Age-Related Hearing Loss Is Preventable, So What Causes It?

Why do some populations retain their hearing into old age? How might we prevent age-related hearing loss?

This is the first in a three-part series on hearing loss. The next two are The Supplement Shown to Slow Age-Related Hearing Loss ( ) and The Diet Shown to Slow Age-Related Hearing Loss ( ).

For my coverage on why high blood pressure isn’t inevitable either, see How Not to Die from High Blood Pressure ( ).

For more on how to live your longest, healthiest life, preorder my new book How Not to Age ( ). (As always, all proceeds I receive from all of my books ( ) are donated to charity.)

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Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at and someone on the team will try to answer it.

Want to get a list of links to all the scientific sources used in this video? Click on Sources Cited at . You’ll also find a transcript and acknowledgements for the video, my blog and speaking tour schedule, and an easy way to search (by translated language even) through our videos spanning more than 2,000 health topics.

Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

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Dave McKinnon

  • Mitch Earleywine says:

    I have headphones in right now and I know I must be in trouble…

  • andrew pawley says:

    I love this channel!

  • Error 404 says:

    The thing is everyhere you go in the US, they play music on speakers even in public bathroom !!

  • Dindonmasker V says:

    I have something playing at all times even when i sleep but i try to keep the volume low. I wonder how much this will affect my earing compared to power tool use like a grinder wich can be very loud for long periods of time.

    • Joseph1NJ says:

      We don’t know for sure, but studies suggest it can affect your spelling.

    • oceanlawnlove says:

      ​@Joseph1NJreally did something there bud, really came for his spelling. Haha he spelled something wrong, what a silly goofy looser, right? 🤣🤣🤣🤣

  • Me On YT says:

    This is very old knowledge but try training as much as I and many others like me without music.
    We don’t need to know how to prevent it but how to treat it. Awesome of Greger to provide a little insight there!! 🙏💪

    I took Ritalin ti study for an exam once and have had Tinitus ever since then. Do I regret it? No. It was worth the trade-off.

    Diet is not a reason for me. I have been a poster child for healthy vegans for almost 4 decades since the age of 10 incl. pro athletic career.

  • Nauce_key_randomized says:


  • Adipose Rex says:

    I hear you , Dr.

  • Lo Rah says:


  • Apollo 440 says:

    +1 to the benefits of sourghum: preserves hearing and normalizes blood pressure, if sourghum comprises 80% of your diet.

    • movement2contact says:

      I’m an enjoyer of sour gum myself 😎 Slightly too low on nutrients for me personally though… 😏

    • Apollo 440 says:

      @movement2contact I believe that any starchy food, consumed as 70%-80% of your calorie intake, is healthy and won’t lead to deficiencies.

      After all, it is a world of dietary excess we’re living in.
      So falling into the “where do you get your X (nutrient)” trap is much more dangerous, than becoming deficient in any particular nutrient.

    • movement2contact says:

      @Apollo 440 I was making a joke about the food I’ve never heard about sounding like a different edible substance… 🙄

  • CatC says:

    Leaving me on another cliffhanger!!! Lol.

  • Apollo 440 says:

    Apart from Dr. G said here, I believe that many people have dirty ears, which hampers their hearing ability. There is a procedure, involving heat, such as burning a special candle or other type of wax. I haven’t tried that, only heard good things. But I have tried a procedure, prescribed commonly before, involving 3% hydrogen peroxide (5 drops) and water (50ml). Pouring this mixture into your ear with a small syringe (needle removed, of course), tilting your head, and letting it sizzle for a minute, then pouring it out, seemed to help me quite a bit.

    • Raja_B says:

      Respectfully, this is not advice to be given on a comment. If someone does as you suggest, they must use distilled water and not tap water. Unless the ear canal is examined, we have no idea what’s going on in there. Anyhow, I have always really liked the Debrox Ear Wax Removal Kit. It uses Carbamyl Peroxide. I put a few drops in, wait five minutes, then use warm distilled (or boiled, cooled to warm but never cold) water using the bulb syringe to flush out the wax. I’m not an ENT doc but I am an Internist with 40 years experience and have treated countless patients with impacted ear wax. Great care must be taken to avoid perforating the eardrum. ENT docs tend to prefer a professional suction device which works like magic. Lastly, all those candles and such devices are useless.

    • Apollo 440 says:

      ​@Raja_B why does the water need to be distilled? Frankly, it seems like an unnecessary complication to this method. I used filtered water with good results.

      And sure, there are many other procedures, but at what cost? Debrox is 12 USD on Amazon. Carbamyl peroxide is 7.73 USD.

      The 3% hydrogen peroxide will cost you 0,003 USD for one procedure (you can do it 3 times at the cost of almost one cent).
      I’m no MD, but doctors with no less experience than you mention practice and recommend this cheap and proven method.

    • Raja_B says:

      @Apollo 440 there are documented reports of amebic brain abscesses in people who did nasal irrigation with tap water. So I am very wary of tap water used into the sinuses and ears too. But to go along with what you said, when my nurse and I did ear syringing, we always added hydrogen peroxide to the distilled water we used. This was after we put Debrox drops first. It really is fantastic in dissolving wax.

    • Alvin R. says:

      I found that more ear wax is created when I wear earbuds. I don’t like it but the doctors say ear wax is a good thing.

  • KY LE says:

    i hope its reversible! that’d be good news but also i bet 99% of people wouldn’t believe you or take the advice and just keep being deaf

  • b shef says:

    AND……we end w/ “CLIFFHANGAR . 😮‍💨…(join us in next episode when DrG reveals THE supplement….. that slows age related hearing loss)…..

  • ProVeg says:

    I always put the volume way down before I start a Nutrionfacts video so I don’t get hearing damage from the overloud intro jingle. Then I raise the volume when the talking starts. Also put the volume down before the loud outro if I can remember. It is a habit after 10 or more years of putting up with this.

  • Matthew Davis says:

    Thank you for discussing this topic. My parents both have some hearing loss, and at the age of 40 I have some tinnitus in my right ear (probably due to loud music exposure). I really don’t want to follow in their footsteps.

  • Alvin R. says:

    I always carry a pair of audio attenuators when attending a concert or church. You never know when an amateur will be left in charge of the audio equipment. It doesn’t take a long exposure to certain wave lengths at high volume for my ears to be ringing for days.

  • Sidilicious says:

    All those rock concerts I went to……..

  • Fridolf Pierrot says:

    They don’t EAT processed foods ether. So you can’t say it is the animal protein. It being the processed food is more likely the cause.

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