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Hearing management

Updated 05 October 2018

5 activities that can help you improve your hearing

Hearing loss can happen to anyone. These activities can help you improve your hearing and quality of life.

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Loss of hearing can have dramatic effects on the quality of your life.

If you think that you might be experiencing hearing loss, the first thing you need to do is to make an appointment with your doctor.

The doctor will be able to make an accurate diagnosis and inform you how severe your condition is. 

In the meantime, here are five activities that you can partake in to help improve your hearing:

Daily exercise

Whether it is running, jumping, skipping or swimming, daily movement and exercise improves blood circulation to the inner ear, more specifically to the cochlea. The cochlea is the part of your ear responsible for converting sound vibrations into nerve impulses. Healthy blood flow also prevents the loss of neurotransmitters, the messengers in your brain responsible for transporting these signals. A study that followed 68 000 nurses around for about 20 years found that two hours of exercise a week is enough to lower the risk of hearing loss.

Yoga

Much like other kinds of exercise, the ebb and flow of yoga helps improve the blood circulation in the ears. Various poses and positions are dedicated to protecting and improving hearing. These poses include the tree, lotus, triangle and camel poses. Yoga has also been known to ease the suffering of tinnitus patients. Researchers have found that with continuous yoga practice, stress and the symptoms of tinnitus can be reduced.

Playing games

Keeping your brain fit and healthy may reduce your risk of hearing loss. Playing games that test your audio skills, like those found online or on apps, have been found to improve hearing. Researchers tested a group of elderly people where half of the group were given memory stimulating games and the other half games focused on following streams of conversation. It was found that those who followed the conversations were able to improve their hearing capabilities.

Sound location

This activity is easy and you can do it just about anywhere. Whether you’re in line at the store or lying in bed, try to pick up the various sounds and buzzes around you. Try and distinguish what is making those sounds. See if you can filter out noises for a moment and then bring them back into focus. This audio activity can help you with conversations in noisy environments. It helps to filter out the background noise while you focus on the conversation.

Meditation

Meditation has been around for thousands of years and has been praised for having countless health benefits. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that improving your hearing is one of them. Sitting still and quieting your mind helps to regulate your blood pressure and flow. Mediation also helps reduce stress in your everyday life. Stress can wreak havoc on your system, and your neurotransmitters are often in the line of fire.

Image credit: iStock

 

Ask the Expert

Hearing Expert

Dr Kara Hoffman graduated from UCT in 2004, thereafter she completed her year of community service in Durban. In 2010 she completed her Masters Degree in Paediatric Aural Rehabilitation from UKZN. In 2016, she became a Doctor of Audiology through the University of Arizona (ATSU). Dr Hoffman and her partner Lauren Thompson opened a fully diagnostic audiology practice called Thompson & Hoffman Audiology Inc. In 2011 with world-class technology and equipment to be able to offer the broad public all hearing-related services including hearing testing for adults and babies, vestibular (balance) assessments and rehabilitation, industrial audiology, hearing devices, central auditory processing assessments for school-aged children, school screening, neonatal hearing screening programmes at Alberlito and Parklands Hospital, cochlear implants and other implantable devices, medicolegal assessments and advanced electroacoustic assessments of hearing. Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. are based at Alberlito Hospital in Ballito, St Augustines Hospital in Durban and at 345 Essenwood Road, Musgrave. The practices are all wheelchair friendly. There are three audiologists that practice from Thompson & Hoffman – including Dr Kara Hoffman, Lauren Thompson & Minette Lister. The practice boasts professional, highly qualified, and extensive diagnostic services where all your hearing healthcare needs can be met. The additional licensing in vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, paediatric rehabilitation and cochlear implantation places this practice in one of the top specialist audiological positions in South Africa, with a wealth of experience in all clinical areas of audiology and is a very well respected and sought-after practice.

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The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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