The ability to hear has a lot to do with the inner ear circulation. Blood circulation supports bodily functions and supplies organs and body parts with essential nutrients they need to function properly. Poor inner ear circulation may result in hearing problems, dizziness, and even Meniere’s disease.
Therefore, maintaining healthy blood circulation – in the inner ear and throughout the body – is important for better hearing and overall health. Here are some natural ways to help boost circulation.
Simply put, physical activity keeps your heart healthy, which means better circulation. Even a little bit of exercise a day – at least three or four times a week – can greatly improve your circulation and keep you in shape.
A higher volume of blood moves more rapidly through your arteries and veins whenever your heart muscle contracts at a faster rate. This causes a boost in your overall circulation.
Start with lighter cardio activities, such as walking, before attempting a jog. Swimming is highly effective, too, especially for anyone with knee and joint problems.
2. Smoking cessation
It’s true that it may take a while and plenty of commitment, but once you stop puffing, your body will begin to repair itself, addressing all of the bad stuff cigarettes did to your circulation.
Whenever you smoke, toxins from the smoke enter your bloodstream, making your blood thicker and increasing the likelihood of clot formation, raising your blood pressure and heart rate, causing your heart to work harder than usual, and narrowing your arteries, thus reducing the amount of oxygen-rich blood circulating to your organs. And all of these can lead to an eventual heart attack or stroke.
Massages will get your blood flowing directly to your extremities. Although it’s not a cure, or even a permanent solution, this technique can go a long way in improving your blood circulation.
Generally, a healthy circulation brings oxygen-rich blood to tense and damaged muscles. A massage facilitates that circulation because the pressure actually transfers blood throughout congested areas. The release of this same pressure then causes new blood to flow in.
What’s more, a massage helps to relax the muscles in your back and loosen some of those that are bothered by the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower end of your spinal cord all the way down the back of your thigh, dividing above the knee joint. So if you suffer from chronic sciatic discomfort, for example, massage can help.
4. Diet changes
You can immensely improve your circulation by replacing what you eat. Instead of eating processed food – basically, those high in salt, fat, and sugar – try adopting a diet of complex carbohydrates. This means things like whole-wheat breads, oat bran, brown rice, baked beans, and edible-podded peas.
Another nutrient that may help is vitamin E, which can thin the blood so it can pass more efficiently through narrowed vessels. Consume more vitamin E from foods that contain healthy fat, such as seeds, nuts, avocado, and wheat germ.
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 put in some effort now to preserve the hearing you have left.
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.
Try cupping your ear
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.
Get your hearing checked
Every year, you probably go for a physical examination and even get your vision checked as well. But many of us neglect another crucial test – a hearing test.
Just like monitoring other aspects of your health, it’s important that you get your hearing checked as well in order to catch changes in your hearing early on and prevent any further damage. It allows your doctor to utilize early intervention methods to help you maintain proper hearing. But if you don’t get your hearing checked, you could be slipping under the radar until it’s simply too late.
The next time you start booking your yearly appointments, ensure you include a hearing test as well.
Speak up for those around you
Maybe you’re not the one with the fading hearing, but someone close to you is. You should voice your concerns to them about their hearing health and ensure they know the importance of maintaining proper hearing. Maybe, suggest that they have their hearing checked. Offering the proper information can allow them to take necessary steps to protect their fading hearing.
Once again, if you know others with hearing loss, be mindful and patient with them, as it probably is very frustrating for them to get by. Speak slower or louder when you’re in their presence to help them better understand you. Also, don’t cover your mouth when speaking, as it helps to read lips when a person is talking.
Recognize that your hearing does change
As mentioned, some changes in life are inevitable, and hearing loss is expected to some degree. As long as you get regular hearing checkups and work to protect your hearing, the damage doesn’t have to be life changing and you can still maintain adequate hearing levels regardless of your age.
Paying close attention to your hearing, along with other aging changes, can prompt you to take the necessary steps to slow down the progression. Lastly, speaking to your doctor about your concerns can help you get the timely treatment in order to improve your condition.