Hearing depends on the functioning of the inner ear, also called a hearing apparatus. You can’t restore hearing loss completely, but you can strengthen your auditory pathways and improve your hearing.
Improving hearing loss is as important as treating hearing problems. Successful treatment depends upon the improvement. Thus its necessary to check if there is a hearing improvement or not. Though a person is suffering from hearing problems like hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo, etc, he can still increase his hearing capacity.
If you want to make your hearing better, the following methods can help you :
- Physical exercises and meditations
- Exercises and aerobics related to hearing
- Brain games and exercises
- Ear exercises and yoga
- Training Programs
- Apps and games
- Diagnosis and treatment methods
- Acupuncture therapy
- Proper Intake of Nutritious Diet and supplements
Activities to Improve Your Hearing
Hearing care is a very wide term and it includes a variety of activities in order to boost and improve your hearing. How do you maintain your posture and proper functioning of the body? Well, you do proper exercises and gym to improve your body. In similar ways, exercises and games will also enhance your hearing. Let’s study how these activities will help you.
Daily Exercises and Meditations
A study that followed 68 000 nurses around for about 20 years found that two hours of exercise a week is enough to lower the risk of hearing loss.
It improves the blood circulation to the inner ear, specifically cochlea. Daily exercises like jogging, running, swimming, jumping regulates the functioning of neurotransmitters and improve hearing naturally. Don’t use earphones during physical activities as it will harm your ears.
Meditation should be done in the park or public area where you are surrounded by different types of sounds. Take a deep breath to help blood circulations and increase the supply of oxygen in your body. You should focus on each and every sounds that surround you and try to locate the sources of sound.
Hearing Exercises and aerobics
If you will use these listening exercises and aerobics with high-quality hearing aids, it reduces the effect of hearing loss and strengthens the hearing capacity.
This activity will enhance the hearing skills and focusing power. Suppose you are sitting in the room and listening to the music. And you told your friend to talk to you and you have to carefully listen to him.
Sound location exercises
You have to sit in a place where you are surrounded by different types of sounds. And then you have to categorize the different sounds and locate the sources of sounds they are coming from.
You can do this exercise in various ways. Just ask your friend to say 3,4 or 5 numbers to you and you have to repeat them. You can also tell your friend to comprehend some sentence and you have to say first and last word. Increase your difficulty level according to your practice.
It improves the ability to make sense of speech. Music can be a source to focus hearing in the background music. Turn on the radio or CD player and have a friend talk to you from a reasonable distance, at a normal volume. Sites like thetamusic.com offer a great range of music training games.
You can measure your ear fitness by Speech Perception Test.
There is a difference between hearing exercises and ear exercises. Some of the following exercises you can do to make your hearing healthy.
Head Rotation exercise
It is helpful if the person is suffering from Vertigo. It is also called as habituation exercise. Shake the head from one side to another for 25 times or nodding the head from front to back. Swinging the head side to side is also a recommendation. It should be done once every day.
Unrolling ears should be done from the top down to bottom and it should be repeated 3 times in a day. It increases the blood flow to the outer region and increases your hearing capacity.
Sit in a silent environment and make your palms warm by rubbing them. Then place these palms on the cup of the ear for 30 seconds. Repeat this activity again. This will calm your mind as well as your ears.
Lobe Massage Exercise
Massaging earlobes with the thumb as well as the index finger can improve your hearing. It should be done by making circles on the earlobes. After a minute you can shift your fingers to the middle ear, then every part of the ear.
Ear Pressure Pose
Lie flat on the back on the ground and stretch the legs. The knees should be bent and the legs should be raised in a way that the thigh presses against the ears. The toes should be touching the ground from behind the head. This should be kept for 5-6 seconds while breathing normally.
Exercises of inner ear problems
Brandt Maneuver Exercise
- You lie down straight on a floor and stretch your body.
- Rotate your head so that the chin touches your shoulder
- Keep your vision on the object on your left
- While gazing, turn towards your right
- Sit upright again.
Epley Maneuver Exercise:
- Sit on the corner of a bed and tilt your head.
- Lie down with our back, touching bed and shoulders rested on a pillow
- Slowly turn your head in the opposite direction
- Quickly turn again in the reverse direction and hold for 30 minutes
- Repeat on the other side
Yoga and asanas
Yoga is the most recommended and natural methods to improve your hearing. As we know our hearing is linked with the various system of the body. They help to relieve you from various hearing disorders and thus improve your hearing. Thus the following yoga and aasans will be helpful for your ear-related problems :
- Tadasana – Tree Pose
- Trikonasana – Triangle pose
- Padmasana – Lotus Pose
- Dhanurasana – Bow Pose
- Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
- Sukhasana – Auspicious pose
- Jal Neti – Yogic cleansing
Well, it is not possible to perform all yogic exercises in a day. Thus from the above aasans, the following three are the best for your hearing improvement. As they are directly linked with hearing activities. You can do it on the daily basis.
