Among the many health concerns of the aging population, hearing loss is so common that past a certain age, it comes as no surprise. Around one-third of adults between ages 65 and 74 report some degree of hearing loss, and about half of elderly adults over 75 have difficulty hearing.
A related condition that often accompanies hearing loss is tinnitus, or “ringing in the ears”. The sound patterns and intensity/volume of the tinnitus experience varies widely between individuals, but the definition of the disorder is “a perception of sound that does not have an external source, so others cannot hear it”. The actual sounds may be described as ringing, buzzing, popping, clicking, hissing, humming, and even squealing or roaring. It can be mild and barely perceptible, only minimally interfering with everyday life, or may be incredibly disturbing to the point of affecting one’s ability to perform daily tasks and enjoy life. It can be experienced temporarily, or can become chronic and persistent. It usually begins between ages 40 and 60, but can occur in younger individuals and even children, as well.
Although tinnitus and hearing loss can occur separately in some cases, it’s very common to experience them together, as they are both a result of some form of damage to the delicate structures and nerves of the inner ear. This damage may have an obvious cause, like excessive and prolonged exposure to very loud noise, but it may just as likely be the result of more internal forms of damage from an overall decline in health from a variety of causes.
Modern medicine is quite undecided on the cause of tinnitus, but speculates that it could be related to nerve damage, allergies or autoimmune conditions that cause nerve and tissue inflammation and fluid buildup in the inner ear. It is often theorized to be a disruption in communication between the nerves of the inner ear and the auditory cortex of the brain that processes and interprets sound. When the nerves and brain do not communicate accurately and effectively, signals can be misinterpreted, and one may “hear” sounds that have no external source. This is a purely physiological event, and is not at all the same as the auditory hallucinations that can occur with psychological disorders like schizophrenia. Other possible causes of tinnitus include side effects from various pharmaceutical drugs, excess earwax production, ear infections that have damaged the eardrum or inner ear, head/neck/jaw issues, and other chronic issues such as Ménière’s disease (a more serious inner ear disorder), diabetes, and even tumors on the acoustic nerves.
In contrast to modern medicine’s general philosophy of dividing the body into separate parts that are thought to rarely affect each other, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a simpler and more holistic take on tinnitus. Anything related to the ear and hearing is thought to be connected to the kidney system of the body, which governs the deep energy reserves, or ‘life force essence’. Tinnitus and hearing loss are usually thought to indicate a kidney yin deficiency, where life force is depleted by overwork, poor lifestyle habits, toxins, drugs and alcohol over a long period of time.
From a scientific viewpoint, this could be translated as the breakdown of organs and tissues from long term exposure to sources of oxidative stress, which raises cortisol levels and puts the body into a catabolic state, where the body is directed to break down its own tissues for use as an emergency energy source. Many external and internal stressors can produce oxidative stress in the body, including exposure to toxins (chemicals and heavy metals), the body’s own immune response from exposure to viruses, bacteria and parasites, chronic stress and overwork, drugs and alcohol, and even artificial manmade electromagnetic fields.
In the absence of adequate nutrients to help the body recover from stress, and dietary sources of antioxidants that counter the oxidative stress directly, a degradation of the body’s organs and tissues occurs. Over time, if the oxidative stress load is continuously higher than what the body can defend itself against or repair from, this results in tissue breakdown and an acceleration of the aging process.
Tinnitus is not usually indicative of a major health issue, but it can diminish the quality of life of those who suffer from it. It can result in insomnia, difficulty concentrating, moodiness, anxiety and depression, and when combined with hearing loss, interferes with social interaction, enjoyment of life, and even personal safety. Those who suffer from tinnitus and hearing loss are also far more likely to suffer from dementia and neurocognitive issues.
Are tinnitus and hearing loss caused by EMFs?
Among EHS (electrohypersensitivity) sufferers, tinnitus is one of the most commonly reported symptoms. Various population groups have been studied, and those who reported suffering from EHS had a considerably higher incidence of tinnitus (about 50%, versus only 17% of those without EHS). It seems that in EHS individuals, their nervous systems are more sensitive than most, and a sensitive system may pick up the signals from normally inaudible frequencies and interpret them as something audible to that individual. Those with sensitive nervous systems also generally have higher cortisol levels (autonomic nervous system hyperexcitability) and decreased adaptive abilities, so react more strongly to many kinds of environmental stimulus, compared to most people.
