The ability to hear has a lot to do with inner ear circulation. Blood circulation supports bodily functions and supplies organs and body parts with essential nutrients to function correctly. 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 essential 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 bread, 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.
Yoga is a great exercise to help improve blood circulation in the whole body – including the ears. There are even some poses that target the ears and can help to protect and improve hearing.
Much like other kinds of exercise, the ebb and flow of yoga help improve the blood circulation in the ears. Various poses and positions are even dedicated to protecting and improving hearing. Some of the best poses for hearing include the lotus, tree, triangle, and camel. Researchers have also found that with continuous yoga practice, stress and the symptoms of tinnitus can be reduced.
As a holistic approach to healing, meditation has been around for thousands of years. For hearing, meditation can help quiet the mind and help to regulate blood pressure and flow. Mediation can also help with stress which has been found to affect neurotransmitters that can also affect hearing.
7. Limit Alcohol
Research has shown that alcohol can interfere with the brain’s ability to interpret sound. This has been found to be especially true for low-frequency founds. Alcohol can also create a toxic environment in the inner ear and damage the stereocilia (cells that are required for hearing).
8. Quit Vaping
More and more studies are showing how vaping can affect overall health. Originally marketed as a safe alternative to cigarettes, vaping is becoming to be known to be even more dangerous. Many health impacts are still unknown, but one ingredient in vapes, propylene glycol, has been linked to sudden hearing loss.
9. Playing Games
Playing games can help keep the brain healthy and help to reduce the risk of hearing loss. Research has found that games that test audio skills have been found to improve hearing. This has been tested in seniors, and the outcome showed that those who play games are much more able to follow conversations and improve their hearing capabilities.
10. Manage Heart Conditions
It may be something that many people don’t connect, but hearing can be affected by heart disease. This condition affects the body’s ability to pump blood, including through the hair cells. If deprived for a long period of time, the cells can die and result in hearing loss.
Tips to Improve Hearing
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-canceling 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 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 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 essential 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 the necessary steps to protect their fading hearing.
Be mindful of others with hearing loss
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 timely treatment in order to improve your condition.