Everyone knows that exercising and keeping yourself in shape is good for your general health but you may not know that losing weight is also good for your hearing.
Research shows children and adults who are overweight are more likely to experience hearing loss and that eating healthy and exercising can help support your hearing. It will be easier to make healthy hearing choices for you and your whole family if you know about these relationships.
Adult Hearing And Obesity
A Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study revealed women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at a higher danger of having hearing loss. The connection between height and body fat is what BMI measures. The higher the number the higher the body fat. Of the 68,000 women who took part in the study, the degree of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The heaviest people 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 larger waist sizes had a higher risk of hearing loss, and the risk got higher as waist sizes increased. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were lower in individuals who took part in frequent physical activity.
Children’s Hearing And Obesity
Research conducted by Columbia University’s Medical Center revealed that obese teenagers had about twice the risk of experiencing hearing loss in one ear than non-obese teenagers. These children experienced sensorineural hearing loss, which is a result of damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that convey sound. This damage makes it hard to hear what people are saying in a noisy setting like a classroom because it decreases the ability to hear lower frequencies.
Children often don’t recognize they have a hearing problem so when they have hearing loss it’s particularly worrisome. There will be an increasing danger that the problem will get worse as they become an adult if it goes unaddressed.
What is The Connection?
Obesity is associated with several health issues and researchers think that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health problems. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all tied to hearing loss and are frequently the result of obesity.
The sensitive inner ear is made up of numerous delicate parts such as nerve cells, little capillaries, and other parts that will stop working efficiently if they aren’t kept healthy. It’s crucial 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 which receives sound vibrations and sends them to the brain for interpretation. The cochlea can be damaged if it doesn’t get the proper blood flow. If the cochlea is damaged, it’s usually irreversible.
Is There Anything You Can do?
Women in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study who exercised the most had a 17 percent decreased chance of developing hearing loss versus those who exercised least. You don’t have to run a marathon to lower your risk, however. The simple routine of walking for at least two hours per week can decrease your risk of hearing loss by 15%.
Your entire family will benefit from a better diet, as your diet can positively impact your hearing beyond the advantages gained through weight loss. If there is a child in your family who has some extra weight, talk with your family members and put together a routine to help them lose some of that weight. You can work this routine into family get-togethers where you all will do exercises that are fun for kids. They may like the exercises enough to do them on their own!
Consult a hearing professional to find out 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 person can do a hearing exam to confirm your suspicions and advise you on the steps necessary to correct your hearing loss symptoms. If necessary, your primary care doctor will recommend a diet and exercise program that best suit your personal needs.