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 healthy eating can improve your hearing and that people who are overweight have a higher possibility of developing hearing loss. Understanding more about these relationships can help you make healthy hearing choices for you and your family.
Adult Hearing And Obesity
Women are more likely to experience hearing loss, according to research carried out by Brigham And Women’s Hospital, if they have a high body mass index (BMI). BMI measures 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 experience hearing impairment!
Another dependable indicator of hearing impairment, in this study, was waist size. Women with larger waist sizes had a higher chance of hearing loss, and the risk got higher as waist sizes increased. Lastly, participants who took part in frequent physical activity had a lower incidence of hearing loss.
Children’s Hearing And Obesity
A study on obese versus non-obese teenagers, carried out by Columbia University Medical Center, determined 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 resulted in a diminished 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 detect they have a hearing problem so when they have hearing loss it’s especially worrisome. If the issue isn’t dealt with, there is a possibility the hearing loss could get worse when they become adults.
What is The Connection?
Obesity is related to several health problems and researchers believe that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health issues. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all linked to hearing loss and are frequently caused by obesity.
The sensitive inner ear contains various delicate parts such as nerve cells, small capillaries, and other parts that will quit working properly if they are not kept healthy. Good blood flow is crucial. This process can be hampered when obesity causes constricting of the blood vessels and high blood pressure.
Decreased blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which receives vibrations and sends nerve impulses to the brain so you can recognize what you’re hearing. Injury 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 lower chance of developing hearing loss in comparison with those who exercised least. You don’t need to run a marathon to decrease your risk, however. The simple routine of walking for at least two hours per week can reduce your risk of hearing loss by 15%.
Your whole family will benefit from eating better, as your diet can positively impact your hearing beyond the advantages gained from weight loss. If you have a child or grandchild in your family who is overweight, discuss steps your family can take to promote a healthier lifestyle. You can work this routine into family gatherings where you all will do exercises that are fun for kids. They might do the exercises on their own if they like them enough.
Talk to a hearing specialist to find out if any hearing loss you may be experiencing is associated with your weight. Better hearing can come from weight loss and there’s help available. Your hearing specialist will identify your level of hearing loss and advise you on the best course of action. If needed, your primary care physician will suggest a diet and exercise program that best suit your personal needs.