Everyone recognizes that exercising and keeping yourself in shape is good for your overall health but you might not know that losing weight is also good for your hearing.
Research indicates children and adults who are overweight are more likely to experience hearing loss and that eating healthy and exercising can help strengthen your hearing. It will be easier to make healthy hearing choices for you and your whole family if you understand these connections.
Adult Hearing And Obesity
Women had a higher risk of developing hearing loss, according to research done by Brigham And Women’s Hospital, if they have a high body mass index (BMI). The relationship between body fat and height is what BMI measures. The higher the number the higher the body fat. Of the 68,000 women who took part in the study, the level of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The heaviest people in the study had a 25% greater instance of hearing loss.
Another dependable indicator of hearing loss, in this study, was waist size. Women with larger waist sizes had a higher chance of hearing loss, and the risk got higher as waist sizes increased. As a final point, participants who took part in frequent physical activity had a lower incidence of hearing loss.
Obesity And Children’s Hearing
A study on obese versus non-obese teenagers, conducted by Columbia University Medical Center, determined that obese teenagers were twice as likely to experience hearing loss in one ear than teenagers who were not obese. These children suffered sensorineural hearing loss, which is a result of damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that convey sound. This damage results in a decreased ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it hard to understand what people are saying in crowded places, such as classrooms.
Children often don’t realize they have a hearing problem 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?
Researchers suspect that the connection between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus is based on the health symptoms related to obesity. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all linked to hearing loss and are often caused by obesity.
The sensitive inner ear contains various delicate parts including nerve cells, little capillaries, and other parts that will quit working efficiently if they aren’t kept healthy. It’s essential to have strong blood flow. This process can be hindered when obesity causes constricting of the blood vessels and high blood pressure.
The cochlea is a part of the inner ear which 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. Injury to the cochlea and the adjoining nerve cells can rarely be undone.
What Should You do?
Women who remained healthy and exercised frequently, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% reduced likelihood of getting hearing loss in comparison with women who didn’t. You don’t have to run a marathon to reduce your risk, however. The simple act of walking for at least two hours every week can reduce your chance of hearing loss by 15%.
Your entire family will benefit from eating better, as your diet can positively impact your hearing beyond the benefits gained from weight loss. If you have a child or grandchild in your family who is obese, discuss steps your family can take to encourage a healthier lifestyle. You can show them exercises that are fun for kids and incorporate them into family gatherings. They might do the exercises on their own if they like them enough.
Consult a hearing specialist to figure out if any hearing loss you might be experiencing is associated with your weight. Better hearing can come from weight loss and there’s help available. Your hearing specialist will determine your level of hearing loss and suggest the best strategy. A program of exercise and diet can be suggested by your primary care doctor if needed.