6 Strange tips to help your hearing

Reader's Digest Editors

Struggling with hearing problems? These six surprising tips could just be the answer. 

1. Get plenty of exercise

two older people running together to help their hearing

Now, this is something we suspect even your doctor doesn’t know—the more physically active you are, the better your hearing is likely to be.

This is because aerobic activities, such as cycling and walking, bring more oxygen into your lungs, which increases blood flow throughout your entire body, including your ears. And that, according to several studies, appears to improve your hearing.

 

2. Eat avocado

a fresh bowl of sliced avocado to aid hearing

The creamy flesh of this tropical fruit is rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps to protect you from noise-related hearing loss. Just make sure the fruit is uniformly dark when you buy it and yields slightly—but not too much—when you press on it.

You can store a ripe avocado in the fridge for two or three days.

 

3. Have a glass or two of wine

a woman enjoys a glass if wine and a book

When was the last time your doctor told you to drink? Probably never, even though it is well known that a little wine is good for your heart. But did you know that it can also help to keep your ears healthy?

Just one small glass of wine or beer a day could protect you against age-related hearing loss. But don’t drink more than that; four or more servings of alcohol may adversely affect your hearing loss—and possibly your general health.

 

4. Take care of your teeth

a couple brushing their teeth to take care of their hearing

The more teeth you keep as you age, it seems, the better your hearing will remain, too. That’s what researchers found when they compared dental health and hearing loss in more than 1000 people.

Apparently, every tooth lost more than doubles the risk of hearing loss. Scientists aren’t sure why, but suspect it has something to do with the changes in the position of the jaw or maybe lack of muscle activity that affects the auditory tube.

 

5. Sort out your partner's snoring

a woman suffering with her partner's snoring

While you may know about the harmful effects of noise, such as loud rock music, or that from road drills or electric sanders, you may never have heard about the potentially dangerous effects that snoring can have on your hearing.

Research has revealed that the sound produced by snoring can be louder decibel-wise than that of average levels of city traffic. Over time, repeated exposure to any loud noise will damage your ears.

After proving to your partner that he or she does indeed snore—a tape recorder may help—suggest a visit to your doctor. You will be helping your partner as well as yourself as snoring can be a sign of sleep apnoea, a breathing disorder that can lead to heart disease.

 

6. Take ginkgo biloba

ginkgo biloba supplement tablets for hearing issues

Not all doctors would recommend herbal supplements as part of a healthy life, but research suggests pretty conclusively that some herbal remedies work very well.

For instance, ginkgo biloba is a traditional treatment for hearing problems, and several European studies have shown that the herb can, indeed, radically improve hearing and even help to restore it.

One compared ginkgo biloba to the drug pentoxifylline, which is used to increase blood flow in cases of sudden (not chronic) hearing loss. It was found that ginkgo biloba worked better than the drug. Try taking between 12 and 120 mg, twice a day, depending on the severity of your problem.

 

EXTRA TIP: If your ears are blocked with wax, but you’re certain you have no other problems, such as an infection, you may not need to visit your doctor. You can clean out the wax yourself. Go to a pharmacy and buy a small bottle of 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide and a medicine dropper. Mix no more than 1 teaspoon peroxide with 21⁄2 tablespoons warm water and suck up some of this mixture into the dropper. Tilt your head sideways and release the solution, drop by drop, into the opening of your blocked ear—never stick the end of the dropper into your ear. You’ll feel and hear bubbling, but don’t worry. Those bubbles help to loosen the earwax as the warm liquid softens it. In a few seconds, the bubbling will stop, then turn your head the other way to drain out the liquid along with the troublesome wax.

 

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