A study review that examined 165 clinically relevant studies relating to tinnitus and electromagnetic fields found evidence of a causal link between the two, including increased tinnitus incidence from talking on a cell phone regularly for more than 4 years, as well as an increase in symptoms in the preferred ear of the cell phone user, compared to the opposite ear. The study authors advise cautionary and safe use of cell phones, as there is enough reason to suspect a link between EMFs and tinnitus, as well as more serious health issues.
Links have also been established between EMFs and hearing loss. This study found significant hearing loss in the preferred ear of cell phone users, compared to the ear that was rarely or never directly exposed to the cell phone. Another study on rats showed neuronal degeneration in the auditory system from exposure to cell phone radiation.
Several studies have linked cell phone use with the growth of acoustic neuromas, which are normally benign and slow growing tumors on the nerve of the inner ear. These growths could in themselves be a cause of both tinnitus and hearing loss, and are definitively linked to electromagnetic field exposure.
Improving tinnitus and hearing loss with EMF protection, diet and herbs is possible
With the link between electromagnetic fields, tinnitus and hearing loss fairly well established, many people are looking for EMF protection that will reduce or eliminate their symptoms.
We have gotten several reports of a reduction or elimination of tinnitus symptoms from using a Blushield device, especially from those using the C1 Ultimate Cube home model. Improvements in other areas like sleep, mood, energy levels and overall well-being from using Blushield are often felt right away or after only a few weeks of use, but it’s important to remember that some conditions are much more deeply rooted, and took many years to develop in the first place. Conditions like tinnitus and hearing loss should be perceived as a type of injury, from long term or extreme exposure to some kind of external stressor. When it comes to healing injuries that were long in the making, the body’s healing process doesn’t have an “on/off switch” where a significant chronic condition is suddenly or quickly resolved. Much more realistically, healing will occur over such a long and gradual period of time that someone may not even realize that it’s happening at all, until months down the road when one day they realize their symptoms are considerably lessened or gone completely. However, some people’s bodies are more responsive and adaptable, and/or their tinnitus and hearing loss was of the more mild and recently developed type, so they may experience positive results quickly. Of course, we can’t guarantee that Blushield will help your tinnitus or hearing loss, since there are so many factors that may affect your individual condition.
Along with using an appropriate strength Blushield device for your overall EMF exposure, there are other ways you can support your body to heal damage to the auditory nerves and the brain, potentially reducing or eliminating symptoms of tinnitus, and even restoring hearing to some extent. Ensuring adequate nutrition, especially rich sources of zinc, magnesium and B vitamins, can give your body what it needs to heal. Herbs like gingko biloba and ginseng may be effective at improving circulation in that area, lessening symptoms and accelerating the healing process, as well as neutralizing oxidative stress due to their natural antioxidant and polyphenol content.
Nourishing the kidney system of the body, in accordance with TCM principles, can replenish the deep reserves of the body and increase vitality, which will often improve ear related issues like tinnitus and hearing loss. High quality herbal formulas that are focused on nourishing the kidney yin can be very helpful. Our top recommendations are the He Shou Wu Formula and Fire/Water Formula created by Shen Blossom, both of which contain expertly crafted blends of the highest quality herbs. Acupuncture can also increase blood and qi/chi flow to the head and ears, supporting the healing process.
Reducing exposure to triggers is also important, especially as you’re healing. This includes reducing EMF exposure by cultivating safe habits when using radiation emitting devices. Using your devices less often, and keeping them further away from you when you do use them, can go a long way. This article we wrote gives more specific ideas on how to sensibly reduce your exposure with some simple habit changes.
Interestingly, various kinds of sound therapy are some of the most effective treatments for tinnitus. Although the audible frequencies we can hear are technically mechanical waves, not electromagnetic waves, they are still frequencies. The fact that frequencies can be used to treat this issue warrants further consideration of the potential effects of electromagnetic frequencies on brain/nerve/ear disorders like tinnitus and hearing loss, as well as the potential therapeutic effect of a scalar frequency generator like Blushield.
Hearing aids – how to reduce your EMF exposure
The most common conventional treatment for both hearing loss and tinnitus is the use of hearing aids. They are not intended to heal either condition, but to provide a way of coping with the conditions, which mainstream consensus deems incurable. If you or someone you know is in a more advanced stage of hearing loss or tinnitus, hearing aids may be necessary for basic daily life functions. If you need hearing aids to stay safe and functional on a daily basis, and to enjoy life, are there any options to lower your EMF exposure from these radiation emitting devices?
