There are plenty of health reasons to remain in shape, but did you realize weight loss promotes better hearing?
Research reveals children and adults who are overweight are more likely to experience hearing loss and that healthy eating and exercising can help support your hearing. Understanding more about these associations can help you make healthy hearing decisions for you and your family.
Obesity And Adult Hearing
Women had a higher risk of developing 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. The higher the BMI of the 68,000 women in the study, the higher their hearing impairment amount. The participants who were the most overweight were up to 25 percent more likely to have hearing impairment!
Another dependable indicator of hearing impairment, in this study, was waist size. With women, as the waist size increases, 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 confirmed that obese teenagers had about twice the risk of experiencing hearing loss in one ear than non-obese teenagers. Sensorineural hearing loss, which develops when the delicate hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, was common in these children. This damage resulted in a diminished ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it difficult to understand what people are saying in crowded places, such as classrooms.
Children frequently don’t realize they have a hearing problem so when they have hearing loss it’s particularly worrisome. If the issue isn’t dealt with, there is a danger the hearing loss might get worse when they become adults.
What is The Connection?
Obesity is related to several health problems and researchers think that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health issues. High blood pressure, diabetes, and poor circulation are some of the health issues caused by obesity and tied to hearing loss.
The sensitive inner ear contains numerous delicate parts including nerve cells, small capillaries, and other parts that will stop working efficiently if they aren’t kept healthy. Good blood flow is essential. High blood pressure and the narrowing of blood vessels caused by obesity can obstruct this process.
Decreased blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which receives vibrations and transmits nerve impulses to the brain so you can discern what you’re hearing. Injury 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 regularly, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% lowered likelihood of developing hearing loss versus women who didn’t. Decreasing 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 lower your chance of hearing loss by 15%.
Your entire family will benefit from eating better, as your diet can positively affect your hearing beyond the benefits gained from weight loss. If there is a child in your family who has some extra weight, talk with your family members and develop a routine to help them lose some of that weight. You can show them exercises that are fun for children and incorporate them into family gatherings. They might do the exercises on their own if they like them enough.
Consult a hearing specialist to find out if any hearing loss you might be experiencing is associated with your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. Your hearing specialist will determine your level of hearing loss and advise you on the best strategy. If necessary, your primary care doctor will suggest a diet and exercise program that best suit your individual needs.