Find yourself saying “Sorry, can you repeat that” more often? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, 25 percent of people aged 55 to 65 have some level of hearing loss and this number doubles for those over the age of 65.
Hearing loss can be caused by numerous factors including injury, continuous exposure to loud noises, and simply aging. But just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to accept the inevitability of hearing loss.
If you’re looking for quick ways to start hearing better right now, try some of these tips.
Protect your ears from sound
Even if you can’t go back in time to lower the volume on your radio and TV, or avoid those really loud concerts, you can take the time now to preserve the hearing you have left. Silence is golden, or at least that’s how the saying goes, and it does hold true for your ears.
Avoid noisy areas when possible or invest in earplugs or headphones, which can cancel out the sound of those pounding noises. In fact, if you’re unsure whether an environment is too noisy, there is now an app for that! The app is called dB Volume Meter and it will indicate when the noises get too loud.
Get better earphones
If you use earphones regularly and they aren’t proper, they could be causing you harm. If you don’t have noise-cancelling earphones, you could be cranking up the volume to compensate, but you should never listen to music through earphones more than 60 percent volume level unless you’re asking for hearing loss.
Find earphones or headsets that wrap around your ears, so they not only fit better but make it less likely that you hear the sounds around you.
It may look silly, but making a cup shape with your hand around your ear and pushing your ear flap forward can increase hearing by up to 10 decibels. For some, the trick is to press the ear against the skull. It depends on your anatomy. Try either option and see which works best for you.
Pay attention to medication side effects
Believe it or not, the medication aimed at making you feel better could be robbing you of your hearing. Pay close attention to side effects of medications because hearing loss may very well be one of them.
If you’re concerned about medication stealing your hearing, speak to your doctor about alternatives.
Take out the wax
Sometimes, hearing loss is simply caused by a buildup of wax and the easiest solution is to remove it. But this does not mean you can go ahead and jab a cotton swab in it – this can lead to further damage.
If you have wax buildup, put a few drops of hydrogen peroxide or olive oil in your ears for a few nights, and the wax will soften and come out easily. If wax is a real problem for you, speak to your doctor about wax removal and prevention methods.
Sometimes, ear infections can temporarily impair hearing, so if your hearing loss is accompanied by pain go see your doctor, as taking antibiotics or other medications may be a simple solution for you.
These are some natural ways to help improve hearing, but of course if hearing loss is severe there are medical treatments you can resort to, including ear plugs, hearing aids, or cochlear implants. Talk with your doctor about the options available to you.