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

There are plenty of health reasons to remain in shape, but did you realize weight loss promotes better hearing?

Studies have demonstrated that exercising and healthy eating can reinforce your hearing and that people who are overweight have an increased risk of developing hearing loss. It will be easier to make healthy hearing decisions for you and your whole family if you understand these associations.

Obesity And Adult Hearing

Women had a higher risk of developing hearing loss, according to research done by Brigham And Women’s Hospital, if they have a high body mass index (BMI). BMI calculates the relationship between body fat and height, with a higher number indicating higher body fat. The higher the BMI of the 68,000 women in the study, the higher their hearing loss amount. The heaviest people in the study had a 25% higher instance of hearing loss.

Another reliable indicator of hearing impairment, in this study, was waist size. Women with bigger waist sizes had a higher chance of hearing loss, and the risk got higher as waist sizes increased. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were reduced in individuals who engaged in regular physical activity.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

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 delicate hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, was common in these children. This damage resulted in a decreased ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it hard to hear 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 problem isn’t dealt with, there is a danger the hearing loss could worsen when they become adults.

What is The Connection?

Obesity is associated with several health problems and researchers suspect that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health issues. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all tied to hearing loss and are frequently the result of obesity.

The sensitive inner ear contains numerous delicate parts including nerve cells, little capillaries, and other parts which will quit working correctly if they are not kept healthy. It’s essential to have strong blood flow. This process can be hindered when obesity causes constricting of the blood vessels and high blood pressure.

The cochlea is a part of the inner ear that 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. Damage to the cochlea and the adjoining nerve cells can rarely be undone.

What Should You do?

Women in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study who exercised the most had a 17 percent decreased chance of experiencing hearing loss compared to those who exercised least. You don’t have to run a marathon to reduce your risk, however. The simple act of walking for at least two hours per week can lower your chance of hearing loss by 15%.

Your whole family will benefit from a better diet, as your diet can positively affect your hearing beyond the advantages gained from weight loss. If you have a child or grandchild in your family who is obese, talk about steps your family can take to promote a healthier lifestyle. You can teach them exercises that are fun for kids and incorporate them into family get-togethers. They may like the exercises enough to do them on their own!

If you suspect you are experiencing hearing loss, speak with a hearing professional to determine whether it is linked to your weight. Weight loss promotes better hearing and help is available. This individual can conduct a hearing exam to verify your suspicions and advise you on the steps necessary to deal with your hearing loss symptoms. If necessary, your primary care physician will recommend a diet and exercise program that best suit your individual 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.
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