We as humans are so blessed to have bodies which perform so many functions without us having to think about them. An example would be breathing. Most of us don't have to tell our body inhale and exhale -it is an automatic function. Hearing and speaking are an important part of the whole-body health. This is a truth that has been proven by years of studies demonstrating the connections of the heart, mind and lifestyles.
Recent studies suggest mediation is not only good for your overall well-being, but it can improve your hearing abilities. It is true there are genetic and environmental factors (such as excessive loud noises) associated with the cause of hearing loss, however most of us have far more ability to prevent hearing loss, or improve it, than we realize. The use of hearing protection when exposed to loud sounds is the first thought. Turning down the volume is the second. Have you thought or inquired from you physician or pharmacist which medication maybe ototoxic and if it changes to those for others may be used? How about getting plenty of exercise?
Exercise improves blood flow. Research has shown at least two hours per week of waling decreased the risk of hearing loss. Exercise also helps the balance system and the cognitive functioning, such as memory, executive functioning skills and motor planning skills. Avoid smoking. Yes, you have heard this related to your lungs about a thousand times. But, your ears? Absolutely. It decreases oxygen to the blood thus increasing the likelihood of a hearing loss.
Meditation and positive thinking also are associated with better hearing. The 2016 Hearing Review found that, "those who meditated have an increased thickness of gray matter in the parts of the brain responsible for attention compared to those who do not meditate." The review suggests that by taking time to calm your mind and focus, your overall health, including your hearing skills, improves. That is pretty impressive. Mediation also improves the blood flow to the ears and increases the oxygen level in the body. The chattering voice that does not seem to quiet can be difficult to not focus on at first but with time, it fades into the background.
Thanks for paying attention. Happy health, hearing and mediating!
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Patricia Larson Shields, AuD FAAA MA CCC-SP/L is a doctor of audiology with her degree from The School of Audiology of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in February, 2003. She has been in business in Mitchell, SD since September, 1991.