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

Everybody knows that exercising and keeping yourself in shape is good for your overall health but you may not realize that losing weight is also good for your hearing.

Studies have established that exercising and eating healthy can reinforce your hearing and that people who are overweight have a higher chance of getting hearing loss. It will be easier to make healthy hearing decisions for you and your whole family if you understand these associations.

Obesity And Adult Hearing

A Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study revealed that women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at a higher danger of experiencing hearing loss. The connection between height and body fat is what BMI measures. The higher the number the higher the body fat. Of the 68,000 women who participated in the study, the degree of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The participants who were the most overweight were up to 25 percent more likely to have hearing impairment!

Another reliable indicator of hearing loss, in this study, was the size of a person’s waist. Women with larger waist sizes had a higher chance of hearing loss, and the risk increased as waist sizes increased. As a final point, participants who engaged in frequent physical activity had a lower incidence of hearing loss.

Children’s Hearing And Obesity

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. Sensorineural hearing loss, which occurs when the delicate 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 decreases the ability to hear lower frequencies.

Children often don’t notice they have a hearing issue so when they have hearing loss it’s especially worrisome. There will be an increasing risk that the problem will get worse as they become an adult if it’s not treated.

What is The Connection?

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

The sensitive inner ear contains numerous delicate parts including nerve cells, small capillaries, and other parts which will quit working correctly if they aren’t kept healthy. It’s essential to have strong blood flow. High blood pressure and the narrowing of blood vessels caused by obesity can obstruct this process.

The cochlea is a part of the inner ear which receives sound vibrations and delivers them to the brain for interpretation. The cochlea can be harmed if it doesn’t receive optimal blood flow. If the cochlea gets damaged, it’s normally permanent.

What Should You do?

Women who stayed healthy and exercised regularly, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% lowered likelihood of getting hearing loss in comparison with women who didn’t. Lessening 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 under an hour.

Beyond weight loss, a better diet will, of itself, help your hearing which will benefit your entire 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 enjoyable for kids and incorporate them into family gatherings. They might do the exercises on their own if they like them enough.

Talk to a hearing professional to determine if any hearing loss you may be experiencing is related to your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. This individual can conduct a hearing exam to verify your suspicions and advise you on the measures necessary to deal with your hearing loss symptoms. If necessary, your primary care doctor will suggest a diet and exercise program that best suit your individual 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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