There should be no shame in hearing loss. In fact, The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates “one in eight people in the United States (13percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears.”
If you, or even your family and friends, have begun to notice a decline in your ability to hear music, conversations, or a knock at the door, it may be time to consider taking control of your hearing health. When meeting with a Hear Michigan hearing care professional, our providers may recommend technological devices to help enhance your hearing. Additionally, they’ll recommend these common best hearing practices and natural methods for hearing care:
If you have experienced hearing loss, there are ways to fight back mentally.
Try to train your brain to pick up on surrounding sounds. The next time you’re in a quiet place, perhaps on a walk or while your day winds down, begin to take note of what you hear around you. Being mindful of what you hear can help you fine tune what hearing skills you may be missing.
Another version of retraining or ‘exercising’ your brain to process sound is to repeat back words you hear on television or in conversation. This exercise can help get you in the habit of processing sound faster than you’re currently able to.
Some audiologists generally recommend Vitamin B12, which helps your body produce myelin, a protective layer over your nerves. Without enough B12 in your system, studies show communication between your nerves may weaken, leading to tinnitus (a ringing in the ears). Foods rich in B12 include salmon, trout, tuna, eggs, and others. Consult with your primary care physician on the right foods for your nutritional needs.
Research shows that smoking tobacco products regularly can more than double your risk of hearing loss. In smokers, blood flow and oxygen throughout the body are impaired, and smoking can even irritate the lining of your middle ear, or eustachian tube.
Further, nicotine is being studied for its link to tinnitus, or a ringing in the ears.
Check for Earwax
Ear wax, while a normal production of the human body, can be dangerous if built up in your ear canal. The primary purpose of earwax is to protect the inside of your ear from foreign objects(similar to how eyelashes and nose hairs protect our eyes and nose). When secreted in excess, however, mild hearing loss and discomfort can take place.
If you’re concerned about an ear wax build up, consider scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician. Alpaca Audiologists do not recommend trying to remove ear wax blockages yourself, as damage to the ear can be easy to inflict and difficult to repair.
Get Your Hearing Checked
The most natural step you can take in improving your hearing health is getting tested by a professional. Since hearing can decline naturally over time with age and exposure to sound, it is essential to detect hearing loss early and consider putting professional preventative methods in place.
Hear Michigan’s professionals work with patients of all ages and backgrounds to provide thoughtful care to all. To get your hearing checked, schedule an appointment with a clinic near you today.