Hearing loss can happen so gradually that most of us don’t notice we have a problem until we’re struggling to understand friends at restaurants. Or worse, we realize it because our spouses get angry that we’re constantly asking, “What? Pardon? Can you repeat that?”
If this sounds familiar, you could be suffering from a hearing problem – and you might benefit from the natural hearing remedies below. The best thing about these techniques is that they really do work. If you’re lucky, they will improve your hearing situation dramatically.
Even better, when you combine the following techniques with an affordable, high-quality hearing aid from MDHearing, you’ll be unstoppable! Let’s take a look:
1. Apps and Games That Literally Train Your Brain to Hear Better
Most hearing loss patients have physical problems with their ears that prevent them from detecting the sounds around them. However, your brain is just as important for voice comprehension as your ears. Your brain is what distinguishes between sounds and interprets their meanings.
While hearing loss in the ears is permanent, patients may be able to heal some of their loss of hearing comprehension by exercising the brain with a special smartphone app from Lace Listening. Here’s how the Lace Listening app works to improve your listening comprehension (paraphrased from their product video):
Hearing aids can restore audibility and maximize understanding in noise better than ever before. But there’s a missing piece to this puzzle – a second obstacle to communicating in noise: It’s the aging process.
As a part of normal, healthy aging, everyone is negatively affected in the areas of distractibility, processing speed, and working memory. This can drastically reduce their listening comprehension abilities, especially in noisy environments.
Ultimately, it’s our brain that keeps us hearing better in noise, even with the best hearing aids. So doing the right kind of brain-training exercises can lead to hearing better in noise.
According to Lace, their app “assists in developing listening and communication skills and strategies that will help compensate for those situations when hearing is inadequate.” They claim it will improve hearing comprehension in noisy environments by 30%, and if you have hearing aids, it will help you get the most out of them.
In addition to the LACE app, we recommend that you try some cognitive gaming apps – like those from HappyNeuron and Lumosity – to boost your overall brain capacity and listening comprehension. These apps are fun, healthy, and addictive!
2. Low-Tech Exercises That Improve Hearing Comprehension
Using a tech device is great, but hearing is all about socializing and connecting with the people around you. We recommend you work with a partner or friend to strengthen your ability to perceive and understand voices:
- Listen to someone reading aloud: Ask a friend to read to you. Repeat each line you hear, and have your friend point out the mistakes. As your comprehension improves, do the same exercise in a noisy environment like a restaurant to deepen your skills.
- Practice sound directionality exercises: Close your eyes and have your partner move to different areas of the room while they talk to you. Guess which direction they’re coming from and how far away they are. This will improve your ability to perceive sound directionality, which helps understanding in group conversations and being aware of your environment.
- Have more conversations in noisy environments: Turn on the radio or television and try to have a conversation with your partner. Do the same in a noisy restaurant or bar; don’t let your hearing issues turn you into a homebody who never goes out. Intentionally practicing your listening comprehension in areas with a lot of ambient noise will strengthen your abilities.
3. Hearing Concentration Exercises to Do When You’re Alone
Regardless of your age, some people are more “distractible” than others, but “getting distracted,” “losing focus,” and “spacing out,” can be a part of the aging process for some of us. Since a lack of focus will destroy your ability to understand a conversation – and worsen the hearing loss you already have – we recommend the following concentration-building techniques when you’re alone:
- Sound isolation techniques: Have you ever listened to a song and tried to focus on individual instruments, sounds, melodies, harmonies, and voices? Practicing this and other sound isolation techniques will train your brain to focus on the most important sounds during a conversation. Close your eyes. Listen to the ambient sounds around you. Focus on one sound – like a bird, the wind, traffic, children playing, an airplane, etc. – for as long as you can. This will strengthen your concentration abilities.
- Meditation techniques: Meditation is a powerful tool for building focus. Sit in a comfortable position and focus on the sound of your breath, and only the sound of your breath. It’s as simple as that. In the beginning, your mind will wander from the breath – just like it does in a conversation. That’s okay, just bring your focus back. In time, your concentration will be “strong like bull!”
4. Vitamins and Supplements to Improve Hearing
Practicing the above cognitive techniques will improve your listening comprehension skills – we can almost guarantee it. But what about vitamins? Scientific research shows that certain vitamins can help, prevent, or delay hearing loss:
- Fish oils: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that consuming two servings of fish per week can reduce the chances of age-related hearing loss by 42% in adults over 50. One of the best ways to get the same health benefits of eating fish is by taking fish oil supplements.
- Magnesium: This mineral has been scientifically shown to protect against noise-induced hearing loss.
- Folic Acid: A 2007 study found that consuming folic acid delayed age-related hearing loss in the lower frequency ranges.
As for vitamin C, E, B12, and beta carotene, the jury is still out. According to one scientific study, “Higher intake of vitamin C, E, B12, or beta carotene does not reduce the risk of hearing loss in adult males. Men 60 years of age and older may benefit from higher folate intake to reduce the risk of developing hearing loss.”
Remember to consult with your doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements to improve your hearing condition.
5. Get an Earwax Cleaning
Earwax is healthy and natural. It protects the sensitive parts of our ears from bacteria, dust, and other debris. However, if too much wax accumulates in the ear, it will cause mild conductive hearing loss. Therefore, anyone with hearing loss should visit a medical professional to see if they need an earwax cleaning.
Just don’t perform the earwax cleaning yourself! You could accidentally damage the most delicate parts of your ear. Only a trained medical practitioner can safely clean your ears.
6. Quit Smoking (and Tell Your Partner to Quit Smoking Too)
A JAMA study showed that smoking increases your chances of hearing loss by 1.69 times. According to the study, nicotine consumption also leads to tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and second-hand smoke from your partner can cause hearing loss in you, even if you’ve never smoked a cigarette in your life!
Here are the most important findings from the study:
After adjusting for other factors, current smokers were 1.69 times as likely to have a hearing loss as nonsmokers (95% confidence interval, 1.31-2.17). This relationship remained for those without a history of occupational noise exposure and in analyses excluding those with non–age-related hearing loss. There was weak evidence of a dose-response effect. Nonsmoking participants who lived with a smoker were more likely to have a hearing loss than those who were not exposed to a household member who smoked (odds ratio, 1.94; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-3.74).
Why does smoking cause hearing loss? Doctors believe that nicotine and carbon monoxide from smoking restricts blood flow to the ears, which causes the degradation of inner ear cells. They also suspect that smoking interrupts the neurotransmitters that deliver messages from the hearing nerve to the brain, and this can disrupt speech-language comprehension.
MDHearing: Improve Your Hearing With High-Quality, Affordable Hearing Aids
We hope that you can use these techniques to improve your hearing naturally and inexpensively. At the same time, it’s important to remember that the physical aspects of hearing damage are permanent. There’s only so much we can do to treat hearing loss without a hearing aid.
If you want hearing aids but can’t afford the prices, MDHearing is here for you. A pair of our high-quality, medical-grade, FDA-registered hearing aids only costs hundreds of dollars (versus thousands at a clinic). Best of all, each MDHearing product comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.
Interested in trying a set of hearing aids for yourself? Click below to learn more about our affordable, high-quality hearing aids.
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