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 injury, continuous exposure to loud noises, and aging. But just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to accept the inevitability of hearing loss.
Try some of these tips if you’re looking for quick ways to start hearing better right now.
12 Tips to Improve Hearing Health Naturally
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 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-canceling earphones, you could be cranking up the volume to compensate, but you should never listen to music through earphones at 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 or 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 the 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 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 quickly. If the wax is a real problem for you, speak to your doctor about wax removal and prevention methods.
You May Have an Infection
Sometimes, ear infections can temporarily impair hearing. 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.
It may seem strange, but there is a link between smoking and hearing loss. In fact, there is mounting evidence to show this correlation. Blood flow and oxygen help maintain healthy cells in the inner ear, so hearing may be impaired when there are prolonged exposures to nicotine and carbon monoxide. So, if you want to improve the quality of hearing and life, stop smoking.
Schedule A Hearing Test with An Audiologist
With a few simple lifestyle changes, hearing loss can be prevented from getting worse. Early detection is the key, so it is essential to schedule a hearing test with an audiologist at the first sign of problems. An audiologist will be able to monitor your hearing and suggest the best prevention methods for you.
Take a Walk
Taking a walk can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for overall health, including your hearing. Health care professionals believe that exercise can increase blood flow to the ear, which is essential to the health of the tiny hair cells in the inner ear. These tiny hairs are responsible for translating the sound that ears collect into electrical impulses for the brain to translate.
Improve Your Diet
Improving your diet may help to improve your hearing. Many experts believe that there are some specific foods that can help to promote ear function. These foods include nuts and seeds, cold-water fish, and whole grains.
There are also many fruits and vegetables that contain many beneficial vitamins and nutrients that are great for hearing health. Those that are rich in antioxidants, such as blueberries, are especially helpful for hearing.
Yoga is known to help with various conditions, and hearing loss is one of them. Many people who suffer from impaired hearing say a yoga workout can sometimes help. Stretching in poses such as downward dog help to get oxygen-rich blood to the head quicker, which may assist with hearing.
Being physically healthy can benefit the entire body, including the ears. The best way to stay in shape is with regular exercise. Simply going for a walk or gardening can get the blood flowing and the heart circulating better, which will get oxygen-rich blood circulating and help with hearing loss.
Meditation is a great way to improve hearing health. Many people have success with daily practice. This is because relaxing and taking deep breaths can increase blood flow to the brain, which can help those with hearing loss become better attuned to sounds that may have otherwise been ignored. Mediation can be a great way to better engage with hearing.
These are some natural ways to help improve hearing, but of course, if hearing loss is severe, you can resort to medical treatments, including earplugs, hearing aids, or cochlear implants. Talk with your doctor about the options available to you.