy some Spanish Peanuts because I like them (roasted in peanut oil and salted).

In self-isolation with my wife since I lost my job in March due to COVID, I can’t think of anything else I’m doing differently. So I’m guessing. Of course it could be something else.

This is just a journal of what is happening to me, not a recommendation for anyone else to try it.

Bob

I find your research & accounting of your journey interesting. I hope your hearing keeps improving for you.

Thanks.

Even if this is it, I’m happy. Hearing the mouse button click, the dome switches click, the light switch, crisper bird calls, enhanced newspaper crinkles, and being able to understand what others are saying better is a treat (all with my hearing aids in). It reminds me of the day I brought new hearing aids home and heard more than before.

But hopefully they will continue to get better.

In 6 months or so depending on COVID I’m due for another ear test, so that will be very interesting. If the audiogram confirms my hearing is getting better (or not) I’ll follow up. Note: While I’m guessing why the ears are getting better, I really don’t know for sure.

Bob

ummmm Not working? - Less noise pollution? More rest at night d/t not having to be up at the crack of dawn. Rested ears work better than tired ears. I hear way better in the morning than at night d/t adequate rest. If I don’t get adequate sleep, I don’t hear quite as good as I should. Sleep kind of recharges the system. I am sure that others have noticed this.

Good observation.

Not likely though.

I have the best job in the world. My work is as a musician with my wife in a duo. We average 2-3 gigs a week, fewer in the summer, more in the winter. We’ve done this since 1985.

Since I was 40 years old I targeted the senior citizen market here in Florida. It’s more steady than the bars/restaurants and being one-nighters, if I work 2.5 three hour gigs a week, I can make as much as 6 nights in a bar.

When not working, we keep our ‘chops’ and voice in shape by setting the gear up in the living room and playing two 3 hour ‘gigs’ per week in the afternoon while the neighbors are at work. The squirrels, rabbits, and birds in our back yard don’t seem to mind.

Continuing to play is the reason why I can still do this in my 70s. People who keep on singing/playing like Tony Bennett, The Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson and so on can still play in their advanced ages, while those former stars who quit for a few years (I won’t mention any names) and then try to come back have weak voices and diminished instrument playing skills.

So the main differences in my life are:

  • I walk 3-4 miles up and down my dead-end street instead of going to the nature preserve for my exercise
  • We don’t go out to eat once or twice a month
  • We don’t visit neighbors and friends in their homes but are comfortable talking with them on the street or over the fence
  • We wear masks and gloves when going grocery shopping
  • We don’t go out anywhere ‘in public’ unless necessary

I still get up at about 6:30 AM, go to bed around midnight, and in between do whatever I want. I learn new songs, work around the house/yard, read books, have quality time with my wife, type on the computer, maintain my two websites, and write music for other musicians to purchase (I sell snippets of my music to musicians in over 100 countries for them to use - it’s my ‘moonlighting’ job).

I haven’t noticed better hearing in the morning, but now that you mentioned it I’ll pay attention.

So not much has changed due to unemployment that could affect my hearing that I can think of except I don’t have the ingredients in a nice restaurant meal once or twice a month.

But I’m welcome to all other suggestions. If it’s something I haven’t thought of, I’d like to know. Until then I’ll credit the light and/or peanut skins.

Bob

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I Think all or most hearing aid users notice this. My Hearing is way worse at night after taking off my hearing aids off. It is a bit better in the mornings(but not good enough to brag about). My morning audiograms are significantly different than my afternoon audiograms. Probably due to all the noise from the hearing aids.

I do notice when I get out of bed in the morning, my tinnitus is often at it’s loudest and fades after I’m up for a while, but I’ve never noticed hearing differences.

I do know without my hearing aids I don’t hear well at all.

When I walk for exercise, I walk without my aids, to keep the sweat off, and actually hope I don’t run into my neighbors. I tell them I don’t have my hearing aids in, but it’s still difficult to get all they are saying.

I’ll pay attention tomorrow,

Bob

BTW, another thing that did NOT work on my ears was Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Field Therapy. My mother-in-law used it under her pillow and it helped her Parkinson’s a lot. Her doctor recommended it.

I bought it for her, so when she died years later I got it back and tried it under my pillow. It didn’t do anything for my hearing. I had the gizmo, I did enough research to find it wouldn’t hurt, so why not?