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Question: Are there any vitamins, herbal medicines or nutritional supplements that can either help or harm hearing?

Answer: The body of knowledge about herbals and supplements continues to grow. There are numerous books on the topic; however, safety and efficacy has yet to be proven in clinical studies. These treatments are not considered part of conventional medicine and opinions vary as to their effectiveness. Complementary and alternative medicines may be used as an adjunct to conventional medicine when used in full agreement with your physician. If you are concerned that these types of treatments are harming your hearing, it is important to establish a time line from the time a supplement was first taken to the time the adverse effects appeared. Interest among audiologists is growing as we look to other reference sources for nontraditional treatments that our patients are pursuing.