As the new year approaches, many of us will start paying more attention to our health. You might already be thinking about ways to boost your overall health and wellness this year. Maybe you’re even trying to focus on specific areas, like improving your skin, your vision, or your hair naturally.
But, far too many people seem to ignore the health of their ears when they’re thinking about self-care. Your hearing health is vitally important, and so many take it for granted. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 5% of the world’s population struggles with some kind of hearing loss.
While some hearing issues can’t be prevented due to genetics, many of them can. There are things you can do to naturally improve your hearing health and protect your ears. Many of those things can actually improve your health in other ways, too!
With that in mind, let’s take a look at four natural ways you can improve your hearing health and make it a priority in the new year.
1. Get Moving
You probably already know how beneficial exercise can be in your everyday life. Whether you want to lose weight, boost your heart health, or build muscle, getting some exercise each day can improve your overall health from the inside out.
But, did you know it can also improve your hearing health?
Yes, you can “exercise” your ears along with the rest of your body. First, exercise helps your brain’s hearing comprehension. The more you move, the more the blood flow in your body is increased, including the nerves that impact your hearing. The stronger they are, the healthier your hearing can be.
Additionally, you can “train” your ears while you’re working out. If you go for a run outside, try to focus on as many sounds as possible in nature and identify them as you move. If you want to work out at a gym or indoors, listen to an audiobook or your favorite music (softly) and really practice active listening, rather than just allowing it to be background noise. Hearing loss and speech are often connected, so listening to things with words can help you to make sure your own speech isn’t being affected.
2. Get the Right Nutrients
Whenever possible, most of the nutrients your body needs should come from the foods you eat. Your diet has a big impact on your overall health. But, if you feel like you can’t get the nutrients you need from diet alone, consider taking supplements. Different vitamins will help with different things, but the best ones for hearing health include:
- Folic acid
- B vitamins
You can easily find a multivitamin with these nutrients, or eat more foods that contain them in order to reap the full benefits.
3. Quit Smoking
There are dozens of reasons not to smoke, or to quit as soon as possible if you’re already a smoker. Smoking can lead to a variety of different illnesses and can pull down your overall quality of life.
It can also affect your hearing in a negative way. Remember that blood flow we talked about earlier that can come with exercising? Smoking drastically reduces that healthy blood flow. It can block it with carbon monoxide and nicotine.
Additionally, smoking can affect your middle ear by irritating the lining. That can cause tinnitus or a ringing in the ear, and it may eventually lead to hearing loss. So, if you needed another reason to quit smoking, consider your hearing health and put down the cigarette.
4. Get Your Hearing Tested
One of the best things you can do to check the health of your hearing is to get it tested at least once a year. Chances are, you see a general physician, an eye doctor, and a dentist annually. So, why not an ear doctor, as well?
In most cases, hearing loss can’t be reversed. But, getting tested will not only tell you how healthy your ears are but what you can do to prevent more hearing loss from occurring. Ear doctors can give you all of the necessary information for healthy ears and better hearing, and give you the resources needed to take care of your hearing and protect your ears every day.
If you haven’t given much thought to your ear health, now is the time. Hearing loss is a serious problem and it can impact the way you live your life. By taking the initiative to take care of your hearing health now, you may be less likely to experience hearing loss as you get older.
What other ways are there to naturally improve your health? Let me know in the comments below!