July 1, 2019
Tags: age related hearing loss, background noise, brain exercises, concentration, distraction, focus, focused hearing, hearing damage, hearing evaluation, hearing exercises, hearing health, hearing loss, hearing screening, listening comprehension
If you have hearing loss, it’s a good idea to take positive steps to avoid further hearing damage. Here are five “workouts” to help strengthen your hearing skills.
Staying active all day long will help to keep blood circulating, which provides benefits to all areas of your body, including your ears.
Even light exercise is great, just as long as you do some of it every day. You can jog, cycle, or walk. Even stretching exercises like yoga and Pilates can qualify. And if you do a lot of gardening or housework—you know that can get your heart pumping as well!
Just remember, if you exercise to the tune of music, try to keep the volume low, especially when using ear buds. Noise-induced hearing loss is the most common type, and music is a repeat offender.
Did you know that deep breathing and stretching exercises like in yoga can also help improve hearing?
We hear all the time that yoga has a lot of health benefits, and it can strengthen hearing by increasing blood flow to your ears, among other areas. Deep breathing and stretching are a light exertion and count as exercise!
Where there is increased blood flow your body can also detoxify effectively, which can improve nerve function. All of these factors are positive and can help maintain healthy hearing.
Puzzles and Games
If I asked you which organ plays the biggest role in your hearing, you might say your ears, but you would be wrong! Your brain is the powerhouse when it comes to hearing and listening comprehension. Your ears are like sound funnels: they carry the sound in, but your brain translates and makes those sounds understandable to you. Therefore whatever you do to exercise your brain will positively impact your hearing skills too.
The brain needs exercise just as much as the rest of your body does! Games, riddles and puzzles like crossword puzzles, Sudoku and word searches are not only fun, they also serve as brain exercises which combats atrophy. Atrophy is known as demntia when it begins to not only affect your hearing but your mental capacity and reasoning abilities.
Pretty much any game counts here: social games like poker, bingo and hearts are a workout for your brain while being a fun activity with friends.
You can find hearing exercises online or from your audiologist as well. These exercises are meant to improve your hearing capabilities and give you good practice at distinguishing sounds.
Here’s an exercise to try that can help you focus and train your hearing in an environment with a lot of distracting background noise:
Turn your TV or radio on so you can hear it clearly. Next turn on music or another competing noise. Have someone else walk around the room you are in, reading sentences from newspaper or a book. With your eyes closed, repeat the sentences back, and picture where they are in the room. This exercise in concentration can help you a lot with focus in an environment with a lot of background noise.
Here’s one more exercise that you can do when you are alone almost anywhere. If you are at a park or a restaurant or anywhere else, close your eyes and open your ears. Pick out the noises around you. Recognize the sound and pinpoint its location. This exercise will help you to interpret sounds and focus in environments where there is a lot of background noise.
Your physician or audiologist will be happy to do annual hearing evaluations with you to detect changes in hearing ability much more quickly than you could notice it yourself. The earlier hearing loss is detected the better. Devices and exercises can work to stop the progression of hearing damage so it doesn’t worsen.
Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening. We can discuss hearing aid options with you and work with you to find one that fits your budget.