How Your Hearing is Impacted by Your Weight

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

Research indicates children and adults who are overweight are more likely to experience hearing loss and that healthy eating and exercising can help support your hearing. Knowing more about these associations can help you make healthy hearing choices for you and your family.

Adult Hearing And Obesity

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 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 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 turned out to be a dependable indicator of hearing impairment. With women, as the waist size increases, the chance of hearing loss also increases. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were reduced in people who took part in frequent physical activity.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

A study on obese versus non-obese teenagers, performed 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. These children experienced sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that carry sound. This damage makes it hard to hear what people are saying in a loud setting such as a classroom because it decreases the ability to hear lower frequencies.

Hearing loss in children is especially worrisome because kids frequently don’t realize they have a hearing problem. If the problem isn’t addressed, there is a possibility the hearing loss might worsen when they become adults.

What is The Connection?

Researchers surmise that the connection between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus is based on the health symptoms related to obesity. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are some of the health issues caused by obesity and linked to hearing loss.

The sensitive inner ear is made up of various delicate parts including nerve cells, little capillaries, and other parts that will stop working efficiently if they aren’t kept healthy. Good blood flow is crucial. High blood pressure and the constricting of blood vessels caused by obesity can hamper this process.

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

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. You don’t need to run a marathon to reduce your risk, however. Walking for a couple of hours per week resulted in a 15% decreased chance of hearing loss than walking for under an hour.

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

If you think you are experiencing hearing loss, consult a hearing specialist to discover whether it is linked to your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. This individual can perform a hearing exam to confirm your suspicions and advise you on the measures needed to deal with your hearing loss symptoms. If necessary, your primary care physician will recommend a diet and exercise routine that best suit your individual needs.