Hearing loss can occur at any age and for a variety of reasons. Luckily, there are ways that you can improve your own hearing or protect yourself from damage. Here are 5 simple tips that you can incorporate into your everyday life to help maintain the health of your hearing for years to come!
1. Try sound location exercises to sharpen your hearing. You might be able to maintain or improve your hearing with practice. Here are two exercises to try:
- Have someone hide an item that makes a repetitive sound, like an alarm. Then make the environment noisy, like by turning on the TV. Try to lock on to the sound and follow it to find the object.
- For a similar hearing exercise, try listening to someone read out loud in a noisy environment. Block out the distracting noise and try to focus solely on the reading.
Doing these kinds of exercises repeatedly can improve your ability to focus on specific sounds.
2. Follow a healthy diet to support your ear health. Like any other body part, your ears need proper nutrition to work properly. In particular, getting enough zinc, potassium, folic acid, magnesium, vitamin D, and omega-3s help reduce inflammation in your ear canal and prevent damage to your hearing. You can get all of these nutrients from a healthy, balanced diet.
- Some of the healthiest foods to eat are leafy green vegetables, bananas, nuts and seeds, fish, poultry, and low-fat dairy products.
- You can also take dietary supplements if you aren’t getting enough nutrients from your daily diet. Talk to your doctor before you start using any supplements to make sure they’re right for you.
3. Exercise regularly to maintain your hearing. Studies show a connection between aerobic exercise and hearing health. As long as your ears haven’t been damaged, then regular exercise can help sharpen your hearing and maintain it into old age.
- Aerobic activities like running, biking, swimming, or brisk walking are ideal for getting your heart rate up. For the best results, get 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3-5 days per week.
- Resistance exercises like weight training are also good for your health, however they aren’t as closely connected with improved hearing as aerobic exercises. But still good to do to build overall strength and stability.
4. Wear ear protection whenever you’re around loud noises. You can’t always avoid loud noises, especially if it’s part of your job. In these cases, always wear ear protection to prevent damage.
- Earplugs are convenient and will work in most situations. Keep earplugs with you for unexpected loud situations. This way, you’ll always be ready to protect your ears.
- Use protective earmuffs for very loud noises to block even more sound. This is especially important if you’re using power tools or work around heavy equipment. Over long periods of time, these devices can cause major damage.