It's been a while since I've added any posts to the ever-popular "woe is me, I've got Tinnitus because I was an irresponsible rock-head in my obstinate youth" category, so here goes. Whilst waiting for my primary care physician to write me a prescription for some sexily-named Fexofenadine for my allergies (because Claritin doesn't do shit!), I was thumbing through the latest issue of Men's Health and saw this exchange in the "Ask Men's Health" section.
I think I may have hearing loss from blasting my headphones. Can I reverse the damage? - Gary, Monmouth, NJ
While you were rocking out, the music was wreaking havoc on your ears' cilia, tiny hairs necessary for hearing. Problem is, noise damage to cilia is permanent, which means hearing loss is too. To safeguard the cilia that remain, lower the volume and raise a glass of whey protein. Whey not only helps you build muscle but also boosts your body's production of glutathione, an antioxidant that University of Buffalo researchers found could limit noise-induced hearing loss in mice. They say it should have a similar protective effect in humans.
My curiosity piqued, I picked up a big, sturdy can of whey protein at Trader Joe's this morning. Who knows if it'll actually help, but (a) who am I to argue with University of Buffalo researchers and (b) what the hell?
In terms of my own hearing situation, my Tinnitus is still ringing away like a whistling amplifier at a Dead Boys concert circa `77. I haven't been logging a lot of iPod time (being that I have no office to walk to at the moment), but I think the stress caused by same has triggered a bit of a spike (along with my tireless intake of caffeine, salt, sugar, alcohol, red meat, oxygen, etc.) I'm just continuing to learn to live with it -- but if there's a way to help prevent any further damage (like drinking whey protein), I'm totally game to give it a shot. If any of you have had any success with this method (or any others), please let me know.
So far, it tastes like very weak Ovaltine.