There are plenty of health reasons to remain in shape, but did you realize weight loss supports improved hearing?

Studies have demonstrated that exercising and eating healthy can strengthen your hearing and that individuals who are overweight have a higher risk of developing hearing loss. It will be easier to make healthy hearing choices for you and your whole family if you understand these relationships.

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). BMI calculates the connection between height and body fat, with a higher number signifying higher body fat. Of the 68,000 women who participated in the study, the amount of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The participants who were the most overweight were as much as 25 % 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 got higher as waist sizes increased. Lastly, participants who engaged in frequent physical activity had a decreased incidence of hearing loss.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

Research conducted by Columbia University’s Medical Center confirmed that obese teenagers had almost double the risk of developing hearing loss in one ear than non-obese teenagers. 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 hard to hear what people are saying in a noisy setting such as a classroom because it diminishes the ability to hear lower frequencies.

Children often don’t detect they have a hearing issue so when they have hearing loss it’s particularly 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 association between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus lies in the health symptoms linked to obesity. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all linked to hearing loss and are often caused by obesity.

The inner ear’s anatomy is very sensitive – composed of a series of small capillaries, nerve cells, and other fragile parts that must stay healthy to work effectively and in unison. Good blood flow is crucial. This process can be hindered when obesity causes narrowing 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 translation. 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.

Is There Anything You Can do?

Women in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study who exercised the most had a 17 percent decreased risk of developing hearing loss versus those who exercised least. You don’t have to run a marathon to reduce your risk, however. The simple act of walking for at least two hours each week can decrease your chance of hearing loss by 15%.

Your entire family will benefit from a better diet, as your diet can positively affect your hearing beyond the advantages gained through weight loss. If there is a child in your family who has some extra weight, get together with your family members and develop a routine to help them lose some of that weight. You can incorporate this program into family gatherings where you all will do exercises that are fun for kids. They may enjoy the exercises enough to do them on their own!

If you think you are experiencing hearing loss, consult a hearing specialist to determine whether it is linked to your weight. Weight loss promotes better hearing and help is available. This person can do a hearing exam to confirm your suspicions and advise you on the steps needed to deal with your hearing loss symptoms. A regimen of exercise and diet can be suggested by your primary care doctor if needed.

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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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