How Your Weight Impacts Your Hearing

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

There are lots of health reasons to remain in shape, but did you know weight loss supports better hearing?

Studies have established that exercising and eating healthy can reinforce your hearing and that people who are overweight have a higher chance of getting hearing loss. It will be easier to make healthy hearing decisions for you and your whole family if you understand these connections.

Adult Hearing And Obesity

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). The relationship between height and body fat 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 impairment incidence. The participants who were the most overweight were as much as 25 % more likely to have hearing loss!

In this study, waist size also ended up being a reliable indicator of hearing loss. 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 people who engaged in regular physical activity.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

A study on obese versus non-obese teenagers, performed 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. These children suffered sensorineural hearing loss, which is a result of damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that carry sound. This damage makes it hard to hear what people are saying in a noisy setting such as a classroom because it decreases the ability to hear lower frequencies.

Hearing loss in children is especially worrisome because kids often don’t recognize they have a hearing problem. There will be an increasing danger that the issue will get worse as they become an adult if it’s not treated.

What is The Connection?

Obesity is associated with several health problems and researchers think that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health problems. High blood pressure, poor circulation, and diabetes are all linked to hearing loss and are frequently caused by obesity.

The sensitive inner ear contains various delicate parts including nerve cells, small capillaries, and other parts which will quit working correctly if they are not kept healthy. Good blood flow is essential. This process can be hindered when obesity causes narrowing of the blood vessels and high blood pressure.

The cochlea is a part of the inner ear which receives sound vibrations and delivers them to the brain for interpretation. The cochlea can be damaged if it doesn’t receive optimal blood flow. Damage to the cochlea and the adjoining nerve cells can rarely be undone.

What Should You do?

Women who remained healthy and exercised regularly, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% lowered likelihood of developing hearing loss in comparison with women who didn’t. Decreasing your risk, however, doesn’t mean you need to be a marathon runner. The simple act of walking for at least two hours each week can reduce your chance of hearing loss by 15%.

Your entire family will benefit from a better diet, as your diet can positively affect your hearing beyond the advantages gained through weight loss. If there is a child in your family who has some extra weight, get together with your family members and put together a routine to help them lose some of that weight. You can teach them exercises that are fun for kids and incorporate them into family get-togethers. They might do the exercises on their own if they like them enough.

Talk to a hearing professional to determine if any hearing loss you might be experiencing is related to your weight. Better hearing can be the result of weight loss and there’s help available. This person can do a hearing test to verify your suspicions and advise you on the measures necessary to correct your hearing loss symptoms. If necessary, your primary care doctor will recommend a diet and exercise routine that best suit your individual needs.

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.


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