Posted: 5 November 2018
15% of American adults have difficulty hearing. And by the year 2050, there could be as many as 90 million people who struggle with hearing loss.
Not being able to hear can be scary and challenging, especially after many years with no problems. Where do you turn? Is there anything you can do to help you hear better?
Thankfully, there are many simple ”hacks” you can implement in your life to help you hear clearly and regain that part of your life.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
To understand what causes hearing loss, it’s important to understand how you hear.
There are three parts of the ear: the outer ear, inner ear, and middle ear. When sound waves enter your outer ear, vibrations are made on the eardrum and travel through to the middle ear where they’re magnified and sent to the inner ear. From there, nerves send the messages to your brain to inform you of the sound.
Hearing loss can have many factors, the most common one being aging. Loud noises, inner ear damage, a ruptured eardrum, genetics, certain illnesses, and even too much earwax also contribute to difficulty hearing.
Some children are born with hearing loss while others experience it later in life.
Symptoms of Hearing Difficulty
There are a few symptoms of loss of hearing to be aware of:
- Muffled sounds
- Asking others to speak up
- Unable to hear certain noises, especially in a crowd
- Not wanting to participate in social activities due to an inability to hear
If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor and work out a plan to hear better. This site can tell you more about your options.
Besides a visit to your physician, there are other ways to improve your hearing. Here’s a few to get you started.
Be Honest About Your Hearing Difficulty
Being upfront about your hearing difficulty when speaking with strangers helps both of you be a better conversationalist. When you tell the person you’re interacting with, you can both make changes to have a great, stimulating conversation.
Simply ask them to speak slowly and to have patience. Doing so ahead of time will drastically reduce the number of times you may ask them to speak up.
Different Ear, Different Sounds
Your left and right ear each have different jobs. Your left ear works better for listening to music, and your right ear is better at picking up speech.
So, when you’re listening to music, lean in with your left ear. This stimulates the right side of the brain which processes creativity. And when you’re listening to speech with your right ear, it stimulates the left side of your brain which processes logic.
Keep Your Ears Clean
Since excessive earwax buildup with a common contributor to hearing loss, keeping your ears clean and free of wax and other buildup is essential.
Make it a habit to clean your ears using a q-tip, or bulb syringe. Use proper technique so you don’t cause any ear damage.
Ear Exercises…It’s A Thing
You exercise hard to keep your body in shape, but the same is true with your ears!
Try sitting, closing your eyes, and focusing on the sounds around you. What do you hear? How well can you hear it? Try listening to different sounds and identifying them.
Turn on some music in addition to some background noise, and listen to the noises through the music, or have a friend speak to you while the music is on to practice listening.
Play strategy and other types of mental-strengthening games. These games help your focus, and in turn, boost your hearing.
Have A Face-to-Face Conversation
A face-to-face conversation with good lighting goes a long way to keep a conversation smooth.
A visual view of the person’s face can help your brain focus and understand what the person is saying. This is where lip reading can come in handy. Sitting at the same level helps as well as…
Sit Against A Wall
When you’re positioned against a wall, it blocks out several sounds from behind you, helping you to focus on what’s in front of you.
Sound waves will also bounce off the wall and back to you, thus amplifying the sound.
If you’re going out to a restaurant, asked to be seated at a booth, as this works similarly to sitting against a wall.
Deck Out Your Phone With Hearing Helps
If you’re having trouble hearing, there’s an app for that!
There are apps available that allow you to pump up the volume on your phone.
If you’re curious about the strength of your hearing, there are apps that check your hearing for you, so you can asses whether or not you need a doctor’s visit. The internet also has sites which cater to this.
Using video call apps like Skype or Facetime can help improve your hearing because they enable face-to-face conversations as mentioned above.
When you’re on your phone, the sounds from the other end can be muffled. Using headphones can put the sound directly in your ear and block out other surrounding noises. You can use them while talking on the phone, checking voicemails, or listening to music.
Or, try using your speaker phone option so you can hear with both ears.
Monitor Your Environment
When you’re in a bustling atmosphere like a party with loud music or tons of people, it can be difficult to strike up a conversation with someone. The best course is to make sure your environment is ideal for listening, instead of talking over the abundant noise.
Find a quiet (or semi-quiet!) place where you can focus on the person you’re speaking with. Try not to start a conversation with someone where it’s overly noisy, as this can lead to frustration.
Ready to Hear Better?
Hearing affects every person you interact with, as well as your daily life, so it’s important to try and stay on top of it if you’re struggling. Using these hacks can be a great start to hear better.
Looking for more easy ways to stay healthy and fit? Visit our page to learn more!