It is also called as bee breath and it increases the hearing capacity. This exercise is specifically for the ear, nose, and throat. The exhaling of air during the exercise sounds similar to the humming of the Bee, this produces an echo in the ears and also resonates the skull and stimulates the hair cells which are instrumental in converting the sound signals into electrical impulses. This pranayama will strengthen then these cells and protects you from sensorineural hearing loss. It should be repeated 5-7 times. It will improve sinus problems, blocked ears, and simulation of the ears.
Matsyasana or Fish Pose
Age-related hearing loss leads to the reduction in the blood supply to the head and the parts of the ear, that result in compression in the vertebral artery. This fish pose will help to combat these problems. It can improve the blood supply by freeing or reducing the stiffness in the neck region will greatly improve hearing power.
- Lie on your back with your hands on your side.
- keep your hands palm down under your hip for support, Inhale deeply and slowly raise your head and chest.
- Maintain the same position and try lowering your head back to touch the ground.
- Lift your chest up with the weight on the elbows and breathe in and out.
- Relax as you exhale and stiffen when you inhale, do it as long as you are comfortable.
- To finish, bring the head up slowly and lower the chest, bring back your hands to your side as in the starting position.
It is highly recommended for tinnitus, vertigo and to increase hearing power. It should be done for 30-45 minutes every day.
- Sit crossed leg or in the Padmasana pose. Ensure that you are comfortable as you will be sitting for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Bend the middle finger, bring the thumb over the middle finger.
- Press the thumb gently till the middle finger touches the base of the thumb.
- The thumb should exert a slight pressure to keep the finger in place.
A healthy mind leads to a healthy ear. Thus if you want to improve your hearing you have to focus on brain cells.
Brain Games And brain activities
Reasoning, puzzles, mind games make you creative and sharpen your mind. Do they sharp your hearing? Let’s see.
Solve Crossword Puzzles
There is a linkage between the brain and hearing loss. Brain atrophy leads to the brain cells and connections to shrink and nerve damage. The brain also needs mindful workouts to work properly. As a result, the healthy brain will boost up healthy hearing.
You should include a variety of puzzles like Crossword puzzles, Sudoku and word searches in your daily or weekly activities. You can also play bingo and card games, such as hearts and poker to let your brain juices to flow properly and prevent brain atrophy.
Can apps and games led to hearing improvement? Lets find the answer.
Apps and Games to Improve Hearing
Yes, apps and games can make your hearing better. The following apps can boost your hearing capacities.
Apps for adults
CLIX App – People who are wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants often face difficulties in differentiating between consonants and vowels in the crowded area. Therefore, the CLIX App reduces this differentiation problem and you can practice these word drills in the crowded and noisy both areas. It has the following features :
- A placement test to establish recommended levels
- Scoring and progress charting
- Choice of practice session lengths
Apps for children
AB Listening Adventures – It is for the kids of age 4-10 years. It is used to guide the development of listening and language skills using six different story-based games which focus on listening for multiple elements, plurals, pronouns or minimal pairs.
VocAB scenes – Children suffering from hearing loss age 4-10 can enjoy learning vocabulary. This app features fun scenes, like outside water fun, beach play, pet store, swimming pool, camping and winter fun.
LACE Auditory Training programs – Each online training session lasts approximately 20 minutes. These training programmes have been designed to develop strategies for communication in hearing difficulties.
Forebrain – Users wear Forebrain’s unique bone-conduction headphone with a dynamic filter microphone while speaking out loud or to another person. The creators recommend using the program a few minutes each day for at least six weeks.
Natural methods can improve your hearing up to a desirable extent. But if you are suffering from severe hearing problems like hearing loss, tinnitus, severe infections or clogged ears, then technical and medical treatment will benefit you. Though ear disorder can be cured completely, these treatments will improve your hearing capacity.
Diagnosis and Treatment to improve hearing
Awareness towards your ears and hearing sensation is the first step to improve your hearing. If you are suffering from hearing ailments or problems, then you should immediately rush to your nearby hearing care specialists. Consultation with the audiologists will prevent the problems to become worse.
Hearing Tests for diagnosis
Audiologists will perform various tests like audiometry tests, hearing exam in order to know the underlying cause behind the problems. So you show not neglect these problems and go for a diagnosis of the hearing problem. After diagnosis, your treatment procedure will be decided by doctors. The hearing test will enhance the cause of ear problems and doctors will suggest treatment methods according to the exam. As a result of treatment or therapies, your hearing will be improved.
