Are you finding it a little more difficult to hear things in certain situations? Have you been turning up the volume a little louder on the TV as of late? Do you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves? Or maybe you have noticed a close friend or family member is asking you to repeat yourself…
If you sense your or your loved one’s hearing could be getting worse, there are several things you can try to help you hear better. Hearing loss can cut you off from society and can be a scary condition to face, but it’s certainly not a life sentence. If you’re looking for ways to enhance your hearing, then this guide can help. Read on for some different ways you can try to help with your hearing problems now.
1. Consult With a Professional
If you are concerned about your hearing, it is always a good idea to speak with someone with expertise in the field as soon as you suspect an issue. This could be your family doctor, or they could refer you to someone more specialized like an otolaryngologist (also known as ENTs) or audiologist. Talking with a specialist will give you better clarity on where you stand and what your options are for hearing solutions.
The difference between an ENT and an audiologist is that ENTs focus on diagnosing and treating diseases of the ears, nose, throat, and mouth, while an audiologist specializes specifically in diagnosing and treating the ear. ENTs, trained in medicine and surgery, normally treat hearing loss that requires surgical or pharmaceutical treatment, like a cochlear implant. After completing a course of treatment, ENTs often refer patients to an audiologist to seek counseling to help rebuild communication and language recognition skills or aid in prescribing an accurate and fitted hearing aid.
2. Get Active
Exercise and hearing may seem like two things that are completely unrelated, but, in fact, this isn’t the case. Staying active is essential not only for improving your ear health, but also to achieve the best health for your mind and body. Remaining active each day improves your well-being in all sorts of ways. While it’s not necessary to run marathons, most people should incorporate some type of exercise that they can do for 30 minutes a day. Something like walking, jogging, swimming, or biking could be excellent exercises. These activities are all capable of pumping your blood and improving circulation. The idea is to stick with it and make exercise a part of your daily routine.
Exercising is excellent for the blood circulation to your inner ears. The parts in your inner ear that let you hear sounds, such as the cochlea, benefit tremendously from the increased blood flow. The cochlea is an essential component of your auditory system since it’s used to convert sound vibrations into nerve impulses.
3. Use Auditory Training
Researchers have spent time looking for ways to enhance our brain hearing skills. The method is known as auditory training. While the results may be too early to tell for some professionals to suggest it, most of the time, it does have its place in helping many people train their ears. With the help of technology, more options are developing for people to exercise their brains in hopes of improving their hearing ability.
A person’s brain relies on an established pathway to the auditory cortex. When hearing starts to become damaged, the brain may have to find a new route to fill in the gaps of missing information and connections in the brain. After a while, the brain’s hearing becomes altered permanently. That may lead to cognitive functioning and energy being pulled away from other activities to offset the difficulty in hearing.
According to Dr. David DeKriek, “Some listening skills often become very difficult with hearing loss and are hard to re-establish. Picking specific conversations out of a noise-filled room is especially tricky. A sonic palette of other voices makes it hard to distinguish one person’s speech from another’s and can make spatially locating sound very confusing”.
Furthermore, he claims that some recent research has been published that shows a notable effect on these types of hearing skills. The research was conducted by a team from Harvard claiming they noticed a dramatic improvement to the hearing capability by using sound-focused brain training games.
“Designed to help users with hearing loss develop their spatial sense of sound, the game in the study required players to complete a puzzle by properly locating sound sources from a tablet screen. After just a short period of playing the puzzle game, the study found a 25% increase in their subject’s abilities to detect speech in noise. The success of the game to sharpen the listening skills of the users demonstrates the importance of practicing hearing in regaining important listening skills.”
4. Lower Volume Levels for Electronic Devices
According to the World Health Organization, the daily recommended safe volume level of any sound should be below 85 dB for a maximum duration of eight hours. This may seem counterintuitive for someone that is hard of hearing, but if you’re having trouble hearing, it can be beneficial to turn the volume down on your TV, headphones, and radio. This is because listening to excessively loud sounds can lead to further hearing damage and loss. In order to avoid damaging your hearing further, be sure to keep the volume at a sensible level and even avoid places where loud noises are expected. If you plan on going to a loud environment (stadium, music venue, bars), we recommend using some form of ear plugs to protect your ears.
5. Have Your Ears Cleaned to Enhance Hearing
Sometimes, being hard of hearing can be attributed to a build-up of wax in the ears. If you’re prone to wax build-ups, or you suspect that you may have “clogged” ears, it can be a good idea to go and see a professional for an ear cleaning. You would be surprised at how much a simple cleaning can improve your hearing.
Your doctor can use a multitude of different solutions to remove excess wax from your ears. They could use an instrument called a curet, a suction device, or even flush out the wax using a water pick or a rubber-bulb syringe filled with warm water.
If earwax buildup is a recurring issue, your doctor may recommend that you use a wax-removal medication, such as carbamide peroxide.
6. Use AudioCardio
Smartphones have managed to redefine how people interact in today’s world. These devices have provided people with all sorts of software solutions that have made their lives easier. Exercise apps are some of the more popular apps downloaded by countless people who wish to improve their well-being. They help people improve their bodies and keep track of their daily routines. Ear training exercises and sound therapies are just one of the many things created to help people improve themselves and their quality of life. These hearing training apps are used to exercise a person’s ears and hope to prevent hearing from gradually worsening.
AudioCardio is one of these hearing training apps that has managed to appear on the market with the intent of assisting people with their hearing. AudioCardio’s patented Threshold Sound Conditioning technology creates a personalized inaudible (to you) sound therapy that stimulates and strengthens the inner ear cells which are responsible for transmitting sound to the brain. The app is non-invasive and can be accessed and used anywhere, anytime through a smartphone or tablet.
Proprietary Threshold Sound Conditioning technology allows the user to personalize their inaudible sound therapy in just a few short steps. Once the user has created a personalized sound therapy, they can listen to it while they do other activities since it doesn’t require active engagement and is inaudible. Over time, the users should notice the progress they are acquiring from exercising their ears with AudioCardio. After a few weeks of using this app, the user should notice hearing the sound therapy that was once inaudible. This personalization of the sound therapy by retaking your hearing assessment and subsequent exercises should be repeated to continue making progress.
AudioCardio is a technology company focused on hearing health and wellness. Learn how AudioCardio can help maintain and strengthen your hearing with your favorite headphones or hearing aids at www.audiocardio.com.