Everyone 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 demonstrated that exercising and eating healthy can strengthen your hearing and that people who are overweight have a higher chance of dealing with hearing loss. It will be easier to make healthy hearing decisions for you and your whole family if you learn about these connections.
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 relationship between body fat and height, with a higher number signifying higher body fat. Of the 68,000 women who took part in the study, the level of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The participants who were the most overweight were as much as 25 % more likely to experience hearing impairment!
In this study, waist size also ended up being a reliable indicator of hearing impairment. Women with bigger waist sizes had a higher risk of hearing loss, and the risk increased as waist sizes increased. As a final point, participants who engaged 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, concluded that obese teenagers were twice as likely to develop hearing loss in one ear than teenagers who weren’t obese. Sensorineural hearing loss, which develops when the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, was common in these children. This damage resulted in a decreased ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it difficult to understand what people are saying in crowded settings, such as classrooms.
Children frequently don’t notice they have a hearing issue so when they have hearing loss it’s especially worrisome. There will be an increasing danger that the problem will get worse as they become an adult if it’s not treated.
What is The Connection?
Obesity is associated with several health issues and researchers believe that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health problems. High blood pressure, diabetes, and poor circulation are all linked to hearing loss and are often caused by obesity.
The inner ear’s anatomy is very sensitive – consisting of a series of small capillaries, nerve cells, and other delicate parts that have to stay healthy to work properly and in unison. Good blood flow is essential. High blood pressure and the constricting of blood vessels brought about by obesity can hamper this process.
Decreased blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which accepts vibrations and sends nerve impulses to the brain so you can recognize what you’re hearing. Injury to the cochlea and the surrounding nerve cells usually can’t be reversed.
What Should You do?
Women in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study who exercised the most had a 17 percent less chance of experiencing hearing loss compared to those who exercised least. Lowering your risk, however, doesn’t mean you have to be a marathon runner. The simple routine of walking for at least two hours each week can reduce your chance of hearing loss by 15%.
Beyond losing weight, 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 overweight, talk about steps your family can take to promote a healthier lifestyle. You can teach them exercises that are enjoyable for kids and work them into family get-togethers. They may do the exercises on their own if they like them enough.
Consult a hearing professional to determine if any hearing loss you may be experiencing is related to your weight. Better hearing can come from weight loss and there’s help available. This individual can do a hearing exam to confirm your suspicions and advise you on the steps needed to correct your hearing loss symptoms. A program of exercise and diet can be recommended by your primary care doctor if needed.