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

Everybody recognizes 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.

Research shows children and adults who are overweight are more likely to cope with hearing loss and that healthy eating and exercising can help strengthen your hearing. It will be easier to make healthy hearing decisions for you and your whole family if you learn about these associations.

Adult Hearing And Obesity

A Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study showed women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at a higher danger of having hearing loss. The connection between body fat and height is what BMI measures. The higher the number the higher the body fat. The higher the BMI of the 68,000 women in the study, the higher their hearing loss amount. The participants who were the most overweight were up to 25 % more likely to experience hearing loss!

In this study, waist size also ended up being a dependable indicator of hearing impairment. With women, as the waist size gets bigger, the chance of hearing loss also increases. Lastly, participants who engaged in frequent physical activity had a lower incidence of hearing loss.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

A study by Columbia University’s Medical Center revealed that obese teenagers had about twice the risk of developing hearing loss in one ear when compared to non-obese teenagers. Sensorineural hearing loss, which happens when the delicate hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, was common in these children. This damage led to a decreased ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it hard to hear what people are saying in crowded settings, like classrooms.

Children frequently don’t detect 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 related to several health issues and researchers think that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health issues. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure 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. Good blood flow is essential. This process can be hampered when obesity causes constricting of the blood vessels and high blood pressure.

The cochlea is a part of the inner ear which receives sound vibrations and transmits them to the brain for translation. The cochlea can be harmed if it doesn’t receive the proper blood flow. Injury to the cochlea and the surrounding nerve cells can rarely be undone.

What Should You do?

Women who stayed healthy and exercised regularly, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% lowered likelihood of getting 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 per week resulted in a 15% decreased chance of hearing loss than walking for less than an hour.

Your whole family will benefit from eating better, 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 develop a program to help them lose some of that weight. You can show them exercises that are enjoyable for kids and incorporate them into family get-togethers. They may like the exercises so much they will do them on their own!

If you think you are experiencing hearing loss, talk to a hearing specialist to discover whether it is related to your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. Your hearing professional will identify your level of hearing loss and advise you on the best plan of action. If needed, your primary care doctor will recommend a diet and exercise routine that best suit your personal 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.