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

There are lots of health reasons to keep in shape, but did you realize weight loss supports better hearing?

Studies have demonstrated that exercising and eating healthy can strengthen your hearing and that individuals who are overweight have a higher possibility of suffering from hearing loss. Learning more about these associations can help you make healthy hearing choices for you and your family.

Obesity And Adult Hearing

Women are more likely to experience hearing loss, according to research done by Brigham And Women’s Hospital, if they have a high body mass index (BMI). BMI assesses the connection between height and body fat, with a higher number meaning higher body fat. Of the 68,000 women who participated in the study, the level of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The participants who were the most overweight were up to 25 % more likely to have hearing impairment!

In this study, waist size also ended up being a reliable indicator of hearing loss. Women with bigger 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 regular physical activity had a lower incidence of hearing loss.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

A study on obese versus non-obese teenagers, carried out by Columbia University Medical Center, concluded that obese teenagers were twice as likely to experience hearing loss in one ear than teenagers who weren’t obese. Sensorineural hearing loss, which happens when the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, was common in these children. This damage makes it difficult to hear what people are saying in a loud setting like a classroom because it diminishes the ability to hear lower frequencies.

Children often don’t realize they have a hearing problem so when they have hearing loss it’s particularly worrisome. If the issue isn’t addressed, there is a danger the hearing loss might get worse when they become adults.

What is The Connection?

Researchers surmise that the association between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus lies in the health symptoms linked to obesity. High blood pressure, poor circulation, and diabetes are some of the health problems caused by obesity and linked to hearing loss.

The sensitive inner ear contains various delicate parts including nerve cells, little capillaries, and other parts which will stop working efficiently if they are not kept healthy. Good blood flow is essential. 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 that receives sound vibrations and delivers them to the brain for interpretation. The cochlea can be harmed if it doesn’t get adequate blood flow. If the cochlea gets damaged, it’s usually irreversible.

Is There Anything You Can do?

Women who stayed healthy and exercised frequently, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% lowered likelihood of getting hearing loss compared to women who didn’t. Reducing your risk, however, doesn’t mean you have to be a marathon runner. Walking for two or more hours per week resulted in a 15 percent reduced chance of hearing loss than walking for less than an hour.

Beyond losing weight, 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 shed some pounds. You can teach them exercises that are fun for kids and work them into family gatherings. They might like the exercises enough to do them on their own!

Consult a hearing professional to figure out if any hearing loss you might be experiencing is related to your weight. Better hearing can be the result of weight loss and there’s help available. Your hearing specialist will determine your level of hearing loss and advise you on the best strategy. A regimen of exercise and diet can be recommended by your primary care doctor if necessary.

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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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