Yes! While you cannot eliminate EMF exposure entirely if you’re using hearing aids, there are methods to considerably reduce it.
The first hearing aids were invented in the late 1800s, were analog in function, and consisted of a tiny microphone, an amplifier (to amplify the external sounds), and a speaker to direct the sounds into the ear or the wearer. Since analog amplification will distort sound to some extent, this method was not able to perfectly reproduce external sounds. In 1990, the invention of the digital hearing aid solved this problem, as the microphone delivers the sounds to a microchip, which then digitally reproduces the sound as a much more authentic rendition of the original source. The EMF exposure from these types of hearing aids is negligible, and only minimally harmful.
This all changed around 2010, when wireless connectivity capabilities were added to digital hearing aids. This allowed the hearing aids to communicate with each other, and to connect directly with your cell phone, computer and TV, so you can answer calls and listen to music straight from the hearing aid. These enhanced capabilities were so popular that almost all modern hearing aids now offer wireless connectivity. Unfortunately, this exposes the wearer to radio-frequency radiation right inside of the ears and dangerously close to the brain.
Short range wireless connectivity is achieved using near-field magnetic induction that operates within the 3 to 11MHz (megahertz) range, and allows the two hearing aids to be able to communicate with each other. Long range connectivity operates in the Bluetooth frequency range of 2.4 to 2.45GHz (gigahertz), and allows hearing aids to connect to other devices like your cell phone and computer. Although both of these connectivity options increase convenience and improve user experience in various ways, neither are necessary for the hearing aids to function in a basic sense, and both magnetic and radio-frequency fields so close to the brain can cause health issues.
The companies claim that the radiation level is extremely low, and well within the SAR limits for wireless radiation exposure, but these FCC regulations have considerable flaws. SAR stands for Specific Absorption Rate, and refers to the amount of EMF absorbed by the body resulting from proximity to a specific radiation source. SAR limits are only based on the thermal (heating) effects of RF exposure, even though non-thermal levels of EMFs have been consistently shown to have harmful effects on health. Another concern is that hearing aids will subject you to these EMFs consistently, as most people wear them for 16 hours per day. Long term, daily exposure, even at very low levels of power, can be considerably more harmful than short term or sporadic exposure.
If you need to use hearing aids and you’re concerned about EMF exposure, there is usually a way to turn off wireless connectivity, depending on the device. Some hearing aids do not allow it to be switched off, but most probably do, or at least allow the device to be switched to airplane mode. If you have moderate to severe hearing loss or tinnitus, you likely have prescription hearing aids. If it’s not easy for you to figure out how to turn off the wireless capability of your hearing aids, you can visit the healthcare provider who prescribed them and see if they can do it for you. If you have mild to moderate hearing difficulties, you may be able to purchase generic hearing aids online or OTC (over the counter), and you can specifically select a brand that does not include wireless connectivity, or allows it to be turned off.
If you absolutely need some aspect of the wireless functionality provided by your hearing aids, you can at least turn off Bluetooth whenever you don’t need it, by switching it off from your phone and any other device the hearing aids are coupled with. That way, at least there will be less radio-frequency activity going back and forth between the devices.
If you have moderate to severe hearing loss or tinnitus, you may decide that for you, hearing aids are in the category of “EMF exposure that you can’t control”, which is what Blushield is for. We always recommend minimizing EMF sources as much as possible, practical or desirable, and then making sure you have the appropriate strength home and portable Blushield devices to protect you from the inevitable exposures in your life.
Feeling stressed over every little bit of EMF exposure can do more harm than good, as it’s truly impossible to get away from all of it! The feeling of well being that comes from knowing you’re protected from these inevitable exposures will ensure that your mental health is protected just as much as your physical health.
- Study review: “Tinnitus and cell phones: the role of electromagnetic radiofrequency radiation” – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9444668/
- Study: “Association of Tinnitus and Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Hints for a Shared Pathophysiology?” – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2657824/
- Study: “High-Frequency Hearing Loss Among Mobile Phone Users” – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3918279/
- Study: “Effects of exposure to 2100MHz GSM-like radiofrequency electromagnetic field on auditory system of rats” – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27865708/
- SaferEMR: “Acoustic Neuroma and Cell Phone Use” – https://www.saferemr.com/2017/04/acoustic-neuroma-and-cell-phone-use.html