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

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

Studies have established that exercising and eating healthy can reinforce your hearing and that people who are overweight have a higher risk of developing hearing loss. Learning more about these relationships can help you make healthy hearing choices for you and your family.

Adult Hearing And Obesity

A Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study showed that women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at an increased danger of experiencing hearing loss. BMI calculates the connection between height and body fat, with a higher number indicating higher body fat. Of the 68,000 women who took part in the study, the level of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The heaviest individuals in the study had a 25% greater instance of hearing loss.

In this study, waist size also ended up being a reliable indicator of hearing loss. Women with bigger waist sizes had a higher risk of hearing loss, and the risk got higher as waist sizes increased. As a final point, participants who engaged in frequent physical activity had a decreased incidence of hearing loss.

Children’s Hearing And Obesity

A study by Columbia University’s Medical Center demonstrated that obese teenagers had about double the risk of experiencing hearing loss in one ear than non-obese teenagers. These children experienced sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that carry sound. This damage resulted in a diminished ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it difficult to hear what people are saying in crowded places, like classrooms.

Hearing loss in children is particularly worrisome because kids frequently don’t realize they have a hearing issue. There will be an increasing risk that the problem will get worse as they become an adult if it goes unaddressed.

What is The Connection?

Researchers surmise that the association between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus is based on the health symptoms linked to obesity. High blood pressure, poor circulation, and diabetes are all linked to hearing loss and are often caused by obesity.

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

The cochlea is a part of the inner ear that receives sound vibrations and delivers them to the brain for translation. The cochlea can be damaged if it doesn’t get adequate blood flow. Damage to the cochlea and the surrounding nerve cells usually can’t be reversed.

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 have to run a marathon to lower your risk, however. Walking for a couple of hours each week resulted in a 15% decreased risk of hearing loss than walking for less than an hour.

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

If you suspect you are experiencing hearing loss, talk to a hearing professional to discover whether it is linked to your weight. Better hearing can be the result of weight loss and there’s help available. Your hearing specialist will determine your level of hearing loss and suggest the best plan of action. If necessary, your primary care physician will recommend 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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