Woman weighing herself and realizing her weight affects her hearing health.

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

Studies have established that exercising and healthy eating can improve your hearing and that people who are overweight have a higher chance of suffering from hearing loss. Knowing more about these connections can help you make healthy hearing choices for you and your family.

Adult Hearing And Obesity

A Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study revealed women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at a higher danger of experiencing hearing loss. The relationship between body fat and height is what BMI measures. The higher the number the higher the body fat. The higher the BMI of the 68,000 women in the study, the higher their hearing loss frequency. The participants who were the most overweight were as much as 25 % more likely to experience hearing loss!

In this study, waist size also ended up being a dependable indicator of hearing loss. Women with larger waist sizes had a higher risk of hearing loss, and the risk increased as waist sizes increased. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were reduced in individuals who took part in regular physical activity.

Children’s Hearing And Obesity

Research conducted by Columbia University’s Medical Center revealed that obese teenagers had nearly twice the risk of experiencing hearing loss in one ear when compared to non-obese teenagers. These children suffered sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by 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 noisy setting such as a classroom because it diminishes the ability to hear lower frequencies.

Hearing loss in children is particularly worrisome because kids frequently don’t recognize they have a hearing issue. There will be an increasing risk that the issue will get worse as they become an adult if it’s not treated.

What is The Connection?

Obesity is related to several health problems and researchers think that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health problems. High blood pressure, poor circulation, and diabetes are some of the health issues related to obesity and tied to hearing loss.

The sensitive inner ear contains various delicate parts including nerve cells, small capillaries, and other parts which will stop working properly if they are not kept healthy. It’s essential to have strong blood flow. High blood pressure and the narrowing of blood vessels caused by obesity can impede this process.

Decreased blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which receives sound waves and sends nerve impulses to the brain so you can distinguish what you’re hearing. Damage to the cochlea and the surrounding nerve cells usually can’t be reversed.

Is There Anything You Can do?

Women in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study who exercised the most had a 17 percent less risk of developing hearing loss in comparison with those who exercised least. You don’t need to run a marathon to lower your risk, however. Walking for two or more hours per week resulted in a 15 percent decreased chance of hearing loss than walking for less than an hour.

Beyond weight loss, a better diet will, of itself, improve your hearing which will benefit your whole family. If there is a child in your family who has some extra weight, talk with your family members and develop a program to help them lose some of that weight. You can teach them exercises that are enjoyable for children and work them into family gatherings. They may enjoy the exercises enough to do them on their own!

If you suspect you are experiencing hearing loss, consult a hearing professional to determine whether it is linked to your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. This person can perform a hearing exam to confirm your suspicions and advise you on the steps necessary to correct your hearing loss symptoms. If necessary, your primary care physician will suggest a diet and exercise routine that best suit your personal needs.

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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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