Have you ever been sitting across from someone and watched their lips move, only to realize you didn’t catch what they were saying? Having issues with your hearing affects so much more than simple anatomy.
If you’ve noticed that your ability to hear has been decreasing, you may be wondering just what you can do about it. In addition to heading to the audiologist to get your hearing tested, there are also a few ways that you can work to improve your hearing naturally.
Why Does Hearing Loss Happen?
Although we tend to think of hearing loss as being related to a physical issue, there are other reasons that it can happen as well. Specific social and psychological issues can also lead to a decrease in how well you can hear.
To understand how those factors impact hearing loss, you also need to understand the three main types.
Conductive hearing loss is caused by either damage or obstruction to either the middle or outer ear. These issues result in the inability to conduct sound from the external stimulus to the inner ear. However, this is a physical hearing loss, and the brain’s auditory nerve and inner ear remain intact and functional.
Conductive hearing loss can be either temporary or permanent, depending on the cause. Even relatively small things like ear wax impaction can trigger it.
Sensorineural hearing loss is the type of hearing loss that occurs the most often. This is a physical type of hearing loss triggered by damage to the brain’s auditory nerve or its cilia (the hairs inside the inner ear). Sensorineural hearing loss can happen from birth due to premature birth or lack of oxygen during delivery. It can also occur due to head trauma, exposure to loud noise, or certain tumors. In some cases, this type of hearing loss may also be genetic.
Sometimes hearing loss is considered mixed, which is a combination of conductive and sensorineural issues. For instance, you may have some genetic hearing loss, but an impaction of ear wax also compounds it.
How To Improve Hearing Naturally
An audiologist should evaluate any unexplained hearing loss. However, if you’ve just noticed some changes in how well you’re able to hear, there are ways to learn how to improve hearing naturally that don’t require a trip to the doctor.
Watch The Volume
The number one thing that most people do that damages their hearing and cause potential hearing loss is being around too much noise. This is often compounded because we often listen to music with earbuds and headphones, putting the music much closer to your ear.
While hearing loss can happen after a single episode of too high volume, it is usually the result of chronic exposure to high volumes delivered too close to your eardrum. For some, this may come from noises heard while on the job. For others, it may be related to too many loud concerts. Ear protection, in either case, is also highly crucial.
Eat A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is essential for every facet of health and wellness. This is true even when it comes to hearing.
A few vitamins and minerals may be beneficial — magnesium, folic acid, vitamin B, and zinc. They work as protectors (especially of the cilia), improve the body’s oxygenation, and promote better circulation throughout the body.
While there is nothing that you can do to improve your hearing with your diet, you can protect your hearing by providing it with all the micronutrients it needs. Plus, with a healthier body, you’ll feel much better overall as well.
Try Ear Training
When your hearing is decreased, your brain begins to compensate. While that may sound strange, it presents us with a unique opportunity to help retrain both the brain and the ear and improve your hearing.
One way to do this is through meditation. Meditation, and the mindfulness that comes with it, are excellent for your overall health. However, when you use it to refocus your brain and improve your hearing, it allows you to learn to filter out the extra noise and focus on what’s important.
Have Your Ears Flushed
If you have frequent hearing loss due to the compaction of ear wax, an excellent natural remedy is having your ears flushed. Although we are often taught as children that it is bad to get water in your ears, having them flushed out can help to dislodge the wax and return your hearing to its previous status.
There are also natural products that you can purchase over-the-counter. These products can often help break up the wax and make it easier to remove it. Just make sure not to attempt to flush your ears on your own, as you may accidentally push the wax even deeper into the ear canal.
Don’t Use Cotton Swabs
Although many of us grew up using those tiny cotton swabs to clean out our ears, there is increasing evidence that this might not be the best thing for our hearing.
One of the main concerns is that cotton swabs often push the earwax further back into the ear canal, furthering the obstruction and making it harder to remove. If you are too vigorous with your use of cotton swabs, you may even do damage to the eardrum itself (including a potential eardrum rupture). Use cotton swabs only to clean the outer parts of the ear and never into the ear canal.
Healthy Directions knows the importance of every one of your five senses. When there is a problem with even one of them, it can drastically impact your quality of life. We hope our guide to improving hearing naturally has helped you learn a little more about what your options are.
That way, you can work on getting back to understanding and enjoying every detail of your life the way you want to.