Everyone knows that exercising and keeping yourself in shape is good for your general health but you may not know that losing weight is also good for your hearing.
Research reveals children and adults who are overweight are more likely to experience hearing loss and that healthy eating and exercising can help support your hearing. Learning more about these connections can help you make healthy hearing decisions for you and your family.
Obesity And Adult Hearing
A Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study demonstrated that women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at a higher danger of having hearing loss. 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 participated in the study, the level of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The heaviest people in the study had a 25% higher instance of hearing loss.
In this study, waist size also ended up being a dependable indicator of hearing loss. With women, as the waist size increases, the chance of hearing loss also increases. As a final point, participants who took part in frequent physical activity had a decreased incidence of hearing loss.
Obesity And Children’s Hearing
A study on obese versus non-obese teenagers, carried out by Columbia University Medical Center, determined that obese teenagers were twice as likely to develop hearing loss in one ear than teenagers who weren’t obese. Sensorineural hearing loss, which happens when the delicate hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, was common in these children. This damage led to a diminished ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it hard to hear what people are saying in crowded places, such as classrooms.
Hearing loss in children is especially worrisome because kids frequently don’t recognize they have a hearing issue. If the issue isn’t addressed, there is a possibility the hearing loss might get worse when they become adults.
What is The Connection?
Obesity is associated with several health problems and researchers believe that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health issues. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are some of the health problems related to obesity and tied to hearing loss.
The inner ear’s workings are very sensitive – consisting of a series of little capillaries, nerve cells, and other delicate parts that need to remain healthy to work properly and in unison. Good blood flow is crucial. 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 damaged if it doesn’t receive optimal blood flow. If the cochlea is damaged, it’s normally permanent.
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 need to run a marathon to reduce your risk, however. The simple act of walking for at least two hours every week can lower your chance of hearing loss by 15%.
Beyond losing weight, a better diet will, of itself, improve your hearing which will benefit your whole family. If you have a child or grandchild in your family who is obese, talk about steps your family can take to promote a healthier lifestyle. You can teach them exercises that are fun for kids and incorporate them into family gatherings. They might enjoy the exercises enough to do them on their own!
Consult a hearing professional to determine if any hearing loss you might be experiencing is associated with your weight. Better hearing can be the result of weight loss and there’s help available. Your hearing professional 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 physician if needed.