“Would you mind speaking a little louder?”
If you find yourself repeating those phrases to friends and family, you’re probably starting to experience hearing loss.
Hearing loss can be a natural part of the aging process, but it doesn’t mean you have to sit back and let it happen. In fact, you can start to prevent hearing loss no matter how old you are; you just have to follow these simple tips.
But before we explain how to boost hearing, let’s discuss a little bit more about hearing loss.
Types of Hearing Loss
There are three different types of hearing loss: conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss Occurs when sound is not properly conducted through the outer ear canal into the eardrum and the middle ear. Possible causes for this type of hearing loss are ear infections, benign tumors, swimmer’s ear, infection from earwax in the ear canal and impacted earwax.
Sensorineural hearing loss: This type of hearing loss occurs when damage is done to the inner ear or to the nerves that lead into the inner ear. This type of hearing loss is permanent and cannot be corrected through surgery. This type of hearing loss can be caused by illness, aging, head trauma and genetics – hearing loss that runs in the family.
Mixed hearing: This is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Damage may be done to the outer or inner ear and middle ear.
9 Ways to Improve Hearing Loss
As mentioned, there are things you can start doing today to prevent hearing loss or at least keep it from getting worse.
Be Mindful of Health Conditions:
Health conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes are not just stand-alone conditions. They can wreak havoc on other aspects of your health as well – hearing included.
To prevent the loss of hearing from a chronic health condition, it’s recommended that you properly manage the condition. For example, lower your blood pressure, manage cholesterol, and ensure your diabetes is under control.
Take Care of Earwax:
Sometimes our hearing may become fuzzy, or we feel like we can’t hear ourselves. These situations have more to do with earwax build-up than anything else. Earwax is often overlooked as the cause of hearing problems, but it’s a large factor.
In fact, if earwax isn’t removed and maintained properly, it can lead to more serious types of
hearing loss, such as conductive hearing loss.
We are not suggesting you stick a cotton swab or your car keys into your ear because earwax goes through its own process to remove itself. Unless you’re sticking your fingers, or other objects, into your ears, it shouldn’t be a problem. If you do have wax build-up, you can see a doctor to have it removed, or pour a teaspoon of olive oil into your ear for a couple of nights to loosen it up, so it will come out on its own.
Control Your Allergies
Allergies don’t just contribute to a runny nose and itchy eyes. They, too, can cause hearing loss. Allergies can cause serous otitis media – conductive hearing loss – which can make hearing quite difficult. All the congestion you feel can also work to block your ears due to swelling.
Over-the-counter allergy medication, or prescription if severe, should be able to relieve your allergy symptoms and improve your hearing.
Mind the Noise
One major cause of hearing loss is noise. The problem with this type of hearing loss is that it seems unavoidable because noise is all around us. The key is to prepare yourself and minimize noise as much as possible.
It may be a good idea to keep disposable earplugs in your car or purse as a safety precaution. Furthermore, keep volumes down to a minimum, especially when using headphones or earbuds. Instead of using hand dryers in the bathroom – which can reach well over 100 decibels – use paper towel or toilet paper to dry your hands. Lastly, many appliances have a low setting, so you may want to consider that as well.
It may sound strange, but smoking has been linked to hearing loss. According to research from the University of Manchester in the UK, smokers are 28 percent more likely to develop hearing loss compared to non-smokers.
Hearing loss has been found to be directly related to the frequency of smoking and the number of years that someone has smoked. So, if you have been waiting for a good reason to stop smoking, this is it!
For those with hearing issues, getting plenty of exercise can help improve hearing. Exercise is widely known to have enormous health benefits, but many people tend to overlook its impact on hearing.
Exercising can improve the blood flow to the ears, helping to maintain the health of the inner ear hair cells, which, once damaged, can’t be regenerated.
Wear Your Hearing Aids
Many people who have been diagnosed with hearing loss don’t tend to wear their hearing aids as directed. Amplification can provide the boost that the ears need to send sound waves to the auditory region of the brain, where it is then processed as a recognizable sound. Wearing hearing aids can make life a lot easier, so it is essential to follow guidelines from a doctor.
More people than ever before are starting to turn to meditation to improve their hearing. Relaxing and taking deep breaths can help to increase blood flow to the brain, which can help with focusing on sounds that may otherwise not be noticed. Studies show this mental exercise can be helpful for those looking to better engage with their hearing.
Improve Your Diet
Certain foods can help improve overall health and support hearing function. Nuts and seeds, cold water, fish, and whole grains are all foods that have been shown to have the best vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for hearing health.
Fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants can also help neutralize oxygen radicals that can build up throughout the body and cause damage to the ears.
Generally, to treat or cure the loss of hearing, surgery or devices such as hearing aids are needed – both are very costly options. Instead of dishing out the cash to fix what is gone, start working today to keep what you have and continue to enjoy healthy hearing.