It’s so nice to catch up with loved ones — if only you could catch everything they’re saying! Indeed, more than half of women over 50 have hearing issues and have to strain to keep up. Thankfully, these science-proven tricks can help
Cleanse with a little oil.
Removing built-up earwax makes voices clearer and hearing in noisy rooms easier for 65 percent of women studied, says otolaryngologist Ken Toba, MD. And it’s easy: Just fill an eye dropper with warm mineral or baby oil, lie on one side and place 5 drops in the exposed ear. Wait 3 minutes, then roll over to drain the oil and wax; repeat on the other side. University of Texas researchers say doing this for five days can keep wax in check and hearing sharp for two months.
Try ginkgo biloba.
If constant ringing or buzzing sounds (the problem known as tinnitus) make hearing difficult, taking 240 mg. of ginkgo daily could quiet that racket, suggests German research in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, helping you hear 40 percent more clearly. Explains Alex Boetticher, MD, ginkgo is rich in compounds (glycosides) that calm overactive ear nerves. Note: Check with a doctor before supplementing.
Lean in like this.
When you’re having trouble tracking what someone is saying, try leaning in from your right side, cupping your right ear. British researchers say this simple move can double your ability to keep up with a conversation, even in a busy room. That’s because sounds that go into your right ear are processed by the left side of your brain (the side that’s best at understanding language), plus a cupped hand catches incoming sound waves and funnels them straight into that ear!
Serve up root veggies.
Yummy, budget-friendly carrots, potatoes, beets, and other root veggies are good for your hearing! Indeed, you’re 47 percent less likely to have trouble hearing if you enjoy 2 cups daily. That’s the word from Australian scientists, who say root vegetables brim with nutrients (potassium, manganese, and vitamin C) that strengthen the tiny blood vessels that shuttle oxygen-rich blood to your inner ear.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.