Everyone knows that exercising and keeping yourself in shape is good for your overall health but you might not realize 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 healthy eating and exercising can help fortify your hearing. It will be easier to make healthy hearing choices for you and your whole family if you understand these relationships.
Obesity And Adult Hearing
Women are more likely to experience hearing loss, according to a study carried out 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 loss frequency. The heaviest individuals in the study had a 25% greater instance of hearing loss.
Another reliable indicator of hearing loss, in this study, was the size of a person’s waist. With women, as the waist size increases, the risk of hearing loss also increases. Lastly, participants who took part in frequent physical activity had a decreased incidence of hearing loss.
Children’s Hearing And Obesity
A study on obese versus non-obese teenagers, carried out 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 develops when the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, was common in these children. 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.
Children frequently don’t detect they have a hearing issue so when they have hearing loss it’s especially worrisome. If the issue isn’t dealt with, there is a possibility the hearing loss might worsen when they become adults.
What is The Connection?
Obesity is associated with several health issues and researchers believe that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health problems. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are some of the health problems caused by obesity and tied to hearing loss.
The sensitive inner ear contains various delicate parts such as nerve cells, little capillaries, and other parts that will quit working correctly if they aren’t kept healthy. It’s essential to have strong blood flow. High blood pressure and the constricting of blood vessels brought about by obesity can hamper this process.
Reduced blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which receives vibrations and transmits nerve impulses to the brain so you can recognize what you’re hearing. Damage to the cochlea and the adjoining 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 compared to 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 every week can reduce your risk of hearing loss by 15%.
Your whole 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 put together a routine to help them shed some pounds. You can teach them exercises that are fun for kids and incorporate them into family gatherings. They may do the exercises on their own if they enjoy them enough.
Talk to a hearing professional to find out if any hearing loss you might be experiencing is associated with your weight. Weight loss promotes better hearing and help is available. Your hearing specialist will identify your level of hearing loss and suggest the best course of action. A regimen of exercise and diet can be suggested by your primary care doctor if necessary.