There are plenty of health reasons to remain in shape, but did you know weight loss supports improved hearing?

Studies have demonstrated that exercising and eating healthy can strengthen your hearing and that people who are overweight have a higher possibility of suffering from hearing loss. It will be easier to make healthy hearing decisions for you and your whole family if you understand these relationships.

Obesity And Adult Hearing

A Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study revealed women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at an increased danger of experiencing hearing loss. BMI calculates the relationship between body fat and height, with a higher number indicating higher body fat. The higher the BMI of the 68,000 women in the study, the higher their hearing impairment incidence. The heaviest individuals in the study had a 25% greater instance of hearing loss.

In this study, waist size also turned out to be a reliable indicator of hearing loss. Women with bigger waist sizes had a higher risk of hearing loss, and the risk got higher as waist sizes increased. Lastly, participants who engaged in frequent physical activity had a reduced incidence of hearing loss.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

Research conducted by Columbia University’s Medical Center revealed that obese teenagers had about twice the risk of experiencing hearing loss in one ear when compared to non-obese teenagers. These children experienced sensorineural hearing loss, which is a result of damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that carry sound. This damage makes it hard to hear what people are saying in a loud setting such as a classroom because it decreases the ability to hear lower frequencies.

Children usually don’t realize they have a hearing issue so when they have hearing loss it’s especially worrisome. There will be an increasing danger that the issue will get worse as they become an adult if it goes unaddressed.

What is The Connection?

Obesity is related to several health problems and researchers suspect that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health issues. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all tied to hearing loss and are often the result of obesity.

The inner ear’s anatomy is very sensitive – composed of a series of little capillaries, nerve cells, and other fragile parts that must remain healthy to work correctly and in unison. It’s crucial to have strong blood flow. High blood pressure and the constricting of blood vessels caused by obesity can impede this process.

The cochlea is a part of the inner ear that receives sound vibrations and transmits them to the brain for interpretation. The cochlea can be harmed if it doesn’t receive the proper blood flow. If the cochlea gets damaged, it’s usually irreversible.

Is There Anything You Can do?

Women in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study who exercised the most had a 17 percent less chance of developing hearing loss in comparison with those who exercised least. Decreasing your risk, however, doesn’t mean you have to be a marathon runner. The simple act of walking for at least two hours every week can decrease your risk of hearing loss by 15%.

Beyond weight loss, a better diet will, of itself, help your hearing which will benefit your entire family. If you have a child or grandchild in your family who is obese, discuss steps your family can take to promote a healthier lifestyle. You can work this routine into family gatherings where you all will do exercises that are fun for kids. They might do the exercises on their own if they like them enough.

If you think you are experiencing hearing loss, talk to a hearing specialist to determine whether it is linked to your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. This individual can do a hearing test to verify your suspicions and advise you on the steps necessary to correct your hearing loss symptoms. A program of exercise and diet can be recommended by your primary care doctor if needed.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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