Tuning Fork Test
A tuning fork evaluation may also reveal whether hearing loss is caused by damage to the vibrating parts of your middle, damage to sensors or nerves of your inner ear, or damage to both. Used to differentiate between conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
It measures a person’s ability to hear different sounds, pitches, or frequencies. During these more-thorough tests conducted by an audiologist, you wear earphones and hear sounds directed to one ear at a time. The audiologist presents a range of sounds of various tones and asks you to indicate each time you hear the sound.
Treatment to improve hearing
Well, various medications and surgery can reduce your hearing loss and boost your hearing abilities. You can go through this link to know the role of surgery and medications in improving your hearing. Are there any medications or surgery to improve hearing?
How to improve hearing due to nerve damage?
Hearing Aids – Proper and specific hearing aids can work on the nerve damage and improve the listening ability up to the large extent.
Cochlear Implants – The cochlear implant surgery involves the BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aids) insertion and combats the effect of nerve damage. It is a most common treatment for advanced hearing loss.
Hearing Loss pill – The drugs and medicines like corticosteroids help to improve the hearing loss. The hearing capacity can be maintained by these pills by reducing the effect of hearing loss.
Frequency Modulation System – It contains a portable receiver and headset that intensifies sound. It is used for people who had hearing loss due to auditory nerve damage.
Acupuncture therapy to improve hearing
Research in International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine finds that Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of nerve-related deafness. Acupuncture therapy can significantly improve the hearing of patients with nerve deafness by improving the symptoms.
Acupuncture for tinnitus
The treatment involves 8-12 needles (size of a hair) placed on all of the required areas along with various Chinese herbs. Its initial benefit begins after 8 to 10 treatments, although some patients may require more sessions. In addition, Acupuncture combined with ginger moxibustion have an acceptable healing benefit on patients with tinnitus.
Acupuncture for Sudden hearing loss
The acupuncture programmed for 7 days, containing one course with an interval of 3 days between two courses can combat sudden hearing loss and later improve hearing.
Food forms the basis of a healthy life. It is also applied with healthy hearing. The treatment, exercises or therapy can improve your hearing if you are taking the proper amount of vitamins and minerals.
Intake of Nutritious food to improve hearing
- Zinc – It helps to treat sudden hearing loss. We should eat food with zinc like grass-fed beef, tahini, cashews, seafood, almonds, crimini mushrooms, spinach or cheddar cheese etc.
- Magnesium – It is helpful in treating sudden sensorineural hearing loss. This hearing loss is reduced by eating magnesium food like yogurt, banana, dark chocolate, fig, Avocado, pumpkin seeds, potatoes, spinach, lima beans, tomatoes, raisins, apricots, melons, oranges, and low-fat milk.
- Potassium – Milk, coconut, melons, orange, lima beans, tomatoes, potatoes or apricot etc can improve your hearing abilities.
- Omega 3s – It has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. Flaxseed oil, krill oil, salmon, soybean oil, sardines are the rich sources of Omega 3s.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid – It helps in generation of mitochondria in the hair cells of our inner ear. Maximum intake of broccoli, spinach, and sweet potatoes can increase your hearing capacity.
- Vitamins – Vitamin C protects noise-induced hearing loss. Vitamin A and E have protective abilities. Therefore you should take adequate fruits and vegetables. Vitamin A will increase the number of nerve cells in the ear, nose, eye, and tongue. The proper functioning of nerve cells will lead to an increase in hearing capacity. B-complex vitamin (vitamin B9) is very useful for age-related deafness.
- Folic Acid – Folates are helpful in tinnitus. Meats, dairy, eggs, kidney beans, black, eyed peas, black beans, navy beans, and chickpeas etc. Fortified breakfast cereal, liver, spinach, broccoli, and asparagus are the rich sources of folic acid are the sources of folic acids.
Read also: Food & nutrition that boost your hearing
Miscellaneous tips to improve hearing
Protect your ears from the exposure to loud noise, loud concerts and the noisy environment by ear protection devices like earplugs and earmuffs. You should also protect your ears from water, during playing sports, during traveling. Various protection devices are available for specific activities, you should use them as these external noises and objects damage the inner ear cells and your hearing is impaired. You may consider the following links:
Avoid insertion of foreign objects like a cotton swab, pointed objects into the ear. As they can damage your eardrum or inner hair cells and you may face hearing problems. In the case of the clogged ear, you can use natural and safe methods to unclog your ears to improve hearing.
You should be careful towards the hygiene and cleanliness of your auditory system. In case of ear wax blockage, you should prefer a natural and safe remedy to clean your ears. In extreme cases, you may visit an audiologist.
Avoiding drugs, smoking and alcohol will improve your hearing and boost your hearing capacity.
Manage stress, sleep, anxiety, and depression in order to improve your hearing.
Listening headphones in low volume will expand your hearing capacity and protect you from hearing related problems like hearing loss, tinnitus etc. You should consider different brands before buying headphones. Safe headphones and listening devices will remove unwanted noise and prevent it to enter in the ears.