Hearing Health Blog

“Woman

There are plenty of health reasons to stay in shape, but did you realize weight loss promotes better hearing?

Studies have demonstrated that exercising and eating healthy can reinforce your hearing and that individuals who are overweight have an increased chance of dealing with hearing loss. Learning more about these relationships 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 carried out 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 degree of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The participants who were the most overweight were up to 25 % more likely to have hearing loss!

Another dependable indicator of hearing loss, in this study, was the size of a person’s waist. With women, as the waist size gets bigger, the chance of hearing loss also increases. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were decreased in people who took part in frequent physical activity.

Children’s Hearing And Obesity

A study by Columbia University’s Medical Center demonstrated that obese teenagers had almost twice the risk of developing hearing loss in one ear than non-obese teenagers. Sensorineural hearing loss, which occurs 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 such as a classroom because it diminishes the ability to hear lower frequencies.

Children usually don’t notice they have a hearing problem so when they have hearing loss it’s particularly worrisome. If the issue isn’t addressed, there is a possibility the hearing loss may get worse when they become adults.

What is The Connection?

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

The sensitive inner ear is made up of numerous delicate parts such as nerve cells, little capillaries, and other parts that will quit working correctly if they aren’t kept healthy. Good blood flow is crucial. High blood pressure and the narrowing of blood vessels caused by obesity can hamper this process.

Reduced blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which accepts vibrations and sends nerve impulses to the brain so you can discern what you’re hearing. Damage to the cochlea and the adjoining nerve cells can rarely be undone.

What Should You do?

Women in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study who exercised the most had a 17 percent lower risk of developing hearing loss in comparison with those who exercised least. You don’t need to run a marathon to decrease your risk, however. The simple routine of walking for at least two hours each week can lower 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 overweight, discuss steps your family can take to encourage a healthier lifestyle. You can show them exercises that are enjoyable for children and incorporate them into family gatherings. They might like the exercises enough to do them on their own!

Consult a hearing specialist to find out if any hearing loss you might be experiencing is associated with your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. This person can conduct a hearing exam to confirm your suspicions and advise you on the steps needed to deal with your hearing loss symptoms. If needed, your primary care doctor will recommend a diet and exercise routine that best suit your individual needs.

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