There are lots of health reasons to remain in shape, but did you realize weight loss supports improved hearing?
Studies have established that exercising and healthy eating can strengthen your hearing and that individuals who are overweight have a higher possibility of developing hearing loss. Learning more about these connections can help you make healthy hearing choices for you and your family.
Obesity And Adult Hearing
Women are more likely to experience hearing loss, according to a study done by Brigham And Women’s Hospital, if they have a high body mass index (BMI). BMI assesses the connection between height and body fat, with a higher number meaning higher body fat. Of the 68,000 women who took part in the study, the degree of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The heaviest individuals in the study had a 25% greater instance of hearing loss.
Another dependable indicator of hearing impairment, in this study, was waist size. 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 lower incidence of hearing loss.
Obesity And Children’s Hearing
A study on obese versus non-obese teenagers, conducted by Columbia University Medical Center, concluded that obese teenagers were twice as likely to develop hearing loss in one ear than teenagers who were not obese. Sensorineural hearing loss, which occurs when the sensitive 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 noisy setting such as a classroom because it diminishes the ability to hear lower frequencies.
Hearing loss in children is especially worrisome because kids frequently don’t recognize they have a hearing issue. If the issue isn’t dealt with, there is a risk the hearing loss might get worse when they become adults.
What is The Connection?
Researchers suspect that the connection between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus is based on the health symptoms related to obesity. High blood pressure, poor circulation, and diabetes are some of the health problems related to obesity and tied to hearing loss.
The inner ear’s workings are very sensitive – consisting of a series of small capillaries, nerve cells, and other fragile parts that must stay healthy to work effectively and in unison. It’s essential to have strong blood flow. High blood pressure and the narrowing of blood vessels caused 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 harmed if it doesn’t get optimal blood flow. If the cochlea is damaged, it’s usually permanent.
Is There Anything You Can do?
Women who stayed healthy and exercised regularly, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% reduced likelihood of developing hearing loss compared to women who didn’t. Decreasing your risk, however, doesn’t mean you need to be a marathon runner. Walking for a couple of hours every week resulted in a 15% lower risk of hearing loss than walking for less than an hour.
Beyond losing weight, a better diet will, of itself, improve your hearing which will benefit your whole family. 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 teach them exercises that are fun for kids and work them into family gatherings. They may like the exercises so much they will do them on their own!
If you believe you are experiencing hearing loss, speak with a hearing professional to discover whether it is related 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 measures necessary to correct your hearing loss symptoms. If necessary, your primary care physician will suggest a diet and exercise program that best suit your personal needs.