Can Exercising Improve Your Hearing?
According to data from the World Health Organization, hearing loss affects about 5% of the global population – hundreds of millions of people. Medical interventions to improve hearing through surgery or other means are often expensive and come with their own risks. In some regions of the world, more advanced hearing treatments are not even an option.
Naturally, many individuals experiencing hearing loss turn to more affordable, accessible treatment possibilities, including exercise. But does exercise really work to boost hearing? The short answer is: yes. Exercising regularly can absolutely improve your hearing. Read on to discover more about how exercises optimize hearing.
Exercise Improves Blood Flow to the Brain and Ears
At the most basic level, exercise may improve hearing by increasing the volume of oxygen-rich blood flowing into and out of the brain. For example, there is evidence that impaired blood flow to the cochlea (in the inner ear) might contribute to hearing loss in some cases.
Most people do not appreciate the critical importance of maintaining optimal blood flow throughout the body, to all organs and tissues, as part of an anti-aging protocol. Tissues, including the brain, processes hearing in the temporal lobe's primary auditory cortex through the parietal and frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex.
Indeed, not all hearing loss is related to issues with blood flow, but ensuring you are pumping plenty of oxygenated blood through your body only has upsides for your hearing health as well as your overall health.
Exercise Improves Age-Related Hearing Loss
Age-related hearing loss, or AHL, is one of the most common features of the "normal" aging process. However, the evidence from clinical research shows that "long-term exercise delays the progression of AHL by reducing the age-related loss of striatal capillaries associated with inflammation."
Exercise, Hearing, and Inflammation
Chronic inflammation causes many severe and debilitating diseases, ranging from cancer to heart disease. The hearing function is no exception. Researchers in one study from Korea, for example, identified a 40% increase in hearing loss risk in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory autoimmune disease that attacks the joints.
Therefore, minimizing systemic inflammation is a must – not just for hearing loss but for good overall health. Reduce inflammation by including more whole foods in your diet, by limiting stress through meditation or other relaxation techniques, and, of course, by getting a hearty dose of moderate or high-intensity exercise daily.
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If you would like to know more about how exercising regularly can improve hearing, or for more general information on hearing loss and its treatments, please get in touch today for further assistance. We are always ready to help with patients' questions or concerns.