Hearing

4 Simple Tricks to Protect Your Hearing, Memory, Mood, and More

Sharp hearing isn’t just important for conversations — it also protects balance, health, memory, and mood. Trouble is, hearing loss often comes on so slowly, it can be hard to realize you’re even struggling with it! Here, easy ways to spot — and cure — your hearing hitch!

Always turn up the TV? Flush out your ears with this.

Do you keep your TV volume so high that you can’t hear family members calling from another room? The culprit may be fall hay fever, which causes inner-ear inflammation, leading to fluid buildup that impairs the hearing of folks with seasonal allergies.

Thankfully, studies show using a nasal irrigator to flush out symptom-triggering allergens works as effectively at reducing ear-clogging inflammation as prescription nasal steroids. You’ll hear better within 10 days!

Have ringing in your ears? Concentrate on your breathing.

Dialing down constant ringing in your ears — aka tinnitus — is as easy as focusing on your breath as you slowly inhale and exhale for 10 minutes a day, say U.K. researchers. Brain scans show this mindfulness technique creates beneficial changes in brain regions that impact tinnitus. The result: 51 percent less buzz in eight weeks.

Can’t follow along? Sing a song.

Straining to figure out what people are saying is exhausting. Luckily, just singing along to the radio or on Zoom choir practices can help. In a 10-week study from Canada’s Ryerson University, middle-aged women who sang two hours per week — just 17 minutes per day — found it 20 percent easier to understand people in conversation. Singing trains the brain to look for specific notes, sharpening the ability to hear sounds in speech.

Avoid noisy rooms? Focus on the lips.

According to a new University of Maryland study, noisy restaurants and other backgrounds cause our brain to process speech more slowly. You can speed it up by looking at a person’s mouth when they speak — and not for lip-reading! Seeing lips move engages both the audio and visual regions of the brain, so you can keep up with conversation effortlessly.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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